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.
Motorized vehicles are defined as any vehicle, device, or trailer (whether or not attached to a motorized vehicle) including but not limited to an automobile, truck, van, sports utility vehicle, recreational vehicle, motorcycle, motor scooter or bike.
The regulation of such devices is important to the safe and harmonious public use of park facilities. City and County of Denver staff are actively working to evaluate current ordinance language and determine the best location for users to operate these types of toy vehicles in the public right-of-way in order to maintain both public safety and infrastructure. Safety for all users of our transportation network is of utmost priority as we review options and evaluate the pilot program.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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:
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Effective May 17 - November 11, 2019: Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR) is implementing a 180-day Rule Directive that will allow e-vehicles on Denver trails and park facilities. During this pilot period, DPR will evaluate how e-vehicle use can safely interact with other park activities.
E-vehicles have become increasingly popular in the past couple of years, prompting city agencies and officials to take a closer look at rules that govern public rights-of-way and how they impact mobility options for people traveling throughout Denver. DPR is aware that e-vehicles are being used in parks and on trails and must evaluate how to best manage this activity.
To accommodate the growing number of e-bike and scooter users, DPR has decided to formally evaluate how these devices impact park and trail visitors via the 180-day Rule Directive.
The 180-day directive will be in place May 17 – November 11, 2019 with a public hearing with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and public feedback pending.
Read the policy (PDF)
CITY & COUNTY OF DENVER | DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION
NOTICE OF REVISED ALCOHOL POLICY
Notice is hereby given that the Department of Parks and Recreation for the City & County of Denver has proposed revisions to the Alcohol Policy as of June 15, 2018. The intent of the proposed revisions is to simplify the policy, provide more clarity to permit holders and park users, and add consistency for permitted events. In addition, the proposed revisions are intended to allow for the public consumption of wine and beer in Denver parks, to address the change in state law effective January 2019. This revision will sunset at the end of 2019, in order to review potential effects. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board will hear public comments on this revised policy on July 11, 2018 at 5:30 pm at the regular meeting of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, held at the Wellington Webb Municipal Building, located at 201 W. Colfax Ave., Room 4.F.6. A copy of the Alcohol Policy, as modified, is on file with the Manager of Parks and Recreation and accessible for download via the link below:
DRAFT Policy as of June 2018 (.pdf)
DRAFT Policy as of June 2018 (.docx)
Read the current policy (PDF)
SURVEY CLOSED (4/23/2018): email email@example.com to submit additional comments]
For most of the questions asked in the survey, more than 50% of respondents agree with the proposed changes. This is the case both overall, and when divided out into three major age groups (40 and under; 41 to 60; and 61+).
In addition to the survey, DPR received numerous emails from the public and took feedback at a handful of neighborhood organizations meetings where a presentation was requested. The comments and questions received at these meetings is summarized in the report as well.
Current Public Hearing/Council Committee Schedule:
Denver Parks & Recreation's (DPR) alcohol policy was established in September 2007, and amended in May 2011, February 2012 and May 2012, resulting in the current policy which is overly-complicated and inconsistent.
In an effort to simplify how rules and regulations are enforced at DPR facilities across the city, a revision to the DPR Alcohol Policy is being proposed and your feedback is wanted.
The intent of these proposed revisions is to:
PROPOSED revision summary:
Read the full list of proposed revisions (DRAFT PDF)
Questions? Pease send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is the policy being revised?
The purpose of the revisions is to eliminate inconsistencies that exist throughout the current policy, align the policy with changes to state liquor laws, and add a variety of restrictions and requirements. This uniformity will improve regulation and enforcement.
What does it mean to “permit” a park for an event?
Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) issues a variety of permits to reserve all or a portion of a park for various activities. These include public events, races and walks, picnics, assemblies, athletics, etc. There are restrictions and requirements associated with a permit depending on the permit type, location, and the associated activity. To obtain a permit, an application must be submitted to the DPR Permitting Office that ensures that the request meets all restrictions and requirements. Details of the process along with the associated restrictions and requirements can be found at www.denvergov.org/permits.
What needs to be done to sell alcohol at an event?
If an event meets all DPR restrictions and requirements, a “Pending Permit” is issued. The applicant takes the “Pending Permit” to the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses and applies for a liquor license. Denver Excise and Licenses processes the application and approves or denies the license request based on the applicable liquor laws.
What is required to get a liquor license?
Detailed requirements on what is needed for a liquor license can be found at: www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-business-licensing-center.html
Do the proposed changes to the DPR policy mean that I will be able to drink full strength beer in parks?
