2021 Progress Report

City of Boulder Parks & Recreation

2021 Progress Report


2021 Progress Report | BoulderParks-Rec.org

A note from the director.

Dear community members,

At Boulder Parks and Recreation, our mission is to promote the health and well-being of our entire community. In 2021, Boulder experienced incredible challenges, and we worked even harder to provide opportunities for our community members to care for their minds, bodies, and spirits. I am proud to share with you our 2021 Progress Report. I hope you’ll celebrate with us the ways that our team facilitated health, well- being and fun last year. We celebrated the opening of the enhanced Scott Carpenter Pool, the Main Building at the Boulder Reservoir, and a new playground at Chautauqua Park. We dedicated resources to caring for our natural resources –our public lands are critical to supporting community health and addressing climate change. Thanks to City Council’s approval of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds, we were able to restore recreation center hours and services for populations that need us most. As we look to the future, we are excited about work planned for 2022 to ensure that Boulder’s world-class parks and recreation system can adapt to the community’s evolving needs while staying true to our mission to promote health and well-being. Most importantly, we will complete our master plan update. This project will ensure that every decision we make for the next five years is guided by input from you, our community. Thank you for all the ways that you support us – from voting in local elections to volunteering in your neighborhood park to participating in a class. We look forward to seeing you in 2022!

Be well, Ali Rhodes



“ “The city pool is where memories of a lifetime are made. Welcome to the new Scott Carpenter Pool, where we hope your best memories will happen.” Parks and Recreation Director Ali Rhodes from the Scott Carpenter Pool ribbon cutting celebration


2021 Progress Report | BoulderParks-Rec.org

Build back services and resources at our parks and in our facilities to promote your health and well-being.

Restoring operations

• Increased the operating hours that recreation centers and outdoor pools were available to community members: • 8,713 hours in 2020 to 11,301 in 2021. • Total visits to recreation facilities increased (good to see you again!): • 248,483 in 2020 to 644,259 in 2021. • Despite a nationwide labor shortage affecting pool operations, the enhanced and expanded Scott Carpenter Pool hosted a LOT of fun: • 74,895 - almost 3 times the visitors in 2018! Restoring programming to prioritized communities In line with the community’s priorities for recreation, we focused recovery on populations the community has told us are most important for us to serve: people with disabilities and those from under- resourced households. • Youth Services Initiative (YSI) programming, which inspires youth and families from underrepresented communities to make healthy, caring and responsible choices through recreation, health and well-being opportunities, grew: • Increased hours of programming: 171 in 2020 to 583 in 2021. • Number of participants increased: 134 in 2020 to 307 in 2021. • EXPAND, the city’s program to enhance the lives of people with disabilities through recreation by promoting development and growth, also grew: • Increased hours of programming: 575 in 2020 to 1,126 in 2021. • Number of participants increased: 983 in 2020 to 1,084 in 2021. And, thanks to City Council for approving $600k in American Rescue Plan Act funding that allowed us to increase recreation center operating hours and restore important EXPAND and YSI programming.



“ “Physically robust infrastructure is not enough if it fails to foster a healthy community. Ultimately all infrastructure is social.” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg


2021 Progress Report | BoulderParks-Rec.org

Building strong neighborhoods and social connections through outreach, engagement, and public spaces.

Special events connected community members to each other and brought back the fun • Arts in the Park reactivated the arts community and jumpstarted positive activity in the city’s Civic Area by: • supporting over 15 local arts organizations’ • presenting over 65 outdoor performances • Boulder Creek Festival returned in July, providing over 250,000 Boulderites with the first major festival in over a year and included: • Presenting 50 performances on three stages. • Supporting 65 Boulder-based businesses • Raising over $15,000 for local non-profits • Snow Much Fun (in partnership with Downtown Boulder) brought magic to the holiday season and a feeling of hope and connection in the Civic Area

Master Plan Update

• Engaged with the community to update our Master Plan so that our decisions for parks and recreation align with community values and priorities over the next 5 years: • Three rounds of virtual workshops • Feedback on BeHeardBoulder.org • Statistically valid community survey • Micro-engagements with key populations • We’ve completed the research and needs assessment phases, so what are the next steps for the Master Plan Update? • Discuss with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and City Council • Finalize and implement the plan New outdoor recreation spaces increased self- directed, outdoor drop-in recreation opportunities for youth and adults during the pandemic • Renovated Chautauqua Park’s playground to refresh play features and make It a place for kids and adults to connect and have fun • Constructed new skate park areas for kids and kids at heart, including: • A new skate park and pump track at Valmont City Park • An expansion of the skate park at Scott Carpenter’s Skate Park • A new mini skate area at Howard Heuston Park Amidst a record-revenue producing year, Flatirons Golf Course connected with community members through: • 47,464 rounds of golf played • Over 40,000 baskets of driving range balls hit • Over 600 hours of instruction for Boulder high school students, • 300 disc golf participants • 6 drive-in movies over 3 nights with over 200 cars each night

