Park Planning Program

2014 NACo Achievement Award Winner

El Paso County, Colo., CO

About the Program

Category: Parks and Recreation (Best in Category)

Year: 2014

El Paso County established a Park Planning Program in 2010 to provide a strategic approach to planning and implementing parks, trails and open space projects with limited resources, while providing opportunities for public participation. Led by the Planning Division of the Community Services Department, the program provides professional planning and project management services to move needed projects from concept to implementation. Master plans have been developed for individual facilities and the overall park system to provide the basis for capital improvement projects. Five major master plans have been developed since 2010, including the Black Forest Regional Park Master Plan, the Pineries Open Space Master Plan, the Rainbow Falls Master Plan, the Fountain Creek Nature Center Expansion Plan, and the El Paso County Parks Master Plan. The program has successfully focused efforts on high-priority projects and has helped generate significant funding and community support. The hallmarks of the program are the production of high-quality master plans using best available science and technology and extensive stakeholder involvement throughout the planning process.