With the first month of 2013 drawing to a close, representatives from both the Highlands Ranch Community Association and the Highlands Ranch Metro District took a moment to look back on some of the bigger accomplishments of 2012.
While nothing comes quite close to the renovation and reopening of the Highlands Ranch Mansion by comparison, the Metro District had quite a few other points of pride reached in the last year as well. General Manager Terry Nolan highlighted close to 50 of them in a presentation to the HRCA delegate body earlier this month.
Topping off the list was the new www.HighlandsRanch.com website launched this summer in a joint effort by the HRCA and the HRMD, as well as enhanced websites for both the mansion, www.highlandsranchmansion.com and the Metro District, www.highlandsranch.org, and two new, accompanying Facebook pages.
On the parks, recreation and open space side, participation was up between 15 percent and 37 percent for existing sports programs and camps and new programs, including youth cross country and volleyball, were added.
The district planted more than 175 new trees in parks and on parkways and assisted Douglas County with more than $9 million of road maintenance and improvement projects, and completed median renovations and constructions at Broadway, Quebec and Lucent. Renovation also occurred at numerous parks across town and outdoor restrooms were added at Heritage and Coyote Creek elementary schools.
Additionally, the district made a move to partner with Poo Free Parks, saving $20,000 in doggie bags and netting 10 percent in ad revenue.
“I don’t want to dwell on the past but at the same time I think it’s important to talk about where we came from,” said HRCA board chairman Scott Lemmon. “We did a lot in 2012 and we want to highlight that.”
Some of the highlights Lemmon referenced in a short review included the Eastridge groundwater intrusion finally getting resolved; the proposed landfill adjacent to the backcountry wilderness area getting shot down thanks to the acquisition of the land by Cherokee Castle; Jerry Flannery taking over as CEO and helping build relationships throughout the community and county; a smooth budget process; and the completion of the backcountry survey.
According to Ken Joseph, HRCA Operations and Programs manager, visits to the recreation centers were up from 1.9 million in 2011 to 2.2 million in 2012.
“I think this has been a big year,” said HRCA board member Brock Norris. “And I think everybody can walk out of here really holding their head up high. It wasn’t just the board that did this. It was all of us, staff, delegates, the board, all of us.”