“In a city nearing 700,000 people, it’s never been more important to protect, preserve, and grow our parks and recreational opportunities.” Mayor Michael Hancock, 2017 State of the City Address
If not a golf course, THE PARK HILL GOLF COURSE LAND SHOULD BE A PUBLIC PARK
A LAST OPPORTUNITY: The 155 acres of Park Hill Golf Course (PHGC) land, located on Colorado Blvd. between 35th and 40th Avenues, present one of the last opportunities in Denver to preserve a significant open space and create a large park without massive economic investment. In this increasingly densified city, smart public policy would not sacrifice this unique open space to housing and other development desires that must be strategically met elsewhere.
ZONING & A PERPETUAL CONSERVATION EASEMENT PROTECT THE LAND:
The PHGC land is currently zoned OS-B (Open Space-Recreation). Additionally, in 1997 the City of Denver paid the George W. Clayton Trust $2 million for a perpetual open space conservation easement on the land. Therefore, since 1997 the easement has prevented development on the land in perpetuity.
DENVER NEEDS MORE PARKLAND:
The 2019 Trust for Public Lands’ park score ranks Denver 29th of the 100 largest U. S. cities in parkland adequacy, down from a ranking of 13th in 2012. Denver ranks well below cities of comparable size, like Washington, D,C., Seattle, Portland and Boston.
THE NEIGHBORHOOD NEEDS A PARK:
Denver Department of Parks and Recreation describes the PHGC neighborhood as “park poor.” The Park Hill Golf Course land has much of the infrastructure, trees, and grass needed for a park, and the site is close to public transportation (RTD’s No. 40 bus and the new A-Line)
A BOLD VISION FOR DENVER:
Parks conserve water by absorbing rainfall, reducing flooding, recharging drinking water supplies. A state-of-the-art “Climate-Smart Park” that minimizes water use, preserves mature trees, and relies on drought-resistant vegetation would burnish Denver’s reputation and enhance opportunities for citizens.
THE NEED IS CRITICAL:
- Parks Fight Climate Change: Trees remove carbon dioxide- an important greenhouse gas driving climate change. Protecting Denver’s existing tree canopy is a “high priority” in Denver’s Climate Adaptation Plan.
- Parks Improve Lung Health: Trees absorb pollution—dust, ash, pollen, and smoke- and keep it out of our lungs- and release oxygen. Two trees provide enough oxygen for one person to breathe for one year. Denver has a D rating from the American Lung Association.
Parks Provide Cooling: By 2050, Colorado, in response to climate change, will warm by 4 Degrees Fahrenheit and Denver will have 35 days of 95 degree weather or higher. Trees provide shade, and parks and open space cool the more mature trees. The larger the space, the better for our densifying city.