The Trust for Public Land given $2.84 million health grant to build Denver parks

The Trust for Public Land, a national non-profit conservation organization, today announced a $2.84 million grant from the Colorado Health Foundation to create new parks and playgrounds in parts of the Denver metro area which need more places for families and children to play.

“The Colorado Health Foundation has a long history of leadership in improving the lives of people who live here, and this grant is a perfect fit for our goal of building new parks and playgrounds where they’re needed most,” said Tim Wohlgenant, The Trust for Public Land’s Colorado state director. “They know that one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to deal with our country’s health crises is to provide our citizens with accessible, safe parks and trails.”

“The community where people live, work, and play has a significant influence on the ability to make the healthy choice the easy choice,” said Kelly Dunkin, Vice President of Philanthropy for the Colorado Health Foundation. “If we don’t have access to places that offer safe and fun options for physical activity, we are far less likely to engage in a healthy lifestyle.”

“We are proud to partner with The Trust for Public Land in its efforts to work with communities and partner organizations to increase the number of Coloradans who have healthy living options designed into their community,” she said.

Last month, The Trust for Public Land released ParkScore, which for the first time used statistical data to rank the park systems of the nation’s 40 largest cities. Denver ranked no. 13 among the 40.

“Denver has a good park system, as all of us who live here know,” said Wohlgenant. “But it can be better and ParkScore gave us a road map to help make that happen. We believe every child should live within a 10-minute walk of a park or playground, and this generous support from the Colorado Health Foundation will help make that vision a reality.”

The grant will be spread over three years, and will help The Trust for Public Land with its plan, calling for the acquisition of land for new parks, improving existing parks by building new playgrounds, community gardens, and fitness zones, and developing new parks similar to the one created by the organization at 13th Avenue and Xenia Street that celebrated its grand opening this past Saturday.

The Trust for Public protects land for people. It is the nation’s leader in building parks in cities across the country and in creating local sources for land conservation. Since it was created in 1972, The Trust for Public Land has completed more than 5,500 conservation projects, and protected more than 3 million acres in 47 states.