Denver Parks and Recreation Board White Paper

The PRAB approved the below recommendations to the DPR Executive Director Happy Haynes which include a recommendation that the city acquire the PHGC land for a park.

Approved by Parks and Recreation Advisory Board May13, 2020

We, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, recommend to the Executive Director the following for 2020 and 2021:

Due to the Covid-19 crisis, we recommend immediately and indefinitely:

An immediate increase in funding for rangers, maintenance, and sanitary facilities (e.g., hand-washing stations and restrooms) on DPR land including parks, trails and parkways. Evaluate and establish protocols and potential safety measures that consider any additional health and safety procedures (e.g., equipment cleaning, etc.).

Consideration of access to our municipal golf courses for pedestrian use of the paved golf cart trails.

 

  • Pursuit of the purchase of the Park Hill Golf Course open space at current market value using the unspent funds from 2019 158-2A tax collections ($26.565 million). We understand that this would be a departure from our earlier recommendations; we feel that the current economic conditions and our current cash-rich position enable us to acquire this land and we see it as a very important addition to our park system. Our intention is to recommend the purchase of this land and to recommend its preservation as zoned open space (OS). The land’s use, whether as a golf course and/or other recreational uses, should be determined through the regular DPR public outreach process after the land is acquired.
  • Achieve and implement a pilot cooperative relationship with DPS for the purpose of developing a significant amenity and/or property access consistent with Game Plan’s goal of ten-minute accessibility.

  • DPR should maintain the current closure of streets within parks and DPR should immediately convene a stakeholder group to determine whether these streets are candidates for permanent or temporary/special event (e.g. Cheesman Park’s car-free Sundays) closure.

 

  • Significant increase in management methods and consistent communication and community engagement regarding wildlife management.
  • Channel 8 broadcast (audio or audio/visual) of PRAB meetings, possibly through use of existing facilities (such as the Parr-Widener Room).
  • To the extent feasible in the new ‘environment’ of the future, in principle, the department should extend and expand access and use of recreation centers and other park resources.
  • Maximize access as financially and as safely possible pursuant to the impacts of COVID.
  • Equitable investment is a priority of the PRAB Board and should serve as a measuring stick for projects.
  • Feasibility studies for restoration of historic structures or features (e.g., Sloan’s Lake Boathouse, Berkeley Park Bathhouse, downtown trolley).

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