KEEP IT OPEN SPACE: Keep Denver’s Legacy Alive

Park Hill Golf Course Should Be Open Space

By Alice Kelly, Maggie Price,
and Woody Garnsey

Special to the GPHN

In 1882, Denver’s elected officials had the vision to pay $57,000 (roughly equivalent to $1.27 million in 2016 dollars) to purchase 320 acres of land for City Park. This isolated land was in the prairie four miles east of the heart of the new cowtown of about 40,000 residents.

This acquisition was consistent with the “City Beautiful” movement that in the early 20th Century inspired Mayor Robert Speer to lead Denver’s purchase and development of land for the many parks and parkways that today provide Denver with the core of much of its irreplaceable open space and beauty.

In keeping with this Denver governmental drive to preserve city open space, in 1997 – some 115 years later – the Denver City Council and Mayor Wellington Webb negotiated an agreement with the Clayton Trust whereby the city paid $2 million for a perpetual conservation easement for the 155-acre Park Hill Golf Course. This conservation easement granted the city “a perpetual, non-exclusive conservation easement … to maintain the Golf Course Land’s scenic and open condition and to preserve the Golf Course Land for recreational use.”

(Note: the Park Hill Golf Course is between Colorado Boulevard and Dahlia Street, between 35th Avenue and Smith Road. It should not be confused with City Park Golf Course, which is nearby.)


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