We provide the opportunity for members of our community to donate to our park system in honor of loved ones. In order to allow for a coordinated and consistent program for soliciting and recognizing contributions, we have established the following guidelines. The guidelines were developed based on research on the best practices of similar agencies nationwide, the needs and resource capabilities of the Parks and Recreation Department and the desire of residents to recognize loved ones through monetary contributions providing for specific lasting memorials.
The Parks and Recreation Department stewardship donation guidelines allow for several types of opportunities. We encourage residents to contact the department to discuss ideas for locations for donations, however final donation locations will be dependent on the needs of the department and planning processes already underway.
Donations to the City of Boulder may be tax deductible. (Please see your tax advisor.)
Donations will be accepted in the following categories:
- Living Legacy tree donations: Living memorial donations will be accepted in the form of tree plantings in city parks.
- Stewardship bench donations : Memorial bench donations will be considered within the city park system.
- General donations: Donations for general park and recreation purposes are accepted and encouraged.
- Statues, Fountains, Plazas, Gardens, etc.: Donations of statues, fountains, plazas, gardens, etc. may be accepted under specific circumstances. The Department will determine placement of all such memorials.
- Park Naming Opportunities: Naming of a park as a memorial may be submitted under the Parks and Recreation Department's Park Naming Policy
Living Legacy Tree Donations
The Living Legacy tree program provides individuals and organizations with the opportunity to honor people and commemorate special events by planting trees in city parks within the City of Boulder.
Trees may be donated by individuals in memory of a loved one, or to celebrate special events such as the birth of a child, or to observe a wedding. Businesses may wish to dedicate a tree to an outstanding employee, a new building, or upon reaching certain milestones. Other organizations may want to dedicate a tree as a living asset to the surrounding community.
Boulder’s extensive city parks system is continually growing and trees are a great way to increase the beauty of our city and provide countless benefits to this community. Your tax-deductible contribution will be used to purchase trees to be planted in the Boulder parks system and the City Urban Forestry Section personnel will care for the trees. Contributions for one or more trees are gratefully accepted. It is a departmental policy that markers or plaques are not allowed to be placed by the tree.
Although we accept living legacy requests year round, trees will only be planted in the spring or fall to give the trees the best chance to survive. Through communication between Urban Forestry staff and the contributor, an approved species will be chosen based on the desired planting site. Deciduous trees will be at least 2 inches in diameter (approximately 10 to 12 feet tall) and evergreen trees will be 5 to 6 feet in height. Most trees cost $350, but the price may vary due to species, size, and time of purchase.
Living Legacy contributors are always welcome to attend the tree planting. If you have any questions regarding the Living Legacy Program please contact Forestry Staff at 303-441-4406
Bench Stewardship Donation
The Parks and Recreation Bench Stewardship Program allows community members to make a stewardship donation to the department for the purchase, replacement, or refurbishment and maintenance of a park bench. The bench stewardship donation includes a plaque commemorating a person for the life of the bench. The bench stewardship program is a way to honor a loved one while supporting the ongoing maintenance of Boulder’s park system.
Details of the Program
- The department allows one bench per event or individual being commemorated.
- The style and size of the plaque is pre-determined based on the corresponding bench style common to the park location.
- Stewardship benches commonly accommodate a 2” x 10” inch zinc plaque, allowing up to 70 characters.
- No advertising is allowed, however, a business may be mentioned in terms of a connection of person to business: “For John – Founder of Smith’s Store”. The business will need to align with the department’s mission of environmental and social sustainability. The department has the right to deny placing the name of a business on the plaque. For example, businesses relating to; tobacco, marijuana, alcohol or other businesses conflicting with the department’s mission or otherwise limited by the Contribution Policy.
- An example of unacceptable language: “Bench provided by Smith’s Store”.
- Other limitations for plaque language are:
- That which could be offensive to the public
- That which would not maintain the city’s desire for neutrality on political and religious issues
- Otherwise covered in the Contribution Policy
- All plaque language will be reviewed by three staff members. The Director of Parks and Recreation will make the final decision on any language in question.
- Benches are available to commemorate events or people who are alive or deceased.
- The location of the bench is on a first come first served basis. City staff will have final approval on the location. A waiting list will be created if the need arises.
- Benches are placed or refurbished once a year in fall or winter.
- Benches always remain property of the City of Boulder.
Process and Procedure
- Fill out the online application. Opens January.
- Determine final location with Parks and Recreation representative in August or September 2022.
- Submit signed and completed order form with donation to the City of Boulder Parks and Recreation Department.
- After donation is received, the bench is ordered, including a final proof of the plaque text. Please allow up to 12 weeks after final approval for delivery.
- Plaque will be placed on the bench during manufacturing or upon completion of the refurbishment.
- Notification of completion will be sent to the applicant.
Stewardship Terms and Costs: 15 years or life of bench: $3000
- The bench stewardship donation includes the bench, plaque, installation and maintenance for the life of the bench, after which time the stewardship may be renewed upon receipt of an additional donation. The life of the bench will depend up on location, exposure and level of use resulting in an average bench life of 15 years.
- The applicant may renew the agreement if they choose by contacting the department prior to the end of the stewardship term. If the agreement is not renewed prior to the expiration of the term, staff may remove the plaque and the bench will be available for a new stewardship agreement.
- In the case of unforeseen circumstances, the city cannot guarantee that the original intention of this agreement can be upheld. For example, if the Pearl Street Mall became a street again, the benches would have to be removed.
- Major park renovations may alter the exact location of the stewardship bench, although the location of the bench will remain within the original park site until the end of the stewardship term. Staff will make their best effort to maintain the original intent of the bench location.
- Staff cannot guarantee installation by a set date due to potential workload issues and unforeseen circumstances.
**Applications for the 2022 Memorial Bench program are closed. Please check back in January 2023 for the 2023 application.**
General donations gifted to the Parks and Recreation department will be acknowledged by a letter from the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Funds generated by these donations will be used to best meet current needs of the department as determined by the Director. From time to time, the department may be accepting donations for a specific project to benefit the department. A list of opportunities for project-specific donations will be maintained and provided to those who express interest.
Statues, Fountains, Plazas, Gardens, etc.
Memorial Donations which are large in scale are generally not encouraged. To the extent that projects of this nature are consistent with park planning processes they may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Donors may contact the department to discuss their idea.
Park Naming Opportunities and Play Boulder Foundation
In addition to the above memorial donation opportunities, donations may be made to the -Play Boulder Foundation The foundation supports and advocates for parks and recreation programs and services in the Boulder area.
To request a donation for your group or organization, please write a letter with your request on organization stationary or letterhead including your tax exempt number. Donations are only made to schools and organizations within City of Boulder city limits that are in alignment with the Parks and Recreation Department mission and goals.
Letters are accepted as email attachments or in the US mail.
NOTE: We have suspended donation requests for group or organization at this time. This page will be updated as we are able to review requests and make donations.