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Posted on: August 16, 2017

Healthy Lands, Healthy Communities, Healthy People


The Board of County Commissioners celebrated the distribution of $16.4 million in project funding by the Arapahoe County Open Space program during a June 16 ceremony - funding made possible by the generous voters of Arapahoe County.

Grants and awards were distributed to local cities, towns and eligible special districts during the County’s Open Spaces Shareback and Grant award ceremony, which is held each June.

“The projects that we work on, in partnership with local agencies, continue to make a dramatic impact on the beauty of our landscape in Arapahoe County,” said Commissioner Kathleen Conti, District 1. “Thanks to the voters who continue to support the Open Space Sales and Use Tax, we are able to fund outstanding park, trail and open space projects for our community to enjoy today and long into the future.”

Arapahoe County citizens first had the vision to approve the Open Space Sales and Use Tax in 2003 and again in 2011. The quarter-of-a-penny sales and use tax is dedicated to preserve open space, enhance parks, build trail connections and protect our heritage areas.

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 ballfield projects, 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.

Open Space Shareback Awards: Arapahoe County has one of the largest shareback programs in Colorado with 50 percent of the Open Space tax revenue returned to incorporated cities and towns, based on population, to enhance local parks, trails, recreation and open space each year. This year, Arapahoe County distributed more than $13.1 million in Shareback funds:

Aurora                          $7.65 million           Englewood                   $805,319

Bennett                        $9,210                      Foxfield                        $18,958

Centennial                    $2.66 million        Glendale                      $123,104

Cherry Hills Village      $156,954           Greenwood Village      $392,217

Columbine Valley        $33,238                Littleton                       $1,030,414

Deer Trail                     $15,088                   Sheridan                      $200,234


Arapahoe County Open Space Grants

Additionally, 12 percent of the annual tax revenue is set aside for competitive grants to eligible special districts and municipalities. Arapahoe County awarded $3.3 million in grants for 16 open space, park and trail projects since the fall of 2016 in four categories. Grant recipients generated an additional $2 million in matching funds.

Arapahoe Park and Recreation District - Mesa Trail and Open Space Improvements | Grant: $103,300 | Match: $250,950

City of Aurora

Triple Creek Trail Planning and Design | Grant: $100,000 | Match: $125,000

Triple Creek Trailhead Construction | Grant: $500,000 | Match: $225,600

Town of Bennett - Future Park Playground Phase 1 | Grant: $138,000 | Match: $92,000

Cherry Creek Vista Park and Recreation District - Cherry Creek Vista II Park Construction | Grant: $300,000 | Match: $127,503

Cherry Hills Village - Quincy Farm Preservation | Grant: $187,800 | Match: $77,200

Copperleaf Metropolitan District #2 - Copperleaf Trails Project Planning | Grant: $60,193 | Match: $27,676

City of Englewood

Rotolo Park Shelter | Grant: $50,000 | Match: $13,200

Belleview Park Improvement Project | Grant: $250,000 | Match: $83,900

Northwest Greenbelt Trail Connection Project | Grant: $250,000 | Match: $91,500

Goodman Metropolitan District - Central Park Court Improvements | Grant: $300,000 | Match: $301,983

City of Greenwood Village - Greenwood Gulch Trail Undercrossing at Orchard Road | Grant: $40,000 | Match: $20,000

City of Littleton - Bowles Grove Park Improvements | Grant: $300,000 | Match: $183,670

City of Sheridan - Safety Improvements to Bear Creek Trail Crossing at S. Lowell Blvd | Grant: $300,000 | Match: $107,500

South Suburban Parks and Recreation District

Cornerstone Park Improvements | Grant: $300,000 | Match: $293,000

Phase II River Integration at Hudson Gardens Planning | Grant: $129,375 | Match: $43,125


Stewardship Award

The High Line Canal Conservancy was presented with the Our Progress Takes Flight Stewardship Award, which annually recognizes an individual, local government or organization for displaying outstanding leadership, cooperation and stewardship to ensure the conservation and protection of the great outdoors. 

This organization is acknowledged for being an invaluable partner of the Open Space program. The Conservancy was formed in 2014 by a passionate coalition of private citizens to provide leadership and harness the region’s commitment to protecting the future of the High Line Canal. With support from each jurisdiction and in partnership with Denver Water, the Conservancy is connecting stakeholders in support of comprehensive planning to ensure that the Canal is protected and enhanced for future generations. The mission of the Conservancy is to preserve, protect and enhance the 71-mile legacy Canal — in partnership with the public.



Open Space program:


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