The Park People
Thursday, May 23, 2024
Who We AreAbout Us

About Us

The Park People is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working with communities to plant trees and improve parks for a healthy, resilient future.

We are passionate about our local parks, our city trees, and other shared community resources. We believe that healthy parks help grow healthy communities. We believe that our community forest not only makes our neighborhoods beautiful places to live, but provides critical functions to the health, well-being, and sustainability of urban life. And we believe that all Denver residents should have access to these critical urban resources. We also believe in the power of community action and of 'Thinking Globally and Acting Locally.'

We work towards our mission by raising private funds for capital improvement projects of various sizes and through several ongoing programs: Denver Digs Trees, Community Forester, Mile High Tree Champions, TreeForce, and Park Legacy. We are Denver's oldest and primary city-wide park advocacy group and longest-standing tree organization. We have infused tens of millions of dollars into the city's public spaces, and we have planted more than 60,000 trees in Denver. Learn more about What We Do.


Our History


The Park People was created in 1969 by a small group of park enthusiasts who banded together to raise private funds to support Denver's extensive parks and recreation system. We are a separate entity from Denver's Department of Parks and Recreation, but have worked in close partnership with the department since our founding.

In our 50+-year history, The Park People has infused many millions of dollars into Denver's parks through the restoration of existing park infrastructure, such as fountains and historic park buildings, and through new construction, such as playgrounds and recreation facilities. Our projects include sites in Denver's highest profile parks like the Washington Park Boat House, Cheesman Park Pavilion, Civic Center Esplanade, and City Park fountains. We also value the city's lesser known community treasures, such as the beloved Sundial & Plaza in Cranmer Park, the historic James Fleming House in Platt Park, and the award-winning Gates Tennis Center in Cherry Creek. And we look for high-need projects, such as playground builds in neighborhoods that lack access to recreation resources. Learn about our Capital Projects.

The Park People is best known as the home of Denver Digs Trees, a beloved, city-wide tree distribution program founded in 1991. The program's roots grow from the initiative of a small group of neighbors in West Wash Park who organized around kitchen tables to bring affordable trees to plant throughout their neighborhood in the 1980's. These scrappy neighbors distributed 50 trees out of residents' garages their first year. Their initiative expanded in scope and was adopted by The Park People in response to a city-wide need for affordable trees. Denver Digs Trees has since become a cherished community tradition, known throughout the city as a provider of carefully selected tree species appropriate for our arid climate and urban environment. We are proud to provide affordable trees to residents in all of Denver's neighborhoods and place particular emphasis on distributing trees in under-canopied neighborhoods. Since 1991, Denver Digs Trees has distributed more than 60,000 trees to Denver residents. Learn more about Denver Digs Trees and our other urban forestry programs.

Support for The Park People comes from individual donations, program fees, foundation and government grants, and corporate sponsorships. The Park People is managed and executed by a small staff, a dedicated Board of Trustees, and many hundreds of volunteers each year. Find out how you can Get Involved and how you can Contribute.






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