Jun 17, 2016
DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation Happy Haynes have announced the planned designation of 98 acres of land adjacent to Red Rocks as parkland. The announcement was made Wednesday evening during the re-dedication of Red Rocks Amphitheatre for its 75th anniversary and celebration of the National Historic Landmark achievement for Red Rocks Park and Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) camp.
The land is located just west of County Road 93 near Entrance 2 of Red Rocks Park. Mount Vernon Creek flows through this area providing a valuable wildlife habitat and critical water quality functions for the Bear Creek Watershed.
“At a time when Red Rocks, the jewel of our Mountain Parks system, becomes immortalized in the history of the United States, there’s no more fitting tribute to its legacy in Denver than expanding the experience for residents and visitors,” Mayor Hancock said. “This designation will ensure that even more of the natural landscapes that make this such a distinguished and cherished park will be protected for generations to come.”
The City and County of Denver last added substantial Mountain Park acreage in 1960 when 85 acres was added to Newton Park near Conifer.
Red Rocks Park attracts more than a million visitors from around the world each year and consistently ranks in the top ten tourist attractions in the metro area.
Denver Parks and Recreation will begin the trail development planning process later this year to expand 2-miles of existing trails in the park. New hiking trails in this parcel could connect to trails within Red Rocks Park and possibly surrounding properties including Matthews/Winters Park in Jefferson County and a Mount Vernon Creek Trail connection to Morrison.
Denver Parks and Recreation recently completed its seventh round of park designations for parks and previously undesignated open space that included Cesar E. Chavez Park, City of Karmiel Park, portions of Bear Valley, Summit Lake, Fillius, and Genesee Parks.
“Throughout the designation process, Denver Parks and Recreation leaders have worked closely with parks advocates made up of representatives from the Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation (INC), Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB), and the community,” said Happy Haynes, Executive Director of Parks and Recreation. “ The group continues to identify all acres that are eligible for designation and will continue this process to ensure our park system is protected.”
The department began the designation process in the spring of 2013 in an effort to ensure that the city’s parkland is protected from future development and real estate transactions. Through this process, Denver Parks and Recreation is taking steps to officially designate all applicable parkland and open space through city ordinance. Once a park has been dedicated, it can only be used as a park and that cannot be changed without approval by Denver’s voters.
The process to begin officially designating the Red Rocks land as parkland will be presented to the Denver City Council Infrastructure and Culture Committee on June 29.