Parks & Recreation Strategic Plans

To ensure an equitable and resilient parks and recreation system that reflects Denver's diverse communities, strategic plans are developed to guide the implementation of improvements in parks, facilities, and programming. Find more information about various strategic plans below: 

Game Plan for a Healthy City

Game Plan for a Healthy City is Denver Parks & Recreation’s (DPR) vision for creating parks, gathering places, activities and more that are easily accessible, well-maintained and equitable in every neighborhood.

Learn more.

Heron Pond, Heller Open Space & Carpio Sanguinette Park

This project re-envisions approximately 80 acres of city property and existing open space around Heron Pond to serve as a regional and local amenity. Throughout 2017, a community-driven effort developed a plan for recreational amenities and access to nature along the South Platte River in the Globeville and Elyria/Swansea neighborhoods. The area will become a regional asset as one of the largest remaining open spaces along the South Platte River in Denver. 

Learn more about this master plan and project.

La Alma-Lincoln Park

A Vision Plan was completed in July 2023 for La Alma-Lincoln Park, illustrating the community vision for the future of the beloved neighborhood park. “Alma” translates to “soul” and this park has been the heart and soul of the surrounding neighborhood through a rich and diverse history. The Vision Plan provides a conceptual design vision for physical changes to La Alma-Lincoln Park that represent community input and priorities.

Learn more about the Vision Plan

Mountain Parks

The Denver Mountain Parks Master Plan is a strategic plan that examines the value of the Mountain Parks to the people of Denver; provides sustainable management strategies for the funding, marketing, and protection of the currently underfunded system; and proposes both large and small improvements for the next 5-20+ years, to take this system of parks to a level of quality commensurate with its international status. 

Download the plan(PDF, 10MB)

New Park at Iliff & Bellaire

With funding from the 2018 voter-approved Parks Legacy Fund, Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR) purchased the former Groundcovers Greenhouse site, located in southeast Denver at E. Iliff Avenue and S. Bellaire Street, in 2019. The nearly two-acre site fulfills the goals of DPR's Strategic Acquisition Plan to provide equitable access to park space in historically underserved neighborhoods and create green space within a 10-minute walk for nearby neighbors. A vision planning and community engagement process launched summer 2022, which will lead to the design and construction of a new neighborhood park in future years.

Learn more about the new park's Vision Plan

Outdoor Adventure and Alternative Sports

Building off the Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) Game Plan for a Healthy City and Strategic Acquisition Plan, an Outdoor Adventure and Alternative Sports Strategic Plan has been developed to identify nontraditional outdoor recreation trends and best practices along with opportunities to leverage the system's current assets through partnerships and other strategic programs over the next 20 years, specifically focusing on equity.

Learn more and read the full plan

Park Restrooms

The 2021 Restroom Master Plan Technical Update provides a preliminary analysis of Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR)’s restroom system and the accomplishments made since the 2005 Restroom Master Plan. The 2021 Restroom Master Plan Technical Update includes:

  • A summary of the 2005 Restroom Master Plan and its outcomes
  • Context of Denver’s public restroom system as a whole
  • A general inventory of existing park restrooms
  • Basic location criteria and design options for future park restrooms
  • Current restroom maintenance standards and concerns
  • Identification of potential strategies for system augmentation

This update is intended as a study and a precursor to a more fully developed master plan. This document provides foundational information necessary to lay the groundwork for informed decision-making regarding future capital investment - including a summary of the state of our system, potential short-term actions to begin to ameliorate system deficiencies or imbalances, and a sampling of longer-term approaches and associated considerations for broader system augmentation.

Download the plan(PDF, 4MB)

Sand Creek Greenway

Prior to the completion of this plan in 2016, the most recent Master Plan for the Sand Creek Regional Greenway was prepared in 1996 with the intention of providing a vision for the full length of the greenway trail through Aurora, Denver, and Commerce City. This effort by The Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership and the City and Country of Denver (CCD) is intended to re-visit the Master Plan, and specifically, to evaluate and address trail segments within the Denver city limits for experience, safety, alignment, operational sustainability, contemporary appropriateness and needs, and community desires.

Download the plan(PDF, 50MB)

Strategic Acquisition Plan (citywide)

Completed in 2021, DPR's Strategic Acquisition Plan guides the growth of an equitable, sustainable and resilient parks and recreation system for a healthier Denver. The Strategic Acquisition Plan builds off Game Plan and the Legacy Fund Five-Year Plan to provide the foundation upon which the Acquisition Program will be built and implemented. The plan provides a clear framework for decision-making that identifies priorities, describes strategies and explains criteria for success associated with completing and funding future acquisitions. The plan also identifies a toolbox that combines funding mechanisms and real estate techniques. 

Download the plan(PDF, 4MB)

View the StoryMap to see highlights on recent and current acquisitions.

View a visual summary of the Strategic Acquisition Plan.

Sunken Gardens Park

Completed in August 2021, DPR is is pleased to present and adopt this Sunken Gardens Master Plan. The plan represents a commitment to the restoration and revitalization of this historic “City Beautiful” park fronting the landmark Speer Boulevard Parkway and serving the growing neighborhoods of La Alma Lincoln and Golden Triangle. The rich cultural significance of the park to the historic El Movimiento combined with its proximity to the historic West High School Campus, Denver Health Medical Center and the Art District on Santa Fe allows the park to serve as a hub for this vibrant and diverse downtown urban community.

Download the master plan(PDF, 7MB)

Download the appendix(PDF, 27MB)

The Outdoor Downtown

The Outdoor Downtown is a 20-year strategic plan to provide the City of Denver with a visionary and actionable list of policies, programs, and projects that will make Downtown's parks and public spaces world-class destinations. This vision is being implemented through various projects and programs in the downtown area.

Learn more about The Outdoor Downtown


Find information about current planning projects and community engagement opportunities.