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Park it Here in Adams County, CO

Adams County parks offer a range of amenities for the community.

By Rebecca Treon on May 26, 2023

Pioneer Park in Commerce City
Jeff Adkins

For most Coloradans, the outdoors is a lifestyle, bolstered by views of the Rocky Mountains and pristine waterways. Driven by an appreciation for nature, residents invest in local parks, reimagining green spaces that serve as community venues, centers of master-planned neighborhoods and inclusive spaces where every child has a chance to play. Throughout Adams County, there are numerous creative park concepts for locals to enjoy.

Tennis at Carpenter Park
City of Thornton

Green Spaces

In Commerce City, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park is home to the Colorado Rapids men’s professional soccer team. The park also operates as a 24-field sports complex and a concert/festival venue. Also in Commerce City, Reunion is a master-planned community intentionally centered around outdoor recreation. Outdoor amenities include 10 neighborhood parks, 8 acres of lakes, two pools, plus proximity to the back nine of Buffalo Run Golf Course.

Hyland Hills Parks and Recreation District was the first established parks and recreation district in the state. Spanning from the Berkeley neighborhood in north Denver from 52nd Avenue north to 120th and straddling both sides of Interstate 25, it encompasses the diverse neighborhoods of Twin Lakes, Federal Heights, Westminster and part of Northglenn. The district is home to Water World, a beloved local fixture for over 40 years; the nationally acclaimed Greg Mastriona Golf Courses at Highland Hills; the Ice Centre at the Promenade; and a roster of others including a raceway, gymnastics center, skate park and aquatics center.

“We’re a special district and are creative in the way we serve our residents. We overlap several municipalities that have their own parks and recreation districts, so without duplicating what they’re doing, our enterprises are self-supporting money makers that bring revenue back to use for other projects,” says Joann Cortez, communications director at Hyland Hills. “We’re unique because we’ve been embedded in the area for over 60 years – our golf course was the first one built in the area. The community can really be proud of the district – everyone has ownership and access to these first-class facilities.”

In Thornton, Carpenter Park offers inclusive elements for all ages and abilities, including a rubber service, ramps, sensory panels and accessible chair swings. The park also often hosts Thornton’s Adaptive & Inclusive Recreation (AIR) program, offering everything from adaptive swim lessons to Special Olympics bocce ball. 

“Carpenter Park is the hub of the community for festivals and special events, and we need to make sure we provide services and opportunities for everybody in our community, regardless of their life circumstances. One of the nice things about the design side of things is that you’re able to ask people in your community what they need,” says Doug Romig, park, recreation and community programs director for the City of Thornton. “We’re trying to reach every citizen in our community and make sure they have an opportunity to recreate at their level and not be isolated or separated because of their ability or disability. The feedback from participants and families has just been overwhelmingly positive.”

Carpenter Park
Jeff Adkins

Love Your Trails

Adams County’s Love Your Trails campaign is another way the county is reimagining parks. Seventeen nature-inspired murals were installed along area trails, intended to boost physical and emotional health in the community through art.

“We believe in the addition and inclusion of art into our local environment – it plays a significant role not only in encouraging lasting economic growth and creating and sustaining cultural identity, but also in creating a sense of belonging,” says William Porter, public information officer for Adams County. “Parks are ultimately democratic spaces – they’re free to all; they reflect the demographic diversity of our county; and they’re places for social and cultural interaction. We want to connect people to each other and their community and provide pathways to other forms of participation. We want to bridge the gap between public art, the outdoors and wellness.”

Veterans Memorial
DHM Design

New Veterans Memorial

A new Veterans Memorial will open at Riverdale Regional Park in Brighton. Constructed on Mann-Nyholt Lake, the memorial has a unique design that extends several feet into the water. The spacious memorial was built as a life-size replica of the USS Colorado battleship, which was a Navy battleship in service from 1923 to 1947. Riverdale Regional Park includes Adams County Fairgrounds, Waymire Dome, Riverdale Animal Shelter, Adams County Museum and two 18-hole golf courses.

Kevin Litwin contributed to this article.

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