Happy Haynes

Allegra “Happy” Haynes is the Executive Director of Denver Parks & Recreation and was Denver’s Deputy Mayor in 2017 and 2019. 

Happy served from 2011 – 2019 as an at-large member of the Denver Public Schools Board of Education following six years as the District’s Chief Community Engagement Officer. During her 40-year career in state and local government, Happy was the first African-American woman elected to the Denver City Council, on which she served thirteen years. 

She also serves on the boards of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver Botanic Gardens, Salazar Center for North American Conservation, and the City Parks Alliance.  Happy has also served on Trust for Public Land Colorado Advisory Board for the past six years. 

She is a member of the Denver Chapter of The Links, Inc. She was a founding board member of Mile High Youth Corps, Sand Creek Regional Greenway, Colorado Black Women for Political Action and the Foundation for Educational Excellence. 

Happy first fell in love with the outdoors  in her backyard growing up, gardening with her grandmother, a perfect climbing tree, and a mother that encouraged outdoor activities and adventure. She supports Trust for Public Land because, “putting people at the center of our mission and our work recognizes that people are not only the chief beneficiaries of our work to protect land and create quality parks and open spaces, but that their stewardship and advocacy and engagement is key to our success.

Happy is a Denver native, and received a BA in Political Science from Barnard College at Columbia University and an MPA from the University of Colorado at Denver.