The Trust for Public Land Welcomes Denver Parks & Rec Executive Director Happy Haynes to National Board of Directors

The Trust for Public Land announced today that Allegra “Happy” Haynes has joined the organization’s National Board of Directors. Haynes was elected to the board on June 24, 2021. 

“Creating equal access to resources like public parks and recreation areas ensures the long-term physical and mental health of all citizens and ultimately creates stronger communities,” said Haynes. “I’m honored to have this opportunity to join The Trust for Public Land and devote time and resources to bringing the benefits of close-to-home parks to those who need them the most.”   

Haynes has served since 2015 as the Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation. She 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 served thirteen years on the Denver City Council. She serves on several non-profit boards including the Colorado Trust for Public Land, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver Botanic Gardens and is a member of the Denver Chapter of Links INC. She was a founding board member of Mile High Youth Corps, Colorado Black Women for Political Action and the Foundation for Education Excellence. 

Haynes is a Denver native, attended Denver East High School and received a BA in Political Science from Barnard College at Columbia University and an MPA from the University of Colorado at Denver.  She is an avid jazz enthusiast, enjoys science fiction and gardening as well as regularly participates in numerous sports and outdoor activities. 

Haynes advocated for the Outdoors for All Act, which The Trust for Public Land supported, during a U.S. House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands’ hearing in February 2020. She spoke of her “rare and random experiences” with nature that helped her become an environmental steward. 

“I am excited to support this critical legislation that will significantly improve close-to-home access to nature, making our cities healthier, safer and more connected,” Haynes said. The legislation passed the House earlier this year.  

Parks are an essential part of improving public health, protecting vulnerable communities from the impacts of the climate crisis, and building strong community cohesion. And yet, 100 million people, including 28 million kids, do not have access to a quality park within a 10-minute walk from home. The parks we do have are not equitable, as parks serving primarily Black, Latino, Indigenous and Native American, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other communities of color are half the size and serve five times more people per acre than parks in primarily white neighborhoods. 


About The Trust for Public Land 

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit