Skip navigation

Park Rules & Policies


 

Translate This Page

 

Park Use Rules & Regulations

  1. Dogs and pets must be on a leash and under physical control at all times.
  2. Pet waste must be picked up and disposed of properly.
  3. No use or display of marijuana or the use of illegal drugs.
  4. No glass bottles or any glass containers allowed in parks.
  5. No littering. Use trash cans and dumpsters or pack it out.
  6. No weapons, firearms, or fireworks.
  7. Disturbing the peace, including loud music or sound, is prohibited.
  8. The sale of goods and services requires a Parks and Recreation Permit.
  9. No overnight camping, tents, enclosures, or other unpermitted structures such as air castles, pools, or water slides.
  10. Motorized vehicles allowed only on roads and in parking areas.
  11. Large gatherings normally require a permit. To reserve a permit site call Denver Parks and Recreation Permit Office at (720) 913-0700
  12. Do not attach anything to trees or structures.
  13. Removal or damage to plants or structures is prohibited.
  14. Fires and coals are allowed in grills only. Grills must be least 12 inches off the ground.
  15. Thoroughly extinguish all charcoals, dispose of properly or pack it out.
  16. No feeding or disturbing wildlife. A license is required for fishing.
  17. No boating without a permit. Safety equipment is required including a personal flotation device.
  18. No swimming is allowed except in swimming pools.
  19. Swimming or wading in fountains is prohibited.
  20. Rock climbing and off-trail use are prohibited at Red Rocks and Summit Lake Parks.

Download the Denver Parks and Recreation's full rules and regulations. (PDF)


Frequently Asked Questions

Residents should report issues to pocketgov.com or 311 (720-913-1311) so that a case can be generated, routed to the appropriate agency/team, tracked and closed.

Park users who witness behavior that violates Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) Rules and Regulations can report the activity while it is occurring to the Denver Park Ranger Office by calling 311 (720-913-1311). Depending on resources available, a Ranger can be dispatched to the area to further assess the situation. For emergencies, call 911.

The mission of Denver Park Rangers is to protect park resources, maximize public safety in parks, and to provide visitors with resources. Rangers patrol daily from 3:00 am until 10:30 pm by foot, bicycle and motorized vehicles, making contact with park visitors to educate them about the reasons for various rules, regulations, and policies. Additionally, Denver Park Rangers host free, educational youth and family activities such as Fishing is Fun and the Jr. Ranger program.

Visit denvergov.org/ParkRangers for schedules and additional details.

Bicycles are only allowed on park roads and designated off-street trails and must obey the posted speed limit of 15 miles per hour. Crusher-fine trails are designed with erosion, intersections, landscape and other obstacles in mind to optimize safety and maintenance resources. When joggers and walkers veer off-trail to create shortcuts, surrounding vegetation is damaged which causes further erosion to the trail, increasing maintenance costs and creating collision hazards.

Denver Parks and Recreation’s complete list of rules and regulations can be found on denvergov.org/ParkRules.

Parks are open daily. Urban parks are open from 5:00 am to 11:00 pm. Mountain parks are open from one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset. Remaining in any park property after hours is prohibited.

Permits are required for gatherings larger than 25 people and for the exclusive use of picnic sites and shelters, along with athletic fields. The Park Permit Office can be reached at park.permits@denvergov.org or 720-913-0700.  Picnic sites are available for reservation April 1–October 1 in urban parks, and May 1–September 30 in mountain parks. Picnic permit requests are accepted each year beginning in mid-February.

Visit denvergov.org/Picnics for more information or to book a site.  

The Denver Office of Special Events maintains an event calendar of all public events held on city property.

Find the schedule at denvergov.org/SpecialEvents.

Athletic fields open in mid-March and close the first week of November, except for synthetic turf fields which are open during the winter season by permit only. Conditions and closure notices can be found by calling the Athletic Field Hotline at 720-865-6978, which is updated daily at 2:00 pm. For weather impacts, the hotline is updated at 6:30 am Monday-Friday, and 7:30 am on Saturdays and Sundays.

For more information, visit denvergov.org/Permits.

Overnight parking in parks is prohibited in all parks to minimize potential noise and traffic impacts on neighbors. Parking is only allowed in designated areas during park hours (urban parks: 5 am – 11 pm; mountain parks: 1 hr. before sunrise – 1 hr. after sunset).

Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) does not maintain a lost and found system. Park Operations staff rarely come across personal items—it is more likely that other park visitors pick up lost items or that their owner finds them by re-visiting the location. If you come across an item you’d like to turn in, email parksandrecreation@denvergov.org to be connected with the most appropriate maintenance shop or recreation center.

Park restrooms open mid-April but may close temporarily when temperatures drop below freezing. Portable toilets are deployed at permitted athletic fields the last week in March, and the last week in April at picnic sites. Denver Parks and Recreation tries to keep restrooms open through the permit season but may close them early due to frost.

