About Parker Parks and Recreation
The Parker Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Department was established in 1992 and the Recreation Center opened in 1994. With a population of about 9,000 residents in 1994, Parker has grown significantly over the past few decades to the current population of more than 60,000 and is projected to continue growing at a similar pace. To keep up with the expectations of a rapidly growing community, the Department diligently plans and invests in capital improvement projects with new and upgraded parks, trails and facilities. Over the last 10 years, major projects have included the renovation of the O’Brien Park playground, expansion of the Parker Recreation Center, the completion of Railbender Skate and Tennis Park, USMC CPL David M. Sonka Dog Park with Westcreek Disc Golf Course, Discovery Park and Ice Trail and H2O’Brien Pool renovation.
The PROS Department staff manage over 393 acres of Town-owned and proposed parkland, 40 miles of trails, 14 parks and 1,114 acres of open space-- view the current map (pdf). Staff also oversee four recreation facilities and coordinate a full range of adult and youth activities, which include aquatic classes, enrichment educational classes, fitness and wellness, sports, therapeutic recreation and special events.
The PROS Master Plan guides the department’s capital improvement projects, key initiatives and goals over the next several years.
Funding for parks and recreation originates from diversified sources including a 0.5% dedicated parks, recreation and open space tax, user fees and sponsorships. In addition, grants and special revenue sources, such as the Conservation Trust Fund through the Colorado Lottery, help to supplement the annual budget. Combined, these revenue sources fund parks and recreation capital projects as well as ongoing program and facility operations. View the Town’s current award-winning budget document.
The Parks, Recreation and Open Space Commission is made up of seven members and serves in an advisory capacity to Town Council and the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department regarding the development, expansion, and operation of parks, recreation, open space and trail facilities within the Town of Parker. The Commission holds public meetings and members are appointed by Town Council for three-year terms.
Accreditation and Awards
In 2018, the PROS Department received national accreditation through CAPRA (Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies), which recognizes park and recreation agencies for excellence in operation and service. The agency must uphold the standards by submitting an annual report and is reviewed every five years. Only 1% of agencies in the nation are accredited.
In 2000 and 2011, the PROS Department was selected for the National Recreation and Park Association's (NRPA) Gold Medal Award winner as the nation’s top department for its population size.