The Park People works to preserve, enhance, and advocate for Denver's parks, recreation resources, open space and urban forest. We pursue this mission by raising private funds for capital projects of various sizes, through park enhancements, and through our ongoing forestry programs.
Here at The Park People, we are passionate about our local parks, our city trees, and other shared community resources. We believe that healthy parks help grow healthy communities. We believe that our community forest not only makes our neighborhoods beautiful places to live, but provides critical functions to the health, well-being, and sustainability of urban life. And we believe that all Denver residents should have access to these critical urban resources. We also believe in the power of community action and of 'Thinking Globally and Acting Locally.'
The Park People was created in 1967 by a small group of park enthusiasts interested in raising private funds to support Denver's extensive parks and recreation system. Since its founding, we have infused millions of dollars into Denver's parks through the restoration of existing park infrastructure, such as fountains, historical park buildings, and through new construction, such as playgrounds and recreation facilities.
The Park People manages the Gates Tennis Center, an award-winning public facility that welcomes players of all ages and skill levels, hosts major tennis events and a rich array of adult and youth programming, and reaches out to nontraditional and under-served communities.
Our organization is also home to several beloved urban forestry programs. Nearly 30 years ago, a group of neighbors joined together to bring low-cost trees to their neighborhood to enhance the tree canopy. This small grassroots tree distribution, held out of the garages of several neighbors, was adopted by The Park People roughly 20 years ago and expanded to become a city-wide low-cost tree distribution serving all neighborhoods in Denver. Today, the revolutionary Denver Digs Trees program provides free and low-cost trees to hundreds of Denver residents each year, significantly enhancing the urban forest and improving quality of life. Over more than 2 decades, Denver Digs Trees has provided more than 50,000 trees to our neighborhoods.
The Park People also trains skilled volunteers to steward the urban forest (Community Forester program), facilitates the planting of memorial and celebration trees in Denver parks (Park Legacy program), and engages businesses in sponsoring and staffing planting projects at local parks, affordable housing communities, and nonprofit sites (Mile High Tree Champions program).
"The Park People is the leading nonprofit partner for Denver's Department of Parks and Recreation. For more than 49 years, DPR has worked closely with The Park People on a variety of public/private partnerships that have dramatically enhanced Denver's parks and recreation resources. Denver could not be more fortunate to have The Park People hard at work in their dedication to city's the parks and recreation system and urban tree canopy."
- Scott Robson
Former Manager of Denver Parks and Recreation
The City and County of Denver
"I'm very happy with the 2 gorgeous maples I got. I'm 89 years old and have been in this home for 60 years. It seems like old people don't have a lot to be happy about these days. My trees are the only young things around me, and I love seeing those hopeful little trees. So, I'm very happy with them."
- Jenny R
Denver Digs Trees recipient