Game Plan for a Healthy City

Overview

About The Game Plan

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:

ADAPT

Adapt to the changing climate and limited resources to maintain Denver Parks & Recreation spaces and services for generations.

Learn more about DPR's Resiliency efforts.

CONNECT

Protect the culture and nature that is uniquely Denver to ensure it’s accessible for generations to come.

DIVERSIFY

Seek to create parks and recreation services that embrace Denver’s uniqueness through programming, outreach and communications.

RE-INVEST

Utilize existing and new resources for funding, partnerships and collaboration that is focused on equity throughout Denver.

GROW

Expand Denver Parks & Recreation to meet Denver’s growth and evolving community.

Download Denver's Game Plan for a Healthy City(PDF, 12MB)


Annual Game Plan Reports

2023:

Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) is excited to present our 2023 Annual Report on the implementation of Game Plan for a Healthy City—the department's long-term strategic plan to build a resilient and equitable park system that supports healthy people and a healthy environment.

Last year was another busy year filled with exciting accomplishments that improved and expanded Denver’s parks and recreation system, helping to ensure its health for years to come. In the 2023 report you’ll learn about numerous projects that are advancing our Game Plan for a Healthy City  through strategies to help the department adapt to a changing climate; diversify amenities and program offerings; grow the system; and connect residents with opportunities to engage in a healthy lifestyle.

This progress is possible because of Denver residents and their willingness to invest in our city’s quality of life. Through the passage of initiatives such as the Parks Legacy Fund and bond programs, we are able to continue building equitable places and programs for everyone.

Learn more in the 2023 Annual Report


View the 2022 Game Plan Report >>

View the 2021 Game Plan Report >>

View the 2020 Game Plan Report >>

View the 2019 Game Plan Report >>


Parks Legacy Fund 

The Next 5-Year Plan

Every five years, Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR) updates its priorities to continue implementing the Game Plan For a Healthy City, which states equitable access to high quality parks and recreation activities fundamental for all to enjoy Denver's unique outdoor lifestyle. Beginning Sept. 2023, DPR is creating the next 5-year plan for the Parks Legacy Fund. Read the Legacy Fund's first 5-year plan established in 2019.

 

 


Outreach Opportunities

Survey #3 | Closes March 20, 2024

DPR is creating the next 5-year plan for the Parks Legacy Fund, a voter approved 2018 ballot measure that created a .25% sales tax which benefits parks, trails, and open spaces. From the first round of community engagement, we identified several key themes for funding priorities. Take the survey to rank your priorities.

Survey in English  Encuesta en español

Please visit the StoryMap to learn more and to see a summary of our community engagement efforts so far.

Virtual Public Meeting #2 | February 28, 2024

Denver Parks & Recreation will also be at community events throughout the city to hear from you. Make sure you visit us at any of the following events:

Pop Up Events

CORENation Ruby Hill Rail Jam

Saturday, February 24, 2024 | 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Ruby Hill |1200 West Florida Avenue


About the Parks Legacy Fund

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.

See the Parks Legacy Fund success(PDF, 598KB)
Vea el exito del Parks Legacy Fund(PDF, 991KB)

Legacy Fund Priorities:

Maintaining & Expanding Our 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. 

Maintenance priorities: 
  • Catch-up on deferred maintenance
  • Bring all parks up to current standards
  • Keep up with maintenance standards
Extension priorities:
  • 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
  • Acquisition
  • Neighborhood parks refresh
  • Capital equipment + materials purchasing
Project Origination & Prioritization:
  • Equity
  • Expanded scope options
  • Kids & seniors
  • Partnerships
  • Geographic distributions
  • Alignment with Game Plan for a Healthy City
  • Unfunded master plans
  • Previous CIP requests
Equity

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.

Acquisition Program

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.


Game Plan Project Highlights

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. 

About Denver Parks & Recreation

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. 

DPR Mission & Vision

Vision Statement

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. 

Mission Statement

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.