On May 13, 2023, the city of Denver came alive with the spirit of community and environmental stewardship during the second annual “Parks, Rivers, Trails & Trees” event, presented by the Denver Park Trust. This city-wide park cleanup and celebration not only served as a wonderful opportunity for individuals and families to volunteer their time and efforts, but also showcased the importance of our parks and shared public outdoor spaces. With a range of activities and a collective sense of purpose, the event fostered a deep appreciation for the natural beauty that surrounds us and highlighted the vital role each person plays in preserving it.
On the cloudy yet pleasant morning of the 13th, over 300 volunteers came out to 13 parks across Denver to collect trash and plant trees, growing from 200 volunteers at 4 parks last year in 2022! Each park cleanup was hosted by a different nonprofit organization or neighborhood association, all with the same mission that day to “show our parks some love” – the official 2023 PRTT slogan. Each park was equipped with plenty of trash pickers, trash bags, gloves, snacks and drinks, and a site lead that helped organize volunteers. A few parks even had trees to plant, wheelbarrows, and mulch! (See here for the full list of parks and participating partner organizations).
The morning cleanups were then followed by a free and fun-filled community celebration at City Park, featuring music from the Denver Municipal Band, food from the Steubens and Powered by Besitas food trucks, cold drinks from Denver Beer Co., and swag and giveaways from 7 partner tables. One of the biggest hits of the celebration was free succulent planting, with plants supplied by the Denver Parks & Recreation Greenhouse, so that everyone could plant and take home their own variety of succulents. In addition, the first ever Lauri Dannemiller Park Champion Award, honoring an individual who has advanced park access and equity in an effort to make Denver a better place for all, was presented to Councilwoman Kendra Black, a tireless advocate for the Denver parks system.
Next year, we’re hoping to expand Parks, Rivers, Trails & Trees even further, reaching more parks and more volunteers throughout our amazing Denver park system. Be on the lookout for updates about next year’s PRTT, and stay in the know by signing up for PRTT updates here.
Thank you so much to everyone who made this event possible and to everyone who participated! We look forward to seeing you next year!