Golden in Golden: Parks and Recreation – 2010 NRPA Gold Medal Award Winner

I'm standing here at the top of South Table Mountain it's a local landmark down there well that is my hometown Golden Colorado from the natural beauty that surrounds this historic City to the parks and trails – well the scenic views this is one city you just have to experience and I'm here to show you exactly what makes golden golden Goldin lies nestled up against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in north-central Jefferson County the cool mountain waters of Clear Creek continue their journey from the Continental Divide and run right through the heart of downtown and although it's flanked by the two major municipalities of Denver and Boulder Golden has become the jewel of the Front Range it's a major tourist destination for the state and welcomes two and a half million visitors every year golden was founded during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush of 1859 it's come a long way from its Wild West past and prides itself on small-town charm and old-fashioned friendliness century-old trees line the streets of three historic districts and the quaint downtown still boasts local family-owned businesses the city is home to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory x' and other national companies which puts us squarely on the map as a leader in technology and the new energy industries it makes golden a great place to live and work but with twenty miles of trails 253 acres of parks and 377 acres of open space golden is also a great place to play golden has been recognized for its commitment to quality Parks and Recreation by been named a gold medal finalist in 2009 and in 2010 and was the first Capra accredited city in the state of Colorado whether it's organized sports youth or adult league play personally driven recreation or just enjoying the great outdoors there's a lot to choose from this Creek is cranking huh there's a lot of water right now since its dedication in 1998 the Clear Creek whitewater park has been a major draw for kayakers canoers and tubers the one and a half mile course attracts expert level boaters and is hosted some important national events including the North American Junior Olympics recent improvements include new drop structures bank stabilization and several improved pedestrian access points want to catch another kind of current take the plunge off Lookout Mountain and join the dozens of parasailers and hang gliders whose or over the city if staying a little more down-to-earth is your style there are 20 miles of trails in the city that are just perfect for cycling running or taking a stroll they connect to more than 4,000 acres of surrounding open space and with more than 250 days of sunshine per year you're almost certain to have a great day golfers find the award-winning fossil trace Golf Club a great place to spend the day the challenging layout and beautiful views attract national recognition for the course just a short hike from downtown climbers can find some of the best and most accessible climbing it's not surprising that golden is a draw for world-class athletes like mountain climber Louise vanitas who after summiting all of the world's highest peaks including Mount Everest a record six times comes home to golden to train for his next adventure I'm actually training for a k2 expedition the golden rec center plays such an integral part in my training and having a climbing wall like this with you know friends that come in and and hang out and as well as other climbers amazing climbers that live here in town there's there's a real community environment in a community feel and you can get what you need pretty much year round when it opened in 1994 the golden community center was the first of its kind in the region the family-friendly swimming pool and indoor leisure pool quickly set the standard for surrounding communities in 2007 after a major expansion and remodel the golden Community Center reopened bigger and better than ever the diversity of programming offers something for everyone since the completion of the renovation admissions have increased by 39% and that's helped us expand programs that meet the needs of golden special populations like the front porch older adult Resource Center a great place to get information or just share coffee and friendship health and wellness is a lifelong pursuit and the golden community centers year-round free school and camp program is our way of making sure that everyone gets a good start in life with the lowest average fees in the county tuition assistance and scholarships the program is inclusive of all families in the community and can distantly receives high satisfaction ratings and parent surveys last year we received a four out of four koala star rating the newly installed outdoor ad a compliant playground ensures that the experience is fun and enriching for kids of all abilities people live in golden because they love the quality of life and the parks are a part of that whether you like to walk dogs or you want to get your kids out there you go running like me or you're a mountain biker the trails are just what makes your quality of life good to fulfill its vision of being recognized as a national leader in the provision of high-quality parks trails and recreation facilities the city of golden is using its 2008 Parks and Recreation master plan to set goals and make decisions it's already resulted in some great improvements including the completion of trail updates that connect all major city parks and neighborhoods existing park improvements include playground resurfacing the installation of energy-efficient Musco sports lighting and a turf field upgrade for the high school meeting the needs of Golden's underserved park areas was identified as a top priority and the city is working to bring a park to where it's needed most and the city will inaugurate its first bike skills park this summer thanks to a collaboration with our biking partners a citywide ad a audit was completed in 2009 and upgrades and improvements are underway at many park sites a new ad a ramp has made the enjoyment of Clear Creek a possibility for everyone and looking to the future a master planning process is underway for the Clear Creek corridor innovative public engagement strategies are making sure that the plan is truly reflective of the needs of the residents and since the creek is the heart of the town what happens here will shape its future for years to come and those are just some of the ways our master plan is making a difference in what we do the best way to get things done is to work together and the city works hard to foster successful partnerships with government private sector nonprofit and citizen groups park and trail maintenance is one example of how we provide meaningful volunteer opportunities for some of our citizens a partnership with the Colorado PGA has introduced over 1,000 local all children to the game of golf we're from Rocky Mountain deaf school and we're all students there students who on this day got to step out of the classroom and onto the driving range many for the first time I'm not used to this kind of scenery it's gorgeous here we go waiting for the first I say welcome yes right with a little instruction the students were ready to take their own swing at it for both the golf pros and the students this was a picture-perfect day at fossil trace in 2007 the city of golden adopted ambitious sustainability goals a 25% decrease in energy use and a 25% increase in the use of renewable resources improvements like light and motion sensors energy-efficient lighting solar panels vending misers waterless urinals and single stream recycling are just some of the ways the Parks and Rec Department is reducing its energy consumption at fossil Trace Golf Club the state of the art irrigation system helps to conserve a precious resource and routine sampling monitors water quality as it leaves the system golden pride days is our way of helping the community reduce its environmental footprint tree recycling appliance recycling has hazardous material cleanup we have pharmaceuticals here to our left general trash cleanup paper shredding we have electronics recycling and metal recycling as well so anything that we can think of we're recycling we do it and with the help of a grant we saved 100,000 pounds of tires from our landfills by turning them into playgrounds surfacing material the Rooney Road Sports Complex is another great example of how we are working towards a sustainable future the complex was built over a recapped landfill in compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency it is the largest single synthetic turf installation in Colorado it's also an impressive collaboration between the city and several organizations golden is a culturally rich community and we're excited to add the management of three city-owned museums to our portfolio under our auspices these sites will preserve and promote history for many years to come golden Parks and Recreation is keeping pace with technology our web Trac system makes online registration easier than ever and golfers can manage their outings 24/7 on the fossil trace Golf Club websites golf carts are equipped with state-of-the-art GPS systems which help improve the pace of play they also shut off automatically if you go out of bounds which helps protect sensitive vegetation areas and reduces theft and vandalism you can also call for emergencies and even order lunch it's what today's golfers have come to expect technology meets nature in our Forestry Division a handheld device significantly reduces inventory time and helps monitor and protect one of our prized resources it's one reason the city of golden has been named Tree City USA for 20 consecutive years and it's just another innovative way the Parks and Recreation Department is embracing new technologies Tanner Custer can hardly stand still waiting for the day the splash water park opens for the summer feed this is where the splash starts finally the big day arrives through the gates and straight into the water just the first of many trips to the splash this summer this brush draws 50,000 visitors from around the region annually but more importantly it's the best reminder of why we do what we do it is our mission every day to promote safe and comprehensive community services and programs that enrich the lives of our residents and visitors for years to come and to give you places to let your imagination soar and that's what makes golden golden a living golden I work in golden


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