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Open Space and Mountain Parks Master Plan

Open Space and Mountain Parks Master Plan

Review the Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) Master Plan

View the final Master Plan with updates to the graphics and appearance but no changes to text that Council approved in September.

Boulder City Council accepted and adopted OSMP Master Plan

To all those who love and protect Boulder’s open space system, thank you. City Council unanimously accepted and adopted the OSMP Master Plan on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. OSMP staff would like to extend our deep appreciation to the thousands of community members who told us why they value Boulder open space and shared their hopes and concerns for the future. We also would like to thank Open Space Board of Trustees members, who collectively, have provided more than 340 hours of their time to help the community and staff develop the OSMP Master Plan. 
Staff also appreciates the valuable input we received from city council members at two joint Council-OSBT study sessions and the guidance provided by the OSMP Master Plan Process committee, which includes two OSBT members and two City Council members.   
The content of the plan accepted by council will remain the same, but this fall, staff will prepare an illustrative document to bring our shared vision to life, as well as staff work plans to make it real. OSMP staff will begin implementing the plan through a series of actions tied to the strategies and will begin annually reporting on successes in achieving the vision laid out by the plan. 

Final OSMP Master Plan for City Council consideration

The Final Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) Master Plan pdf was unanimously accepted and adopted by City Council on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019.

You can also view the Executive Summary pdf.To see feedback that has informed the final plan for City Council consideration visit our What We’ve Heard page.

Final Draft of OSMP Master Plan for board review

The final draft of the OSMP Master Plan was recommended, with minor modifications, to City Council for acceptance by the OSBT on July 31, 2019 and by Planning Board on August 1, 2019.

To see community feedback that has informed the final draft of the plan visit our What We’ve Heard page.

First Draft of OSMP Master Plan

The first draft of the OSMP Master Plan reflected more than 10,000 public comments and input from thousands of community members. It was then revised with additional feedback we heard during the final engagement window.

To see community feedback that has informed the draft plan visit our What We’ve Heard page.

About the Master Plan

For nearly 120 years, generations of Boulder residents have created an innovative public land legacy in building the city’s over 45,000-acre open space system. Thank you for helping us to continue and improve on that proud legacy by creating the inclusive, community-based Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) Master Plan to guide the management of our community’s open space over the next decade and beyond.

The (OSMP) Master Plan will shape the City of Boulder’s approach to future stewardship questions, such as: How to continue conservation of natural, cultural and scenic areas while also providing enjoyable visitor experiences, how to address population growth with increased visitation, and how the city will make its natural areas more resilient amid the climate crisis.

Read our System Overview Report to review the state of your Boulder open space. Sign up for email updates on your Open Space and Mountain Parks.

Why develop a Master Plan?

For decades, the City of Boulder has worked to preserve and improve its open space through a series of management plans. However, current and future trends require a more comprehensive approach. For example, there is less land available for acquisition in the Boulder Valley. Open space sales tax increments that fund acquisitions are scheduled to sunset or decease over time. Population in the Front Range is growing, and increasing visitor use and carrying capacity are topics that open space areas along the Front Range are beginning to address. In addition, many youths are becoming more sedentary, with more children growing up without a connection to nature. At the same time, climate change and invasive species are affecting OSMP’s ability to conserve important landscapes, and resilience to wildfires and flooding is a focus for the City of Boulder and other communities along the Front Range. We also live in a diverse world and we recognize the need to be more inclusive, welcoming all who live in our community.

In addressing these topics, the OSMP Master Plan will create a community-supported management plan for the future and satisfy citywide expectations that master plans have been developed to guide service delivery.

What will the Master Plan accomplish?

Community members’ input will be used to address management topics, helping the city to:

  • Focus OSMP’s operations around key management topics and measures of success.
  • Define and prioritize strategies that will help OSMP fulfill open space purposes as defined in the Boulder City Charter.
  • Build community understanding that compromises and a balanced approach are important to establish management priorities that are inclusive and equitable.
  • Develop financial scenarios to anticipate future funding over the long term.
  • Help to confirm, refine and add new management approaches, including recommendations to update existing plans, and to pursue new planning and design efforts that align OSMP’s services with broad guidance in the Master Plan.

The OSMP Master Plan will not include site-specific recommendations, such as the exact placement of trails or facilities or allowable activities or visitor-use levels for specific locations. Updated or new plans that emerge after the Master Plan will provide more specific, on-the-ground guidance. The OSMP Master Plan will not recommend changes to open space purposes in the Boulder City Charter. Learn more about the process and engagement plan pdf for the Open Space and Mountain Parks Plan.