Parks, golf courses, trails and rec centers in south suburban Denver are getting $14 million worth of new playgrounds, bathrooms, bridges and roofs during 2012. South Suburban Parks and Recreation, which oversees 3,700 acres of parks and 100 miles of trails, is spending the money on a variety of projects throughout its three-county district.
The 53-year-old district isn’t in an expansion phase, executive director David Lorenz said, but focused on keeping its buildings and amenities in tip-top shape.
“We basically have the infrastructure in place,” Lorenz said. “The district was formed in 1959. It’s like your child. You go through adolescence and your work years. Now we’re in our more mature years. We have four recreation centers, four golf courses, two ice rinks, 100 miles of trails, tennis courts, ball fields. What else does community need? Our big challenge is to make sure we take care of what we have.
“That’s not saying we won’t look at opportunities. We’re more interested in upgrading some of the things we have, keeping them updated, modern and new.”
Projects already completed or still planned in 2012 include:
• Golf cart bridges spanning Big Dry Creek, clubhouse and restroom renovations at Centennial’s South Suburban Golf Course
• Flush restroom, shelter and ball field renovations at Centennial’s deKoevend Park
• New roof at Centennial’s South Suburban Ice Arena
• New playground, shelter and ball field renovations at Englewood’s Cornerstone Park
• New tennis courts in Lone Tree’s Taos Open Space
• Flush restroom, shelter and ball field renovation at Centennial’s Arapaho Park
• Multi-purpose field and repairs at Centennial’s Lorenz Regional Park
• South Platte Park enhancements, including riverbank stabilization, fish habitat protection and re-establishment of wetlands.
• Upgrades to Centennial’s Holly Park pool and tennis courts
A 2013 project list hasn’t yet been completed, though Lorenz said likely projects include an expansion of Cornerstone Park’s skateboard park, and construction of the Willow Creek trail through the Willow Creek open space.
The district is in the first stages of creating a strategic plan for the next three to five years. The public’s input will be needed, Lorenz said.
“A strategic plan is like a road map – what do we need and how do we get there,” he said.
Community meetings and focus groups are planned, with details to come.
The district serves 140,000 residents in the cities of Lone Tree, Littleton, Centennial, Sheridan and Bow Mar.