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City Council Approves Plan for Parks and Open Space Sales Tax

DENVER – Denver City Council approved the five-year funding plan for the Parks and Open Space Sales Tax that is dedicated to the improvement and expansion of Denver’s parks and recreation system. 

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-ways

“I want to thank the community for providing their input during the townhall meetings and surveys held over this past spring. The people of Denver said yes to more parks in more neighborhoods, and this plan will help us take their investment and deliver on that promise,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “My goal is for every Denver resident to live within a 10-minute walk to a park, and with this strategy in place, we’re ready to move forward – especially in neighborhoods that don’t have equitable access to a quality park.”

Last November, Denver voters approved Ballot Measure 2A, a 0.25% sales tax estimated to generate more than $37 million a year to support parks and open space. The sales tax creates opportunities to ensure long-term economic and operational health of Denver’s park and recreation system. 

“Denver Parks and Recreation has inherited an extraordinary legacy of green space, including many of the city’s historic parks, civic spaces, parkway systems, trails and mountain parks,” said Happy Haynes, Executive Director of Denver Parks & Recreation. “This funding plan is based on maintaining the legacy inherited from our predecessors while extending the legacy for future generations. Today marks a milestone that future generations will recognize as a gamechanger for our park system.”

The additional funds provided by Measure 2A, combined with existing city general funding, create new opportunities to realize 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. 

Many of the projects identified in the plan were developed from public input, unselected bond projects, and requests from city council members on behalf of their constituents.