Denver Parks and Recreation partners with CSU to create a greener Denver

unveiling of Paco Sanchez Park in Denver June 2018

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (center), city officials and children celebrate the unveiling of Paco Sanchez Park in July 2018 in southwest Denver. The park has a towering play structure, baseball fields and open green space. Photo: Evan Semón Photography

Denver Parks and Recreation and Colorado State University announced Sept. 17 that they have entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the CSU Salazar Center for North American Conservation to support and advance efforts in climate resilience, habitat and equitable access to green space.

The Salazar Center will work closely with park planners and other City and County of Denver departments to identify, share and advance best practices for applying natural solutions, alongside a health equity lens, to reduce the impacts of global warming on the city’s most vulnerable neighborhoods.

“The CSU Salazar Center for North American Conservation shares in our vision to enhance natural systems to improve community health and support climate resilience,” said Happy Haynes, executive director of Denver Parks and Recreation. “We look forward to our partnership and their assistance in providing the research and technical expertise to improve the long-term health and resilience of Denver’s landscapes and people.”

The announcement was made at the Salazar Center’s second International Symposium on Conservation Impact, held virtually this year. Leaders at the symposium highlighted best-in-class examples of North American cities where leaders have used green space and natural solutions to address climate resilience and support racial equity.

“We commend the City of Denver for their leadership on climate action and look forward to working with them to make Mayor Hancock’s vision of a climate resilient, biophilic and equitable city a reality,” said Colorado State University President Joyce McConnell.

The Salazar Center will engage research faculty from CSU, convene with stakeholders and experts to combine research, partner with city staff, and provide specific recommendations to support and advance the Game Plan for a Healthy City, a commitment to conservation and sustainable practices to support the environmental health of Denver.

About Denver Parks & Recreation

As stewards of a legacy park system, Denver Parks and Recreation is dedicated to customer service and enhancing the health of residents and the environment through innovative programs and safe, beautiful and sustainable places. The Denver Parks and Recreation system includes 30 recreation centers and nearly 20,000 acres of urban and mountain parkland including off-street trails, parkways and natural areas.