Clement Park officially being transferred to Foothills

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By Deborah Swearingen

Although discussions on the topic have been ongoing, Jeffco Open Space is officially prepared to deed Clement Park to Foothills Park and Recreation District.

The decision to deed the property comes after a 2012 policy change that allows lands purchased by Jeffco Open Space to be transferred to park and recreation districts. Jeffco Open Space now considers transfers of various properties on a case-by-case basis. A clause restricts Foothills from developing the land or operating it as anything other than a park. If the district violates this, Jeffco Open Space would regain control.

Deeding the property to Foothills also comes as the South Jeffco park and recreation district works on approximately $8.7 million of capital improvements at the regional park. The money for the projects is available through a variety of sources, including Jeffco Open Space and Great Outdoors Colorado grants, district reserves, refinancing of debt and more. 

“The stuff they’ve done so far looks great,” said parks director Tom Hoby in a Sept. 18 staff briefing.

While Clement Park is one of the district’s most popular amenities, it’s not a money maker for Foothills. In 2016, Clement Park cost the district more than $1 million but brought in just $400,000.

The park was built by Jeffco Open Space with tax funds in 1987. Two years later, the county open space organization leased Clement Park to Foothills, who has managed it ever since.

Editor's note: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that money for the Clement Park updates came from the recent mill levy increase. While the district did have a successful bid for a 2.75-mill increase, these funds are specifically designated for other park projects.