• 7 dazzling light displays for 49 days • Holiday train took 540 people around Downtown

Volunteers make Boulder a better place for all. From park and flower bed cleanups to prairie dog monitoring to educating and reporting at the Reservoir, our volunteers are amazing! In an increase over 2020: • 1,344 volunteers brought their labors of love for 10,109 volunteer hours We are committed to removing financial barriers to participation by providing free services for those who qualify. • Number of community members participating in a financial aid program increased from 3,458 people entering facilities 15,933 times in 2020 to 2,270 people entering facilities 22,267 times in 2021. • The Health-Equity Funded Recquity Program, which provides free access to city recreation facilities, paid for 3,750 visits to Scott Carpenter Pool, 5% of the total visits.




2021 Progress Report | BoulderParks-Rec.org

Support you as we all experience challenges that include the environment, finances, and staffing. Developing innovative ways to adjust to changes and use new opportunities to help the community thrive.

During the December 2021 Marshall Fire, we honored nearby cities’ recreation passes when their facilities weren’t available, provided emergency sheltering at the North Boulder Recreation Center, and assisted with emergency response across the parks system. Grants and donations provide funds for not only capital projects, but also programming that’s important to our community members. These invaluable funds totaled $628,000, growing our ability to serve when revenues are still impacted by the pandemic. Examples of the power of philanthropy and grants include: • $200,000 for YSI and EXPAND programming • $118,750 for Valmont City Park’s new bike track • $116,000 for Chautauqua playground renovations Our land operations teammates maintain a large system of parks, playgrounds, trees, natural lands, and flowers to support the mental health and well-being of our community. How large a job is it, you ask? • Maintained 1,860 acres of parks • Performed 752 playground inspections (which means all playgrounds are inspected at least once a week!) • Planted 500 new trees • Planted 50,000 flowers in flower beds To provide these services, BPR has on staff 125 full-time and 398 seasonal or part-time employees. Thanks to these incredible employees for providing this level of service to community members in 2021!

“ “The raising of extraordinarily large sums of money, given voluntarily and freely by millions of our fellow Americans, is a unique American tradition. Philanthropy, charity, giving voluntarily and freely… call it what you like, but it is truly a jewel of an American tradition.”

President John F. Kennedy


Looking ahead

As we look ahead to 2022, we’re excited to see you, our community members! Here is what we’re planning to do to promote the health and well-being of the entire Boulder community by collaboratively providing high-quality parks, facilities, and programs: • Finalize the Master Plan Update with the community, ensuring that resources and decisions over the next 5-7 years are guided by Boulder’s values and priorities and that equity and resilience are at the core of everything we do. • Prioritize the mental and physical health of our community by continuing to restore services with a focus on safety and equity. • Champion the role ecosystems play in climate stabilization by supporting our community to expand our urban canopy. • Make strategic investments in assets and reserves to ensure we sustain our community’s incredible parks and recreation system for years to come. • Improve the customer experience, our processes, and enable improved data-driven decision- making through software replacements. • Support our incredible team and respond to the changing and challenging labor market through strong recruitment and retention practices.

2021 Progress Report | BoulderParks-Rec.org 10

Everyday Excellence 86 42 parks , plazas & properties + acres of urban parks & plaza space maintained 1,860 Thank you for entrusting the care of our community’s parks, facilities and recreation resources to Boulder Parks and Recreation (BPR). We maintain, operate and care for:


5 other special properties : • P earl S treet M all • V almont B ike P ark • C olumbia C emetery • F latirons G olf C ourse • B oulder R eservoir

100 2

outdoor ball courts

22,267+ free facility entries through financial aid

outdoor pools

multi - use sports fields & ball diamonds 44

full service recreation centers 3 drop - in classes cardio & weight rooms lap & leisure pools personal training

51,000 & 300 trees cared for


236 miles of multi - use paths for safe year - round connectivity


volunteers brought their labors of love for 10,109 volunteer hours


dog parks 9 acres total

47,464 rounds of G olf at F latirons G olf C ourse in 2021!

38 volunteers spent

417 hours

monitoring B irds of C oncern , W inter R aptor and P rairie D og C ensus programs in addition to the new O utreach V olunteer program .

Mission Statement The Parks and Recreation Department promotes the health and well-being of the entire Boulder community by collaboratively providing high-quality parks, facilities, and programs. BoulderParks-Rec.org

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