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Posted on December 19, 2018 at 3:04 PM by Ryne Dittmer
National achievements, new avenues for community engagement, and amenity improvements were among notable Town of Parker storylines over the past 12 months. Reflect on the past year by reading through these 2018 highlights.Record turnout for Stars and Stripes Celebration:The Parker Stars and Stripes Celebration welcomed a record-setting 12,000 guests to Salisbury Park on Independence Day.The evening was filled with fun family activities including a performance from the 6 Million Dollar Band, a zip line, inflatable games, food vendors and a spectacular fireworks finale! Parks and Recreation Department receives CAPRA accreditation:Parker Parks and Recreation joined the ranks of elite park and recreation agencies by earning national accreditation from the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA), an extension of the National Recreation and Park Association in September.To earn accreditation, the department was reviewed against 151 standards developed by CAPRA and determined to meet the highest industry benchmarks. About one percent of the nation’s park and recreation agencies have earned CAPRA Accreditation. Learn more about this honor on Parker Parks and Recreation's CAPRA Accreditation webpage. The Schoolhouse reopens after renovation:Following the most intensive restoration in its 118-year history, The Schoolhouse reopened in February. First opened in 1915 as the Parker Consolidated Schoolhouse, the multi-year project renovated, repurposed and reimagined the building’s classrooms and corridors as well as the attached Schoolhouse Annex. Today, The Schoolhouse’s original wood floors, chalkboards and windows look out over two event rooms, a dance studio, and bridal suite for weddings.In the Annex, patrons now enjoy a renovated 200-seat theater complete with a new concessions and box office area, art gallery and expanded rehearsal space. Let’s Talk Parker launched:The Town introduced an innovative online platform offering residents another easy option for getting involved in Town projects and initiatives at a time most convenient for them. Let’s Talk Parker features information about a variety of projects and initiatives including potential development, plan updates, community enhancements and more, and allows participants to provide their feedback and interact with other residents and Town staff.Since launching in February 2018, the community engagement website has recorded more than 28,000 visits from 1,300 registered participants. Discovery Park project awarded:Quickly becoming a favorite community gathering place for events year-round, Discovery Park received a pair of designations.The park was bestowed a Governor’s Award for Downtown Excellence for Best Use of Public Space from Downtown Colorado, Inc. Discovery Park was also claimed Best Park Project for a Medium Community Size by the American Public Works Association, Colorado Chapter through the 2018 APWA Colorado Awards Program. Parker PD installs permanent medication collection box:In an effort to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, the Parker Police Department installed a prescription medication collection box in the front lobby of its building at 18600 E. Lincoln Meadows Pkwy., in March.Since its placement, about 1,400 pounds of medications, have been collected and safely disposed. Trail system expands:With construction of the Auburn Hills North/South Trail connection, completion of Parker’s portion of the East-West Regional Trail, paving upgrade to the Salisbury Park Trail, first-of-its-kind in Parker soft-surface trail test section along the Cherry Creek Trail and enhanced Sulphur Gulch Trail crossing of Pikes Peak Drive, Parker’s highly-valued collection of trails continued to grow and be enhanced. Conceptual plans were also completed for the planned High Plains Trail to run along Parker’s northern border with Arapahoe County. Adopt-a-Street reaches new heights:A new Adopt-a-Street program was introduced by the Parks and Recreation Department, leading to a record 14 participating groups. Together, these volunteer groups and organizations removed more than 200 bags of trash from Town roadways during the year. Parker ranked among Colorado’s safest cities:The Town of Parker was ranked as the sixth-safest city in Colorado by the National Council for Home Safety and Security's Safest Cities in Colorado 2018 study. Parker’s placement was the highest among communities with more than 50,000 residents.Additionally, Parker came in at 13 on the 2018 SafeWise list of the 20 Safest Cities in Colorado based on FBI crime report statistics and population data. New Town websites debut:A quartet of redesigned Town websites were unveiled in the fall including the primary Town site (www.ParkerOnline.org), Parker Parks and Recreation (www.ParkerRec.com), Parker Arts (www.ParkerArts.org), and Parker Police Department (www.ParkerPolice.org). Emphasis throughout the redesign was placed on improving site navigation, simplifying content and creating mobile-friendly platforms based on feedback heard during a public outreach process.