As Colorado Parks and Wildlife opens Fishers Peak State Park for a limited “sneak peek” recreation opportunity, the agency continues to look ahead for future state park opportunities. Demand for accessible outdoor spaces remains high in the state, and CPW invites Coloradans to share their ideas for properties or partnerships that may become the next Colorado state park.
“Our state parks, along with other public lands in Colorado, continue to see record visitation,” said Dan Prenzlow, director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “This year during the pandemic, we’ve seen even more explosive growth in park attendance, which proves the importance of providing these outdoor spaces to Coloradans and our visitors.”
State parks offer important places for outdoor recreation while benefiting local economies, public health, and quality of life. CPW is committed to providing a quality state parks system, which includes the opportunity to grow the system and provide additional access opportunities for our residents and visitors.
“Knowing how important these spaces are to Colorado residents, we invite them to share with us the lands and outdoor spaces they would like to see be a part of the state park system,” said Prenzlow. “We’re opening up the opportunity to lend your voice in finding unique places that just may become one of our next state parks.”
Future State Parks Criteria
Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s vision is that Colorado’s state parks connect people to natural wonders. Every state park should offer a unique place to experience Colorado and live life outside. To accomplish this vision, future Colorado state parks will support a system of state parks that:
- Provides outstanding nature-based recreation. Everyone regardless of age, abilities or interest, is connected to Colorado’s diverse landscapes. Exceptional nature-based recreation provides for visitor education and enjoyment.
- Conserves natural resources. Large natural areas conserve resources and sensitive habitats. They also allow for sustainable outdoor recreation. Connections to conserved public and private lands advance landscape-scale conservation.
- Meets Colorado’s needs. Attention is given to locations that will benefit from new outdoor recreation opportunities and resource conservation. Factors include distance to population centers, visitation demand, and ease of access. Future state parks are innovative, offer a range of amenities and experiences, and provide for evolving outdoor recreation interests. Colorado’s state parks system can adapt to changes in society, the environment and technology.
- Provides community value. Future state parks engage nearby communities. Local economies and quality of life improve by having a state park. The benefits of Colorado’s state park system are available to everyone with attention to being inclusive and accessible.
- Supports a financially sustainable system. Looking into the future and park system-wide, new state parks are financially practical, considering acquisition, development, operations and management.
Nominate a Site
The public is invited to propose sites for Colorado Parks and Wildlife to consider as we explore the potential locations for new state parks. These sites will be evaluated based on Future State Parks Criteria that were developed in 2019 with input from partner organizations and the public.
To nominate a site, you will need to:
For questions, please email CPW’s Policy and Planning section at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Future State Parks Criteria Story Map
To help inform potential new sites for state parks, CPW created this story map to visualize the Future State Parks Criteria across Colorado through a series of interactive maps.
Each tab in the map series represents one of the criteria. In each map, you can zoom and pan across Colorado. Some maps are more interactive, allowing data layers to be turned on and off. These interactive maps are marked with instructions for turning layers off or viewing legends.
Explore this mapping tool to view potential state parks through the lens of each criteria. For example, when considering if a property addresses the criteria, meets Colorado’s needs, you might look at the population map and ask, “How far is the proposed site from population centers?” Use the maps, criteria, and questions such as these to help build the narrative component of your nomination.
For additional information on how you can help Colorado live life outside, visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.