Currently, and until December 31, 2018, only 3.2% beer (in cans) can be consumed by the public in Denver parks which is based upon state liquor law. The Colorado State Legislature recently passed legislation enabling local municipalities to establish their own regulations governing the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public places. The legislation is currently on the governor’s desk awaiting signature. If signed, Denver will begin the process of establishing regulations with the intention of them being in place prior to the end of the year.
Do the proposed changes to the DPR policy mean that I will be able to drink any type of alcohol in parks?
The answer falls into two categories.
Do the proposed changes to the policy mean that our parks will have bars or facilities that sell alcohol in our parks and recreation centers to the public?
No. The proposed policy only addresses permitted activity and general consumption. Any commercial food and beverage is managed via a concession license and must be approved by Denver City Council.
Do proposed changes mean that there will be unlimited events in parks?
No. The proposed policy only governs what can occur at events in relation to alcoholic beverages. All rules and guidelines governing how many and what types of events can occur remain in place including DPR’s rest period program.
Will the number of races and runs in parks increase with the proposed policy changes?
DPR does not expect an increase in the number of races and runs in parks due to the proposed changes to the alcohol policy. However, DPR will monitor this issue and can implement additional limits beyond DPR’s rest period program if needed.
What implication will the proposed changes have on enforcement for Denver Park Rangers and Denver Police?
DPR has discussed the proposed policy changes with both DPR Park Rangers and Denver Police. We do not anticipate that these policy changes will result in significantly increased demand on these resources. We will be monitoring this and will modify the policy if the impact is excessive.
Would this policy change lead to competition with the bars and restaurants surrounding parks?
DPR does not believe this policy change will impact bars and restaurants surrounding parks. Only attendees would be able to purchase alcoholic beverages at an event, as is currently the case where alcoholic beverages are sold at events.
If the proposed changes are approved, will they be monitored over time?
Absolutely. All affected city agencies (DPR Permitting, DPR Park Rangers, Denver Police, Denver Excise and Licenses) will be monitoring any impacts of the new policy and a formal review will occur at the end of the 2019 event season. Modifications will be made to the policy at that time if necessary.
Will glass bottles still be prohibited?
Yes, glass bottles in the park will still be prohibited.
Will this impact me playing softball with our “beer league”?
As is currently the case, the permit holder (league organizer) cannot sell or serve alcoholic beverages. The ability for individual participants to bring their own alcoholic beverages will be governed by the “general public consumption” section of the policy (please see the answer to question #6).
How will the proposed rule of no alcohol within 50 feet of playgrounds work?
The distance between playgrounds and alcohol serving stations will be verified via a site map and/or an on-site, pre-event inspection.
Where do picnic sites fit into this policy change?
The sale or serving of alcoholic beverages will be prohibited in association with a picnic permit. Consumption of alcoholic beverages will be governed by the “general public consumption” section of the policy (please see the answer to question #5).
Is this being done to please commercial interests?
No. The only type of liquor license that is available for park events is a Special Event Liquor License and only non-profit organizations can obtain this license. Commercial entities cannot obtain this license.
Will DPR and the city make money from having more events with alcohol?
Permit fees collected are intended to cover the cost of administering events. Since DPR does not anticipate a significant increase in events, we do not expect the revenue associated with permits to increase.
Why do Washington Park and Sloan’s Lake have different rules in the first place?
There were specific circumstances in these parks when the alcohol policy was initially implemented that prompted the DPR Manager at the time to modify the rules for these parks.
Will kegs be allowed in the park?
No. Kegs will not be allowed in Denver parks.
Does City Council need to approve this policy change?
Denver City Council does not approve this change in this DPR policy. Under the Denver City Charter, rules and regulations for Parks and Recreations are promulgated by the Parks and Recreation Department. Denver City Charter vests the authority to establish rules and regulations for Parks and Recreation to the DPR Manager (Executive Director). City Council members, however, have been briefed and have provided input into the policy. A briefing will be made to the Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Council Committee prior to the policy’s formal adoption.
Will the policy change restrict public access to parks?
No. Events that require a ticket for entrance are governed by DPR’s Admission Based Event Policy.
December 2018: Final Athletic Permit Policy (PDF)
Notice is hereby given that the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation has proposed a new Athletic Permit Policy. The intent of the policy is to organize processes related to how athletic permits are fulfilled, how requests are prioritized, state the regulations and allowable use for permittees, permittable hours and dates, and consequences for policy violations.
The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board will hear public comments on this policy on August 8, 2018 at 5:30 pm at the regular meeting of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, held at the Wellington Webb Municipal Building, located at 201 W. Colfax Ave., Room 4.F.6.
A full copy of the Department of Parks and Recreation Rules and Regulations is available for download (PDF). Violators of park rules and regulations are subject to fines and eviction from the park.
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.
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.
Date: Wed. November 9
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.
Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR) works with a variety of organizations to deliver programs, services and amenities to Denver residents and visitors.