South Suburban looks for input on future updates to outdoor amenities, events

Parks and recreation service holding survey until Sept. 1

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South Suburban Parks and Recreation — which operates parks, open space and recreational facilities throughout Arapahoe, Douglas and Jefferson counties — is looking for feedback as it eyes future updates to outdoor amenities and services.

The parks service operates 168 parks, open spaces and facilities as well as 12 major trails that serve more than 150,000 residents. 

Community members have until Sept. 1 to fill out a brief, 15-minute survey to share ideas for where the parks service should invest in future programs over the next five years. 

Questions include how often community members use amenities, what amenities they believe need improvements and what amenities and programs they would like to see more of. 

“We're hoping to hear from our community for what they see as the vision," said Melissa Reese-Thacker, South Suburban's planning manager. 

The updates come following South Suburban's 2017 master plan, which saw investments in a slew of projects including 26 playgrounds and 41 trail improvements. 

“We’re anticipating that we’re going to hear from the public that they want more park and recreation programming and amenities," Reese-Thacker said. 

Such programs could include more outdoor concerts and events, said Reese-Thacker. Outdoor spaces overall have seen a spike in use since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For example, the Mary Carter Greenway trail, a popular 8-mile paved pathway alongside the South Platte River, saw record use during the early months of the pandemic.

“We have seen those numbers drop off a bit since things have reopened, but the numbers are still trending high," Reese-Thacker said. 

South Suburban plans to pay for future projects through property taxes and funds brought in from fees collected from events and facilities. 

You can fill out the survey by going to tinyurl.com/southsuburbansurvey.

South Suburban Parks and Recreation, outdoors, parks, trails, open space

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