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Open Spaces News

Posted on: July 15, 2020

Arapahoe County awards Open Space grants to 9 local jurisdictions


A total of $3.43 million in grants will fund playground, park and trail improvements

On Tuesday, July 14, the Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners announced grant awards ranging from $28,000 to $500,000 to local cities, towns and recreation districts as part of its annual Open Space Grant Program.  

“We are leading the state and country in the quality of outdoor recreation projects we are supporting with the Open Space Grant Program,” said Commissioner Jeff Baker, who represents District 3. “These projects are critical to our communities—and will improve the quality of life for citizens throughout the County.”

The Board awarded grants totaling $3.43 million in support of 15 projects. These include a new fishing pond in Bennett, new pickleball courts in Greenwood Village, planning for stream restoration in Littleton along the High Line Canal Trail, and extensive park and open space improvements in Aurora.

“In times like these, it is more important than ever that we encourage residents to get outside and experience nature,” said Shannon Carter, Arapahoe County Open Spaces director. “Outdoor recreation plays a vital role in the physical and mental health of our communities. Continued investment in our outdoor spaces increases accessibility, safety and enjoyment of our local parks and trails, and at the same time helps protect the places we treasure for generations to come.” 

These awards exemplify our citizens’ ongoing and robust support for the County’s parks, trails and open spaces. In 2003 and again in 2011, voters approved a quarter-cent Open Space Sales and Use Tax (which currently expires in 2023 if it doesn’t go back on the ballot before then). Each year, 12 percent of revenues from the tax are dedicated to this grants program.

Details about the 2020 grant awards can be found below. The County’s investment in these projects is leveraged by nearly $2 million in matching funds provided by the grant recipients. 

When these projects are completed, communities across the County will benefit from two fully renovated parks, two new trail connections, three upgraded playgrounds, six new or renovated sports courts, and two new restroom facilities.

Grant recipients and projects 

Arapahoe Park and Recreation District:

  • $28,000 for basketball court upgrades at Peakview North Park in Centennial 
  • $100,000 for playground improvements at Willow Trace Park in unincorporated Arapahoe County, including new equipment and safety surfacing
  • $33,300 for a new master plan for Fox Hill Park in Centennial, which will help the District identify improved access points, opportunities for trail connections and potential new amenities 

 City of Aurora: 

  • $500,000 for trail improvements, native plant gardens, interpretive signage and gathering areas for educational programming at the 1,100-acre Plains Conservation Center
  • $500,000 for renovation of Canterbury Park, to include a new playground, picnic and seating areas, landscaping and walking paths 

Town of Bennett: 

  • $487,500 for a fishing pond at Bennett Regional Park and Open Space, to include a dock, accessible ramp and shaded picnic area

Cherry Creek Vista Park and Recreation District: 

  • $100,000 for planning and design of future improvements at Peakview Park in unincorporated Arapahoe County

City of Englewood: 

  • $350,000 for renovation of Romans Park, including a new restroom, basketball court, picnic shelter and accessible fitness equipment

 City of Greenwood Village: 

  • $90,000 for construction of two new pickleball courts at Westlands Park

 City of Littleton: 

  • $253,564 for construction of a direct trail connection from Slaughterhouse Gulch Park to Geneva Park via new trail underpasses at the railroad and Rio Grande Street
  • $97,110 for planning of improvements at a new 11-acre addition to Reynolds Landing Park
  • $90,000 for design of stream stabilization and erosion control work at Jackass Gulch, located near the High Line Canal Trail at Mineral Avenue

City of Sheridan: 

  • $68,400 for construction of a new trail connection from Oxford Avenue to River Run Trailhead, eliminating the need for pedestrians and bicyclists to travel through the Broken Tee Golf Course parking lot to access the South Platte River and Mary Carter Greenway 

South Suburban Park and Recreation District: 

  • $410,775 for renovation of the picnic shelter and restroom at Writer’s Vista Park in Littleton, improving functionality and accessibility
  • $325,000 for improvements at Foxhill Park in Centennial, to include a new playground, picnic pavilion and updated basketball court 

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