Protecting our quality of life by conserving lands that protect our water, wildlife, and open spaces

Throughout the global pandemic, we have gone to our parks and open spaces to spend time with family, gather with friends, exercise, and enjoy long walks with our pets. Conserving our rivers, lands, and parks helps protect our way of life and promote mental and physical health and well-being, strengthens our local economies, and makes Arapahoe County a place where current and future generations want to call home. 


Open Spaces was referred to the November 2021 ballot by a bipartisan coalition and supported by every Republican and Democratic Arapahoe County Commissioner

What Does Open Spaces Do?

Build and maintain

Enhance neighborhood
and regional parks

Preserve natural heritage





Since 2003,  built or improved 70 miles of trails


Supported 168 park, trailhead, heritage-area projects


Conserved 31,000 acres of open space

Community Impact

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Parks, Trails, Open Spaces

  • 70 miles of trails built or improved

  • 168 park, trailhead, heritage-area projects supported

  • 31,000 acres of open space conserved

Educational Gardening

Heritage & Education

  • Fairgrounds community events and annual County Fair

  • 17 Mile House Farm Park education tours and cultural events

  • CSU Extension education programs and outreach

  • Environmental education partnerships

Planting a Tree

Protection & Restoration

  • Conservation easements 168 park, trailhead, Riparian corridor restoration

  • Regional trail connections

  • Recreational safety improvements

Close Up of Corn Field

Local Agriculture

  • Active grazing program

  • Farming, hay and wheat production

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Over the lifetime of the program, Open Spaces has given more than 71% of the funds directly back to our municipal and special district partners. That amounts to close $257 million dollars in funds given back through Shareback, Grants, and Joint Projects.

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Who Benefits

Every city in Arapahoe County is economically stimulated by protecting Open Spaces. 

Since the program’s inception, Cherry Hills Village has benefited from more than $5 million dollars supporting its local parks, trails and open spaces. In 2019, the City received a $500,000 open space grant to support the redevelopment of John Meade Park, a roughly $2.5 million project.

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What's it Cost?

These investments are funded by a .25 sales tax initially approved by voters in 2003 and renewed in 2011. With the current tax set to expire in 2023, the County is being proactive and thinking long term about Arapahoe County’s future and pushing for a permanent fix to support our open spaces by placing the reauthorization on the ballot in November 2021.

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