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While 2020 might not have rolled out exactly how the Highlands Ranch Metro District imagined it would, the organization still accomplished several things, which it highlighted in its end-of-year meeting.

“Normally at this point I’d say ‘another great year.’ I’m not sure I can say that this year,” said general manager Terry Nolan in the Dec. 10 virtual meeting. “I can say ‘A really good response to a very tough year.’”

Here are seven of the items that were included in the round-up of accomplishments:

1. A new website This year the Highlands Ranch Metro District rolled out its new website. “(This) is a great improvement,” Nolan said about the site.

2. Held first-ever citizens’ academy The metro district hosted seven free sessions for a group of selected residents teaching them about parks and open space, public safety, history, financial stability, water and public works in the district. The goal of the program was to get more people involved in local government. Due to COVID-19-related restrictions, the metro district is not planning to host the event again in 2021.

3. Elected new director Andy Jones Highlands Ranch residents voted in the May 5 election for the metro district’s board of directors and for a Centennial Water and Sanitation inclusion election. Nancy Smith and Renee Anderson were re-elected to their positions and Andy Jones was newly elected. 

4. New Cougar Run park playground Construction was completed on this new playground, located at 8810 Venneford Ranch Road.

5. Held annual golf tournament The socially-distanced event raised $15,000 for the Highlands Ranch Parks and Recreation foundation, Nolan said.

6. Hosted events at the Highlands Ranch Mansion While many of the year’s events at the Highlands Ranch Mansion were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a few socially-distanced events were made possible including a jazz show, a comedy show, tours and some private events.

7. Completed the West Fork Disc-Golf course A new 18-hole disc golf course opened in Highlands Ranch in July. The course, located at 9095 S. Broadway, stretches across about a mile.

“It’s amazing how much can be done in this horrible year we call 2020,” director Renee Anderson said in the meeting. 

Board chair Mark Dickerson praised the metro district staff for their work throughout the year.

“I think they have just responded very admirably,” he said. “It’s been a really tough year, they’ve done just a great job.”