Drinking fountains are activated in early May and kept on until early October. Decorative and interactive play fountains are turned on in late May, usually around Memorial Day, once the threat of frost has passed. Interactive play fountains operate daily from 11:00 am – 7:00 pm.

Some drinking fountains were constructed prior to Denver Water implementing upgraded pipeline standards for drinking water. These older drinking fountains do not comply with potable water requirements and are therefore non-operational.

Annual flower displays are planted between mid-May and early June each year and remain in parks until early-mid October when flowerbeds and irrigation systems are winterized.

Parks are irrigated during overnight hours into the morning. Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) irrigation systems start at 9:00 pm and run through the night in different zones. Because of water flow limitations and the large size of some parks, irrigation zones may run into the morning hours when people are more likely to use parks and trails. Specific days and run-times of certain zones vary significantly due to changing seasonal water needs, rain holds, mow schedules, seed/sod establishment, and associated adjustments to mow schedules. DPR realizes this may cause an inconvenience for some park users and appreciates the public’s understanding of maintenance requirements and scheduling limitations.

Denver Parks and Recreation Pesticide Use:

Making Denver’s parks system more resilient and environmentally sustainable is a major component of the Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) Game Plan for a Healthy City. DPR uses an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program to limit environmental impacts and manage a threshold tolerance level of weed and insects. The EPA defines IPM as “an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices.”

One of the primary objectives of DPR’s IPM program is to reduce the total amount of pesticide applied to parks by using a combination of tactics to control or manage pests. This approach considers all strategies including cultural, mechanical, biological, and chemical controls to reduce pest damage to acceptable levels by considering potential impacts on humans, property, economical costs and the environment.

DPR follows a strong turf management program which incorporates proper irrigation, mowing, fertilization, and aeration practices to maintain a healthy turf that minimizes weed growth, pesticide use and exposure to the public.

Selective spot spraying of broadleaf post-emergent weeds in turfgrass is used when weeds are determined to be high enough in density to warrant possible spraying. The recommended turf products used are selected that best control the pest identified.

DPR complies with state and federal requirements and environmental procedures required for fertilizers, pesticides and other chemical products used for tree, turf, and landscape management. DPR abides by FIFRA (Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act), the Colorado Pesticide Applicators’ Act (C.R.S 35-10), and GreenCO Green Industries of Colorado best management practices.

DPR staff who handle or apply pesticides receive training each year and are supervised by a Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) Licensed Qualified Supervisor to ensure that they are properly applying pesticides according to CDA standards and product labels. DPR technical experts inspect weed and pest populations. Once identified, the weed population is analyzed against defined thresholds and CDA noxious weed requirements. DPR posts signage to notify where applications have been performed to lower the risk of public exposure.

Application of glyphosate is applied to select areas and typically used for tree rings in turf and ornamental sites to protect trees from damage. Glyphosate is also sprayed in pavement cracks, around posts and other vertical structures. This also lowers carbon emissions by decreasing the use of gas-powered mowing and trimming equipment.

DPR is continuing to explore alternatives to pesticide use, maintain best management practices, adhere to state and federal regulations, and follow park standards to support safe and healthy parks in Denver.

Learn more about DPR's Integrated Pest Management Program (PDF)

View comprehensive list of pesticide/herbicide used (PDF)

Off-leash areas require continual upkeep which is a shared responsibility with dog park users. Deteriorating conditions due to accumulating pet waste, holes from digging, litter, etc. may result in the closure of a dog park. Signage is posted outside each dog park indicating the status of its condition which is monitored by park staff:

  • Green: Off-leash area is in good condition
  • Yellow: Off-leash area needs attention and will close soon if not cleaned up by dog park users
  • Red: Off-leash area is in poor condition and is closed until a volunteer cleanup is organized

Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) established the Adopt-A-Dog Park program to enable civic groups, neighbors, individuals, and businesses to help keep their local dog park clean. To organize a volunteer group, visit denvergov.org/VolunteerDPR, fill out the Adopt-a-Dog Park Agreement and return to tina.myers@denvergov.org

Volunteers are vital in helping Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) provide quality spaces and amenities to the city’s residents and are needed year-round in urban and mountain parks—visit godenverparks.denvergov.org to connect with our volunteer community, and to sign up for one-time or ongoing projects.

Visit denvergov.org/VolunteerDPR to learn more about the various volunteer opportunities within DPR, or to contact the DPR Volunteer Coordinator.

Small fixes like broken sprinklers or playground equipment can be reported through pocketgov.com for immediate review from our operations team. Larger projects like playground and court upgrades take longer to complete. Every quarter, planning and park operations management meet to look at department's improvement requests, using a number of factors to determine levels of need and priorities throughout the city's 250+ parks and 29 recreation centers.

