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As 2020 dawns, Arapahoe County’s Open Spaces Program is preparing to update its decade-old master plan. Since the department adopted its current plan in 2010, the County’s population has grown by about 14 percent, which means that our parks, trails, and outdoor recreation assets are in higher demand—while also experiencing more growth-related stressors.
The good news is that we’ve mostly accomplished the goals we laid out in 2010, and now it’s time to look ahead to the coming decade. “We regularly hear from citizens how important our open spaces are to the quality of life in Arapahoe County,” said Shannon Carter, Director of Open Spaces. “Whether it’s using one of our trails, visiting a historic property or enjoying a regional park, our facilities are valued by our residents far and wide. Developing a new Open Spaces Master Plan creates an opportunity to build even more citizen support and set outcomes for the next generation and beyond.”
To help us execute this vision, the County has enlisted Design Workshop, a Denver-based firm that has created master plans for Adams, Elbert and Douglas counties and has worked with multiple open spaces programs in Colorado. In addition to working with Arapahoe County staff, Design Workshop also partners with other design and environmental organizations to formulate blueprints that fit the County’s unique needs and goals.
Among the objectives for the updated master plan are prioritizing land acquisitions, expanding the Open Space Program’s reach, generating public support for the renewal in 2023 of the dedicated sales tax, and building the next generation of leaders and environmental stewards. The County and its partners will use public engagement and input, data gathering and analysis, and assessments of overall needs to help complete a proposal by September that Open Spaces will then present to the Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners.
To learn more about this process, please visit the Open Spaces Master Plan site, and keep an eye on our public meeting schedule for specific events.