Nancy Heil’s vision. In the late 1990’s, then-Westminster Mayor Nancy Heil had a vision. With charitable assistance in Westminster often divided according to county lines, Heil saw the value in creating an organization that could provide charitable support to the entire City of Westminster. Mayor Heil and a dedicated group of volunteers formed the Westminster Legacy Foundation in 2001 to support programs and projects that strengthen and enhance the Westminster community and our residents.
Armed Forces Tribute Garden. The Westminster Legacy Foundation worked with the community to contribute $178,000 to the City of Westminster for the Armed Forces Tribute Garden, dedicated to those who serve our country in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine. The Tribute Garden is an enduring place of respect that pays tribute to the commitment and patriotism of members of the armed forces, past, present, and future. Engraved bricks honor those who have served in the past or who currently serve.
Jessica Ridgeway Memorial Park. The Westminster Legacy Foundation worked with the community to create $130,000 for the construction of Jessica Ridgeway Memorial Park, created to honor 10-year-old Westminster resident Jessica Ridgeway, who was tragically kidnapped and killed while walking to school. The purple park reflects Jessica’s love of purple and the community’s love of Jessica.
Until 2017, the work of the foundation was carried out by dedicated, hard-working volunteers. Ready to make a more meaningful impact in the community, the foundation’s board members decided in 2016 that it was time to hire a staff person to move the foundation’s goals forward. The foundation board had conversations with the city to forge an agreement to jointly fund the desired position. The city council and the foundation’s board of directors executed an intergovernmental agreement in October 2016 which spelled out the cost-sharing approach and provided office space for the new full-time person. The foundation hired its first full-time staff person in 2017.
Nature Playground at Westminster Station Park. Upon recognizing the importance of connecting kids to nature, and that startling statistics were emerging about the amount of time that US kids were spending on screens, the Foundation decided to take on another project to provide opportunities for recreation and connection to the outdoors in Historic Westminster, at the recently-opened Westminster Station (a light rail train station that connects Westminster to Denver’s Union Station). The foundation contributed $200,000 to this project, which will be an innovative, creative and accessible playground for children of many different ages. The Nature Playground at Westminster Station Park is slated to open in 2021.