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Open Space and Mountain Parks Master Plan

Open Space and Mountain Parks Master Plan

OSMP Master Plan Alerts

OSBT recommends final focus areas: The Open Space Board of Trustees (OSBT) recommended final focus areas for the Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) Master Plan during a public hearing on Wednesday, July 11. View the focus areas meeting memo pdf

Council focus area consideration: The Boulder City Council will review the focus areas for final approval on Tuesday, July 24. You also will be able to view this meeting live on Boulder TV 8.

See what we’ve heard from you! Thanks to all who shared ideas and feedback. See a video of our community engaging and the draft focus areas that emerged from the first window of engagement. Read a summary of the proposed focus areas pdf and how the community continued to help shape them during the second window of engagement.

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 plan 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 and second windows of engagement, OSMP purposes in the City Charter, and the department’s System Overview Report have led to the development of proposed focus areas- or management themes- which will help provide a foundation for the development of OSMP Master Plan strategies later this year. Proposed focus areas and related topics will continue to be refined over the next few months, culminating in final approval of the focus areas from City Council this summer. Strategies will then be developed and refined to support the focus areas through additional community engagement windows. 

Read our System Overview Report to review the state of your Boulder open space. Sign up for email updates on the Master Plan.

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.

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