Game Plan for a Healthy City is Denver Parks & Recreation’s vision for creating parks, gathering places, activities and more that are easily accessed, well-maintained and equitable in every neighborhood. The 20-year plan proclaims easy access to parks and open space as a basic right for all residents. Built from input from more than 6,000 residents, stakeholders, and staff members, Game Plan provides a roadmap for our parks, recreation programs, and urban forest to serve the needs of all Denver residents in the face of population growth and climate change.
Game Plan Guiding Principles
Game Plan projects are focused on adapting to the community’s needs, connecting people to each other through nature and culture, creating diverse spaces, supporting the growth of Denver’s community and fairly reinvesting funds. Learn more about the Game Plan's guiding principles below:
Protect the culture and nature that is uniquely Denver to ensure it’s accessible for generations to come.
Seek to create parks and recreation services that embrace Denver’s uniqueness through programming, outreach and communications.
Utilize existing and new resources for funding, partnerships and collaboration that is focused on equity throughout Denver.
Expand Denver Parks & Recreation to meet Denver’s growth and evolving community.
Download Denver's Game Plan for a Healthy City(PDF, 12MB)
Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) is excited to present our 2021 Annual Report on Game Plan for a Healthy City—our long-term plan to build a resilient and equitable park system that supports healthy people and a healthy environment.
After an unprecedented time of change and challenge, we were able to begin to find a sense of normalcy. Denver’s parks were used more than ever, supporting the health of the city as communities came together again. Events and celebrations returned to our parks, and activities returned to recreation centers as they gradually restored pre-pandemic hours of operation.
Despite challenges and uncertainties our parks and recreation system continued to grow, becoming more equitable and resilient as progress on major projects and initiatives moved forward. These improvements are possible because of Denver residents and their willingness to invest in our city’s quality of life—thank you!
Learn more in the 2021 Annual Report
Thanks to Denver voters who passed the Parks Legacy Fund (2018 Ballot Measure 2A: Parks & Open Space Sales Tax), a 0.25% sales tax has been dedicated to the improvement and expansion of Denver Parks, allowing implementation of Game Plan for a Healthy City to gain momentum.
The additional tax funds, combined with existing city general funding, will create new opportunities to realize the Game Plan's goals and leave a rich legacy of green space for future generations.
Denver Parks & Recreation's investment framework will guide funds to better maintain and extend our parks and recreation system, including addressing deferred maintenance for both parks and facilities; and investing in land acquisition, planning, recreation, signature projects and resiliency initiatives.
Read the 5-year plan established in 2019.
Denver's City Beautiful Legacy
A City in a Park
Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR) has inherited an extraordinary legacy of green space, including many of our historic parks, civic spaces, parkway system, trails and mountain parks. Mayor Speer's vision to bring the City Beautiful movement to Denver has resulted in the mature landscapes that Denverites enjoy more than 100 years later. With the passage of the Parks Legacy Fund, DPR now has the opportunity to extend this legacy in new ways, guided by the Game Plan for a Healthy City.
Maintaining & Expanding Our Legacy
- Catch-up on deferred maintenance
- Bring all parks up to current standards
- Keep up with maintenance standards
- Expand access & opportunities for all residents
- Plan for future growth
- Leave a legacy of parks & green space for future generations
Short-term focus areas:
- Projects that can expand scope
- Neighborhood parks refresh
- Capital equipment + materials purchasing
Project Origination & Prioritization:
- Expanded scope options
- Kids & seniors
- Geographic distributions
- Alignment with Game Plan for a Healthy City
- Unfunded master plans
- Previous CIP requests
A key principle of the Game Plan, equity will be a main focus that guides plans for Parks Legacy Funds, along with partnership, sustainability, accountability and transparency.
Building a healthy city includes adapting to climate change, enhancing biodiversity and improving stewardship of our resources— ensuring the health of residents by increasing access to open space and expanding outdoor recreation opportunities.
Strategic Acquisition Plan
Denver’s Strategic Acquisition Plan creates the city’s first holistic strategy to grow its parks system and outlines a process by which the department can consider acquisitions in a transparent and accountable manner.
Denver’s Strategic Acquisition Plan provides criteria by which the parks and recreation department can identify and evaluate potential acquisitions to make informed decisions, ensuring added value to the system and its users. The plan also identifies a “toolbox” of acquisition techniques, tools, and funding mechanisms which the department can utilize to expand the parks and recreation system.
Since Denver’s Parks Legacy Fund went into effect and their Strategic Acquisition Plan was adopted, more than $7.3 million of the Legacy Fund has been spent on new parkland acquisitions. In recent years, the urban parks system has grown by 31 acres and the mountain parks system by 450 acres. This plan confirms Denver’s commitment to equity, resiliency, and ensuring the city’s legacy of outdoor recreation endures for future generations.
Learn more about parkland acquisition projects.
Learn more about the strategic acquisition plan.
In August 2020, we welcomed a new park to Five Points complete with green space and river access! Watch the virtual ribbon cutting event at Arkins Park with Mayor Hancock:
In September 2020, we revealed the new Paco Sanchez Park in West Denver! Watch this video to virtually experience the community-led design, including a new plaza and stage:
In spring 2021, a renovation of Rude Ballfield was complete, bringing it to Tier 1 standards and providing a more accessible, equitable amenity in an underserved neighborhood.
As stewards of a legacy park system, Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) is dedicated to customer service and enhancing the health of residents and the environment through innovative programs and safe, beautiful and sustainable places. The DPR system includes 30 recreation centers and nearly 20,000 acres of urban and mountain parkland including off-street trails, parkways and natural areas.
Find Parks, Recreation Centers, & Golf Courses
DPR Mission & Vision
Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) will be the foundation for the environmental health of the city and physical health of its residents by wisely using resources to create dynamic and sustainable public spaces, innovative programs, and neighborhood connections that are a catalyst for community-building and high quality-of-life for all residents.
As stewards of a legacy park system, Denver Parks and Recreation is dedicated to customer service and enhancing the health of residents and the environment through innovative programs and safe, beautiful and sustainable places.