Improvements and upgrades are decided on through the Capital Improvement Project (CIP) process: Each quarter, park operations & planning management reviews the list of inquiries and reports that have come in via pocketgov.com or Denver 311 (720-913-1311). From there, repairs and upgrades are prioritized based on multiple factors such as safety issues, available resources, location and other current projects going on in the area. Project scope is also considered—sometimes short-term repairs are not completed right away to save resources if a more extensive replacement or upgrade is ultimately needed.

Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) hosts a variety of programming for all ages at the city’s 28 recreation centers and pools.

Visit denvergov.org/Recreation to find drop-in fitness classes along with membership information and our comprehensive activity guide (also available in all Denver Recreation Centers).

The outdoor pool season begins the first week of June and lasts until mid-late August. Some pools open earlier and close later than others due to maintenance issues and/or staffing resources.

Visit denvergov.org/SwimmingPools for pool schedules and closure announcements. Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) makes every effort to extend the outdoor pool season as long as possible, but staffing limitations are frequently a challenge, as many lifeguards’ availability is impacted by school schedules.

DPR Aquatics offers free lifeguard certification training in an effort to continually recruit team members of all ages. Email aquaticsjobs@denvergov.org for more information.


Regulations & Other Information

  1. Dogs and pets must be on leash and under physical control at all times.
  2. Pet waste must be picked up and disposed of properly.
  3. No use or display of marijuana or use of illegal drugs.
  4. No glass bottles or any glass containers allowed in parks.
  5. No littering. Use trash cans and dumpsters or pack it out.
  6. No weapons, firearms, or fireworks.
  7. Disturbing the peace, including loud music or sound, is prohibited.
  8. The sale of goods and services requires a Parks and Recreation Permit.
  9. No overnight camping, tents, enclosures, or other unpermitted structures such as air castles, pools, or water slides.
  10. Motorized vehicles allowed only on roads and in parking areas. No overnight parking is allowed in any park.
  11. Large gatherings normally require a permit. To reserve a permit site call Denver Parks and Recreation Permit Office at (720)913-0700
  12. Do not attach anything to trees or structures.
  13. Removal or damage to plants or structures is prohibited.
  14. Fires and coals are allowed in grills only. Grills must be least 12 inches off the ground.
  15. Thoroughly extinguish all charcoals, dispose of properly or pack it out.
  16. No feeding or disturbing wildlife. A license is required for fishing.
  17. No boating without a permit. Safety equipment is required including a personal flotation device.
  18. No swimming is allowed except in swimming pools.
  19. Swimming or wading in fountains is prohibited.
  20. Rock climbing and off-trail use is prohibited at Red Rocks and Summit Lake Parks.

View all Denver Parks and Recreation Rules and Regulations (PDF)

Violators of park rules and regulations are subject to fines and eviction from the park.

Download park rules summary (PDF)

Ver el resumen de las reglas del parque (PDF)

 

 

Park Use Rules and Regulations – Governing Public Activities, Uses and Behavior in Parks, Parkways, Mountain Parks, Recreation Facilities,  and other Public Facilities under the Auspices of Denver Department of Parks and Recreation. 

View full park use rules and regulations

___________________________

Administrative Citations Rules and Regulations – Governing Use of Administrative Citations for the Enforcement of Article I of Chapter 39 of the Denver Revised Municipal Code and associated Rules, Regulations and Directives

Amended and restated November 18, 2015: View administrative citation rules

This Policy is adopted by the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation (“DPR”) for the purpose of providing some clarity as to the designation status of and the protections afforded to Denver parks under the existing legal framework and to make clear the public process with respect to designation of Denver parks in accordance with the City Charter and City procedures.

______________________________________________________

Public Hearing: Park Designation Policy

Date: Wed. November 9
Time: 5:30PM
Location: Webb Municipal Building | Room 4.F.6

Notice is hereby given that the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation is drafting a new policy that would provide clarity as to the designation status of and the protections afforded to Denver parks under the existing legal framework and to make clear the public process with respect to designation of Denver parks in accordance with the City Charter and City procedures.

A copy of the proposed Park Designation Policy is on file with the Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation and is available for public inspection online. A public hearing will take place on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 during the regular meeting of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, which is held at the Wellington Webb Municipal Building, located at 201 W. Colfax Ave., Room 4.F.6 at 5:30 p.m. 

The Plan identifies core services, points out duplication in services, recommends service provision strategies, and recommends resource allocation and pricing strategies. It enhances partnerships and helps meet the future needs of Denver residents, and those who work in and visit the community.

Full Report, June 10, 2013
Summary

 

Denver Parks & Recreation

Main Office

201 West Colfax Ave, Dept. 601
Denver, CO 80202
(720) 913-1311
ParksandRecreation@denvergov.org
Additional Contact Information

 



Denver Parks and Recreation official logo