Boulder Parks and Recreation (BPR) will spend approximately $600,000 to “rescue” and restore high priority needs thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

This investment represents a portion of the $20.15 million dollars in ARPA funds the City of Boulder received from the federal government to help achieve an equitable economic and community recovery from the pandemic.

Thanks to the Boulder City Council’s support and approval, these funds will address service disparities and equity impacts across the parks and recreation system.

“Despite incredible work by BPR teammates and some recovery in the city, current recreation service levels are still way below 2019 levels,” said Director of Parks and Recreation Ali Rhodes. “With City Council’s approval of these ARPA funds, we will be able to restore some important programs aimed at ensuring health and wellness opportunities are broadly offered to the entire community.”

How will community members see these funds put to work? Here are some examples:

  • Restoration of more indoor recreation programming during the winter months, including swim lessons, drop-in childcare, additional gymnastics programming and additional health and wellness drop-in programs.
  • Expanding hours at the South Boulder Recreation Center, so it can now be open until 7 p.m., offering more opportunity for after-work exercise.
  • Restore community connections, provide downtown park activation, and support small businesses by bringing back some events, such as “Snow Much Fun” in the Civic Area.

“Community members have been asking for more services and hours at our recreation centers, which are incredible community hubs,” said Recreation Manager Megann Lohman. “With these funds, we can bring community members together again after such a long time apart and support their physical and mental well-being.”

“All of these opportunities to use ARPA funds show the value City Council places on supporting a socially-thriving and healthy community and their support of parks and recreation in the city,” said Rhodes.