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About The Parks & Recreation Game Plan

In a city as active and outdoor-oriented as Denver, our great parks system is essential to our quality of life. In 2003, the community envisioned the future of its park system and created the Game Plan, which emphasized the vision of “a city in a park” and a set of core values: the environment, engagement, equity and sound economics. The plan kept us focused on providing quality recreational amenities citywide, especially in the neighborhoods that needed them most.

Now it’s time to update the plan for the next 20 years. Your input can help define new parks and recreation centers, relevant programs, and how existing assets are maintained and enhanced in the face of financial constraints, climate change, shifting demographics and increased visitor usage. 

 

 

 

Latest Game Plan News

 
Plan Updates

Existing Conditions Report
The existing conditions report culminates the first phase of the 2017 Game Plan Update for Denver Parks & Recreation. Its purpose is to document the existing state of the system as a whole in order to uncover the key issues that the Game Plan should address. Read the report.

 

About the Game Plan

The Game Plan’s previous emphasis on the vision of “a city in a park” and the core values of environment, engagement, equity and sound economics influenced how Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) invested in park and recreational amenities throughout the city. These core values will provide a foundation as we look to the community to update the Game Plan.

> Read the 2003 Game Plan

Below are some of the Game Plan goals that have been accomplished since it was adopted in 2003:

Increased parkland & recreation centers

  • More than 630 acres of parkland and parks have been added totaling nearly 6,000 acres.
  • One new state-of-the-art recreation center was completed in 2011, another will be complete in 2017, and four recreation centers were remodeled and expanded.

Increased Denver’s tree canopy

  • Tree canopy in residential areas increased from 18 percent in 2003 to 20 percent today.

Reduced water used in park irrigation

  • Today, DPR has more acres of park but uses 850 million gallons less water than in 2003. Over 75 parks now utilize centrally controlled irrigation systems providing automatic watering adjustments resulting in lower water use. Since 2003, DPR has converted more than 580 irrigated park acres from potable water to treated recycled water.

Improved pedestrian and bike connectivity

  • More than 30 miles of paved trails were added for a total of 85 miles of paved trails. DPR completed some “missing links” within the trail system including the Westerly Creek trail.

Responded to evolving recreational needs

  • In 2003, there were no disc golf courses nor dog parks. Today DPR has created three disc golf courses and nine dog parks. DPR is also building the Ruby Hill Bike Skills Course, the second bike skill area in the city.

Protected and Enhanced Natural Areas & Healthy Waterways

  • 1,250 acres of prime natural resource areas have been protected and over 2.5 miles of gulch waterways have been restored throughout the city. The “River Vision” projects are transforming what were once dumping grounds into a series of vibrant parks along the South Platte River including improved water access and environmental education opportunities.

Revitalized and Protect Mountain Parks

  • Mountain park resources have been renovated and restored, including: trail improvements at Summit Lake and Red Rocks, renovations to Echo Lake Lodge, and new trails, a bison overlook, and road and parking improvements at Genesee Park.

Protected, preserved and rehabilitated historic parks, parkways and structures

  • Some of the city’s most historic parks received significant investment for rehabilitation including Civic Center’s Voorhies Memorial and Greek Theater, Cheesman Pavilion and theWashington Park Boat House. At City Park the bandstand was restored, Prismatic and Thatcher Fountains rehabilitated, and work on restoring Sullivan Gateway is beginning.
  • Civic Center and Red Rocks were designated National Historic Landmarks. 

Denver has experienced considerable growth since 2003. Because of these changes, it’s time to think about the continued evolution of our park and recreation system, taking into account the city’s population growth, changing recreational needs, natural resource conflicts and opportunities, as well as sustainability and resilience in the face of climate change. We invite you to help us update the Game Plan, and build the framework for future DPR investments and policy.

Great parks systems are the result of intentional planning, engaged community members, and public investments that inspire creativity, social gatherings, and the enjoyment of the environment. 

Through community involvement, the Game Plan will help Denver Parks and Recreation identify and address key issues, opportunities and challenges; specifically as it relates to limited finances, changing demographics, climate change realities and pressures from increased visitor usage.

Your input can help define:

  • Areas for new parks and recreation centers
  • Types of programs that are relevant to the communities they are intended to serve
  • How existing parks and recreation centers are maintained and enhanced in the face of financial constraints. 

These important issues and others will be discussed during the Game Plan planning process. Join us!

Name Organization/Affiliation
Florence Navarro, co-chair  Denver Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
Darrell Watson, co-chair Denver Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Past President
Sharon Alton Downtown Denver Partnership
Jay April Denver Golf Advisory Board
Mark Bailey The Park People
Erin Brown  Denver Office of Children’s Affairs
Rebecca Born Northeast Neighborhood Area Resident (Park Hill)
Brad Cameron INC (Parks and Recreation Committee)
Councilman Jolon Clark Denver Council District 7
Fran Coleman Denver Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
Noel Copeland Denver Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
Tracy Davis Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee
Chris Frampton East West Partners
Julie George Southeast Neighborhood Area Resident (Southmoor)
Anthony Graves Mayor’s Office Director of Regional Affairs
Michael Guiietz Northwest Neighborhood Area Resident (Jefferson Park)
Jennifer Hale  Southwest Neighborhood Area Resident (Harvey Park) 
Karen Higel Denver Public Schools Athletics 
Fabby Hillyard Mountain Parks Foundation
Mike Hughes Central Neighborhood Area Resident (Hilltop) 
Cindy Johnstone INC (Parks and Recreation Committee)
Michael Leccese Urban Land Institute
Sonrisa Lucero Denver Office of Sustainability 
Jeremy Matsen Denver Department of Finance
Jackie Miller Great Outdoors Colorado
Jennifer Moreland Denver Public Health
John Noble Far Northeast Neighborhood Area Resident (Montbello) 
Councilwoman Deborah “Debbie” Ortega Denver Council At-large
Erik Ortiz Colorado Health Foundation
Jason Robinson Denver Parks and Recreation Advisory Board 
Kendra Sandoval­ Historic Denver
Catherine Dockery Denver Commission on Aging 
Ken Schroeppel University of Colorado Denver
Rachel Steele The Greenway Foundation
Regan Suhay Boys & Girls Club Metro Denver 
Myles Tangalin Mayor’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Jamie Torres West Central Neighborhood Area Resident (Villa Park)
Tim Wohlgenant Trust for Public Lands


Task Force Meeting 1: July 14, 2016
presentation | meeting summary

Task Force Meeting 2: October 27, 2016
presentation part I | presentation part II  | meeting summary

Task Force Meeting 3: January 26, 2017
presentation | meeting summary

Parks & Recreation Advisory Board meeting: February 8, 2017
presentation

Public Open Houses: March 21-23, 2017
meeting boards

Task Force Meeting 4: March 23, 2017
presentation

 

Get Involved

We, as a community, have a choice in how we approach the ongoing evolution of our city. By helping us answer the big questions, you and your neighbors will directly shape the community we become. Click below to share your voice.

 

Questions?

 

parks and recreation infographic showing park acreage for mountain and urban parks, conservation areas and regional parks along with special system features