Open Space and Mountain Parks Master Plan
OSMP Master Plan Alerts
Stay up-to-date on the Master Plan process: Community members can learn more about the OSMP Master Plan process by signing up for email updates or by following OSMP on Facebook and Twitter. Learn about next steps in the Master Plan process.
About the Master Plan
For nearly 120 years, generations of Boulder residents have created an innovative public land legacy in building the city’s 45,630-acre open space system. Help us to continue and improve on that proud legacy by creating an inclusive, community-based master to guide the management of our community’s open space over the next decade and beyond.
The Open Space and Mountain Parks (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 climate change.
Community feedback during the first window of engagement, OSMP purposes in the City Charter, and the department’s System Overview Report have led to the development of draft focus areas- or management themes- which will help provide a foundation for the development of OSMP Master Plan strategies later this year. Community feedback during the second engagement window for the master plan will help the city to confirm draft focus areas and inform potential strategies. These will be developed and refined through additional community engagement windows.
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.
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 for the Open Space and Mountain Parks Plan.