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City Council Approves Game Plan for a Healthy City

Parks & Recreation’s 20-year plan for Denver’s urban and mountain park systems

DENVER – Denver City Council voted tonight to officially adopt Denver Parks and Recreation’s 20-year visioning document, Game Plan for a Healthy City, the strategic master plan providing a roadmap for the future of Denver parks, facilities, and recreation programs.

“Tonight’s passage of our Game Plan for a Healthy City is a testament to the thousands of Denver residents who helped create it,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said, “City Council’s action cements Denver’s strategic vision and roadmap for our 20,000 acres of park landscapes, urban forests, hundreds of facilities, and recreation programs for the next twenty years. Game Plan for a Healthy City will guide and inform our work to ensure safe and easy access to parks and open space so that all Denver residents can enjoy a healthy lifestyle and environment.”

Game Plan for a Healthy City is the citywide long-range Pars and Recreation plan helping the city respond to challenges including growth, limited water resources, and changes in our climate. The plan outlines easy access to parks and open space as a basic right for all residents, and establishes our city's parks, facilities and recreational programs as essential elements for a healthy environment, healthy residents, and a high quality-of-life for everyone.

“Input provided by Denver residents and extensive community outreach guided the development of the Game Plan,” said Happy Haynes, Executive Director of Parks & Recreation. “This strategic plan for the next twenty years of growth and change calls for a renewed commitment to our park and recreation facilities and our legacy as a transformational force in the health of our community. We have already begun to implement recommendations from the plan, most recently acquiring additonal parkland in the University Hills North neighborhood.”

The 20-year strategic master plan guides and informs the development of specific park improvements, new policies and regulations to protect and expand parks, and annual management actions and capital investments to make these goals a reality. The four principles guiding the plan include:

  • Every Drop: Make the park system more resilient and environmentally sustainable
  • Every Person: Ensure equity in distribution of parks, resources and recreational programming so all residents have the opportunity to improve their personal health and well-being
  • Every Dollar: Manage resources to ensure long-term operational health of the park and recreation system
  • Uniquely Denver: Provide park spaces and recreational programming that reflect Denver's community and cultural identity

In November of 2018, Denver voters approved Ballot Measure 2A, a 0.25% sales tax dedicated to the improvement and expansion of Denver Parks. The additional tax funds, combined with existing city general funding, will create new opportunities to realize Game Plan goals. The Denver Parks & Recreation 2A Five-year Plan includes investment in:

  • Acquiring additional land for parks, trails and open space;
  • Improving and maintaining existing parks, trails and open space, including Denver Mountain Parks;
  • Building and maintaining new parks and trails;
  • Restoring and protecting natural features such as waterways, rivers, canals, and streams; and
  • Expanding the urban tree cover in parks, parkways, and public right-of-way

Game Plan for a Healthy City is a result of the Denveright planning process; a three-year effort that involved extensive community engagement and feedback, and coordination among multiple city agencies. The five citywide plans – Comprehensive Plan 2040, Blueprint Denver, Game Plan for a Healthy City, Denver Moves: Transit and Denver Moves: Pedestrians and Trails – represent the community’s vision for a more inclusive, connected and healthy city over the next 20 years.