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Parks and Recreation Service Levels

With summer fast approaching, Boulder Parks and Recreation is excited about the programs and places it will provide to support the health and wellness of the entire Boulder community. 

Summer operations kicked off on Monday, May 3, with the renovated Scott Carpenter Pool opening for reserved lap swim. The Scott Carpenter Pool leisure features, Spruce Pool, and the Boulder Reservoir peak season, including the swim beach and Driftwind restaurant in the new Visitor Services Center, will open Saturday, May 29 (weather permitting).  

Single visit and unlimited entry passes are available now and accepted at all facilities. Visit to learn more. 

At the same time, the past year has taken a toll on our ability to recreate, socialize, and enjoy the benefits of physical activity. For Parks and Recreation, it has also resulted in deep reductions to funding, staffing, and facility visitation levels – while simultaneously generating an increase in park use, vandalism and impacts from a changing climate in the form of drought, snowstorms, and wind events. 

Now, as community health improves and pandemic restrictions ease, Boulder Parks and Recreation is working hard to welcome back eager community members – while balancing a deep decrease in resources. 

Parks and Recreation services levels this summer will be reduced so that resources can be focused on services that safely deliver the broadest community benefit possible. 

What does this really mean? 

  • Maintenance: We are prioritizing the safety of parks, including mowing, playground maintenance, hazardous tree removal, waste management, graffiti ordinance compliance and mitigating the impacts of illegal encampments in public spaces.  Work that enhances the neat appearance of a park but does not impact safety, such as string-trimming and edging, will be completed less often.  
  • Recreation facilities:  Based on trends and community comfort as expressed by attendance in 2020, we have prioritized operations for outdoor facilities including the outdoor pools, Flatirons Golf Course, and Boulder Reservoir. We have adjusted recreation center hours of operation and amenities based on usage and funding. 
  • Recreation programs: We have prioritized programs for individuals disproportionately impacted by the pandemic including under-resourced community members, those with disabilities, and families. We’re adjusting fitness, gymnastics, and sports programming based on staffing capacity, participation levels, and health guidelines.  
  • Services: We have limited the availability of shelter rentals and large group permits due to staff focusing on maintenance. There will also be delays in restroom and lighting repairs, and reduced tree pruning and re-planting. 
  • Projects and initiatives: We have limited capacity for new projects, partnerships, and initiatives outside of those already scheduled for 2021. 
  • Customer service: There may be longer response times when responding to community members. Working amidst a pandemic (e.g., regularly changing public health guidance, fluctuating staffing levels due to quarantines or isolations), means the general business of operating parks and recreation is more consuming than typical. Communications and responses may take additional time as we prioritize requests and manage the workload. 

As improvements to operating conditions and resources allow, we look forward to increasing service levels to support the wide range of needs, interests and values represented in the Boulder community. To help us get there quicker, community members can support by: 

  • Participating in COVID-19 testing and vaccination opportunities. 
  • Wearing a face covering wherever required or recommended. 
  • Keeping six feet of distance from others. 
  • Washing your hands frequently with soap and water. 
  • Sharing your input on our operational and financial focus through the Master Plan update. 
  • Joining our team of passionate Parks and Recreation professionals!