Twin Silo Park; photo credit: City of Fort Collins
The City of Fort Collins’ parks are a source of pride for city residents. Boasting over 966 acres of developed parks and over 45 miles of paved trails, the City of Fort Collins park system is extensive.
Unfortunately, the City’s parks and park system amenities are aging more rapidly than they can be maintained. Over the years, this funding gap could lead to parks and trails falling into disrepair, raising accessibility and safety concerns and diminishing their value to the community. It is not uncommon for municipalities to sell their parks to eliminate expenses and raise revenue in an effort to bridge funding gaps for over-extended city budgets.
Creative problems require creative solutions, which is how the FoCo Parks Forever Fund was born. “To help ensure that our community parks, trails and open spaces are maintained and kept updated long into the future, we are working with the Northern Colorado Community Foundation and Fort Collins City Give to establish a fund dedicated to that purpose,” says Jane Jackson.
Fundholders at the Community Foundation, Bill and Jane Jackson, have committed a dollar-for-dollar match up to $30,000 to create the FoCo Parks Forever Fund. This fund will exist in perpetuity to help ensure the city’s parks continue to be the joyful, enriching spaces they were intended to be.
The FoCo Parks Forever fund allows philanthropic community members a way to collectively invest in the vitality of Fort Collins parks. Funds will support sustainable operations in parks, long-term upkeep of the trail system, and address costs associated with repair or replacement of park installations and play equipment at the end of their lifecycles.
When asked why they chose to make such a generous gift to benefit the City of Fort Collins parks system, the Jacksons stated, “Three generations of our family have valued the times spent on the trails, ballfields, playgrounds, dog parks, and open spaces provided by the City of Fort Collins. Outdoor play is important for kids, and outdoor recreation is important for all ages, so these spaces and facilities contribute greatly to the overall quality of life in our area.”