The Open Spaces Department works to preserve natural and heritage areas, enhance neighborhood and regional parks and build and maintain trails. Since its inception, the Open Space program has built or improved 214 miles of trail, participated in more than 150 park and trailhead projects, supported improvements to 34 playgrounds and 16 ballfields, reclaimed more than 160 acres of land and 8 stream-miles in our beautiful creeks and rivers and conserved more than 33,000 acres of open space. Much of this work is done in partnership with local communities in Arapahoe County.
The Open Spaces Program began in 2003 when citizens of Arapahoe County voted to fund the program through a quarter-of-a-penny Open Space sales and use tax (25 cents on every $100 spent). The tax was renewed in 2011 when voters approved extending the program to 2023. Revenue from the Open Space sales and use tax is designated for specific uses.