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Final Documents:

City Park Master Plan Update
City Park Design Guidelines

Winter 2018 Project Update:
On February 1, the project team hosted a second Public Open House at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The information shared at this meeting included a summary of what's been heard from the community thus far, existing conditions, preliminary recommendations and big ideas for consideration.

This information was organized by topic and is available for review below:

This past fall, DPR continued to solicit input from the public. The community Stakeholder Working Group met two times, providing further guidance and feedback to the department. Based on this outreach, the following statement was developed to establish the park’s character and help draft goals and principles for the future of City Park:

Park Character:
City Park is ‘the People’s Park’ with a 120-year legacy as Denver’s most loved public space. The park’s distinct spatial patterns of large open meadows and lakes are defined by mature forested groves, curving roads and paths, and allees of trees. Living collections and gardens, gateways, monuments, and buildings and structures strategically define entries, views, and park experiences, adding to the park’s grandeur. Together, these define the People’s Park, where experiences are offered for all, from tranquil walks, to play and biking, to outings to the Zoo and Museum. 

Draft goals for City Park’s future, consistent with rehabilitation approach:

  • (RE)Connect the community with City Park – physically, visually, and socially
  • Preserve City Park’s historic features and patterns while integrating new compatible elements
  • Follow an integrated approach—considering aesthetics, historical integrity, ecology, and visitor experience—in designing new improvements
  • Maximize opportunities for improved ecological function and environmental performance for City Park
  • Improve the condition of City Park including infrastructure, vegetation, and features. while recognizing the operational needs of the park and institutions

Draft principles for City Park’s future:

  • Park Composition: Maintain the distinct composition of park spaces, views and the individual features that help define these spaces
  • Circulation: Establish a comprehensive circulation system with improved connections and access to, and within, the park for all modes that builds upon City Park’s character.
  • Vegetation and Ecology: Protect and expand City Park’s vegetation patterns and plant species to preserve character, provide wildlife or bird habitat or other ecological benefits, and to create ecological diversity. 
  • Water: Protect constructed water features to preserve park character, and to enhance water quality and ecological function. 
  • Buildings and Structures: Preserve contributing buildings and structures, ensure new buildings and structures are consistent with park character, and provide opportunities for compatible park uses. 
  • Park Uses and Experiences: Maintain a balance of uses and experiences that are integrated with the park’s character and composition.

Summer 2017 Project Update
Thank you for sharing your voice in the City Park Master Plan Update! This summer we have conducted the following outreach to inform our existing conditions assessment and identify what makes City Park special to you:

  • Two Stakeholder Working Group Meetings
  • Public Open House #1 – over 200 attendees 
  • Online Survey – 600 responses
  • City Park Alliance Ice Cream Social Table
  • Park visits during special events, different times of the day, and days of the week to collect survey responses, inform park visitors of the project and conduct behavioral analysis

Through this outreach, we have heard the following reoccurring themes from the City Park community:

  • The tree canopy and large, open meadows are very important to the City Park experience and provides a connection to nature within the city. 
  • City Park’s sense of grandeur and monumentality inspires awe and respect.
  • Historic structures are important to the park. This initiative should consider activating structures for park uses. 
  • The balance and variety of passive and active uses seems right. While the tennis courts and organized team sports in the meadow are popular, walking and running was identified as the #1 activity people do in City Park. 
  • City Park is a place to gather and offers a range of opportunities for formal and informal gatherings.
  • Navigation and wayfinding is challenging for all park users (bicyclists, pedestrians and cars).
  • Park access is difficult for both bicyclists and pedestrians. 
  • Infrastructure upgrades and supporting park amenities are desired to enhance the City Park user experience (e.g. playground, trail and tennis court upgrades and increased water fountains, wayfinding signs, bike parking, restrooms, etc.)
  • The Zoo and Museum are important to City Park.

This fall we will wrap up our inventory and assessment of existing conditions. These findings will serve as the basis for establishing a vision and guidance for development of draft master plan recommendations. We appreciate your input and look forward to your continued support!

Since 2001, more than $60 million has been invested in City Park, implementing many of the 2001 Master Plan recommendations, including:

  • Restoring sculptures and fountains
  • Improving conditions at Ferril Lake and Duck Lake
  • Working with institutions in the park to create parking solutions

The following map illustrates investments made in the last 15 years and highlights 2001 Master Plan recommendations that have been implemented. 

View larger map

The following illustrates the anticipated schedule for the master plan process. Please stay tuned for public meeting dates and times.

At key milestones there will be additional opportunities for input through stakeholder working group meetings, online surveys and events at the park. Please send an email to to sign up to receive project updates. 


  • An inclusive and transparent planning process guided by community and partner input.
  • A shared vision for the park that identifies current and future needs and provides a framework to manage the park’s evolution while honoring its historic character.

Why update the City Park Master Plan?
The existing City Park Master Plan, Revitalizing the Legacy of City Park, was completed in 2001 and has provided guidance on park projects for more than 15 years. Over that time, the neighborhood has changed and additional park studies have been conducted, prompting the 2017 master plan update initiative which will:

  • Be an inclusive and transparent planning process guided by community and partner input
  • Identify and meet the needs of a growing and diverse population
  • Create positive connections between City Park, its institutions, and neighborhoods
  • Build on the legacy as a city-wide park while celebrating its history
  • Create a sense of stewardship for all users

The project is funded by Denver Parks and Recreation and a Historical Fund Grant from History Colorado, with contributions from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science; the Denver ZooHistoric DenverCity Park AllianceCity Park Friends & Neighbors; and dozens of individual donors.

Community Outreach

Design Advisory Committee Meeting
Thursday, Jan. 31 | 9-11am
City Park Greenhouse


Public Open House 3
Thursday, April 19, 2018 | 5-7PM
East High School Cafeteria | 1600 City Park Esplanade

Public Open House 2
Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018 | 5:30-7:30PM
Download the meeting boards:
Part 1 (PDF) Part 2 (PDF)

Public Open House 1 
Tuesday, May 30, 2017 | 5:00-7:00PM
Download meeting boards (PDF)

Contact Us

For questions and project updates, please send an email to