Colorado Springs, Colorado


The Colorado Springs Park System Master Plan is an update to the Parks, Recreation and Trails 2000-2010 Master Plan. One of the main goals of the Master Plan was to gain a better understanding of how Colorado Springs parks compare to other similar cities. In order to provide this understanding to the City, ETM conducted a series of benchmark city studies. The selection of comparable cities was based on criteria such as size, amount of parkland and demographic makeup. Once selected, several factors were analyzed, including:


ETM’s analysis showed that while the amount of open space in Colorado Springs may be comparable to other cities, the operations and maintenance expenditure, as well as staffing levels, were below average. As a result, these were the areas in which the City was encouraged to focus improvements.


Additionally, ETM examined current maintenance standards and operations and provided recommendations for increased operational efficiency along with suggested modifications to park organizational structure that would support a more stream-lined operation. ETM explored the possibility of expanding sources of maintenance funding to include state lottery, fee-based programs, increased percentage from the existing trail and open space funding, reduced City water rates for park use, new developer fees, stabilization of general fund levels, and increased private sector funding through the creation of a city-wide parks non-profit. ETM also recommended the addition of a natural resource division to address the protection and care of the City’s natural resources, which are the greatest visitor attraction but have received little or no sustained care.