Parks and Recreation

Town of Castle Rock Parks and Recreation announced as the 2018 National Gold Medal Award winner!


Each resident of Castle Rock is moved by something different. Perhaps you’re moved by the feeling of triumph in the eyes of a determined runner as she finishes her first ultramarathon at the Castle Rock Trails Festival; or by the joyous smile of a four-year-old getting his first hit off his coach’s pitch; or maybe it’s by the community’s rally behind those hurting in the face of tragedy; or it’s the communal wave of carefree teenagers singing along with their favorite band during a concert at the Amphitheater.  Whatever it is that moves you, the residents of Castle Rock, one thing is certain: each of those things that moves you, is what moves us.

Your voices move us to strive for excellence, and those efforts paid off. The Town of Castle Rock Parks and Recreation Department was honored  with the highest achievement attainable in its profession, the National Gold Medal Award!

“Receiving the Gold Medal award is a true testament to the successful collaboration between active residents and community leadership,” Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Brauer stated. “We celebrate this recognition with the community we serve and are honored to provide world-class facilities and programming that enhance the quality of life in Castle Rock. This shared vision drives our department to be the best in our profession, the orchestrator of fun and the heart of our community.”

Founded in 1965, the Gold Medal Award honors communities in the U.S. which demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development, and agency recognition. Applications are separated into seven classes, with five classes based on population, one class for armed forces recreation, and one class for state park systems awarded on odd-numbered years.

The Town of Castle Rock was named one of four finalists earlier this year in the Class IV category, which serves populations of 30,001 – 75,000. Other Class IV finalists included the Centerville-Washington Park District of Centerville, OH; the City of Waukesha Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department of Waukesha, WI.; and the Lombard Park District of Lombard, IL.

A panel of five park and recreation professionals reviewed and judged the application materials, including the video at the top of this page, from each of the finalist organizations. Judges are chosen for their considerable experience and knowledge in parks and recreation on both the local and national levels. 

The Castle Rock Parks and Recreation Department has been a finalist for the National Gold medal twice, and the national winner in 2012.

About us


Castle Rock is known for its small-town charm, family-friendly community events and abundant parks, open space and trails. Established in 1977, the Parks and Recreation Department served a population of merely 2,000. Through robust community planning, nearly 65,000 residents now enjoy 87 miles of trails, 50 well-planned parks - including the reimagined Festival Park - and more than 6,000 acres of open space that define the region’s most prominent features. 

According to recent U.S. Census data, Castle Rock is the 7th fastest growing city in America, which tasks the Department with being a dynamic, progressive agency. We achieve community-driven strategic direction using interactive planning as our foundation. 2017 Community Survey results documented that maintaining strong parks and recreation services is nearly equal to ensuring public safety as the top strategic initiative. National publications like Money magazine, American City and County and others have listed Castle Rock as a great place to live and raise a family, and Douglas County is the second healthiest community in the nation. 

The annual operating and capital budget for the department is approximately $18 million. Staff consists of 55 full-time employees and nearly 500 seasonal employees. In addition to parks, open space and trails, the department manages a robust volunteer program, two full-service recreation facilities, a maintenance service center, a championship golf course, a state-licensed preschool, inline hockey and tennis courts, a disc-golf course, natural and synthetic-turf athletic fields, indoor and outdoor pools and three splash pads. Beginning last fall, residents are now able to enjoy the reimagined Festival Park at the heart of Downtown Castle Rock. 

Each year, we host hundreds of special events, cultural opportunities, programs and activities for families, youth and adults. Through partnerships, we offer zip lines and adventure courses at Philip S. Miller Park and recreational opportunities at the Rueter-Hess Reservoir. We strive to ensure all have access to recreation through our Adaptive Recreation and scholarship programsand promote health and wellness through high-quality fitness programming, equipment, personal training options and self-directed recreation opportunities. 

Stay up-to-date


Sign up for Castle Rock Parks and Recreation email newsletters, check out upcoming events and public meetings on our calendar, research project updates, or check out what's new

The Parks and Recreation Commission typically meets the third Wednesday of each month at 5 p.m. at the Millhouse at Philip S. Miller Park, 1381 W. Plum Creek Parkway. 

The Castle Rock Parks and Trails Foundation works to enhance Castle Rock's parks, trails and recreational spaces. We believe these amenities make Castle Rock unique, and as a community, we can make our recreational spaces even better.

The Public Art Commission identifies priorities and goals concerning the acquisition of art for public buildings and parks within the Town. Appointees shall be residents and / or artists in the metro community. Meetings are typically held the second Thursday of each month at Town Hall, 100 N. Wilcox St.

Named Best of the Best by Colorado Community Media


  • Best Family Entertainment - the MAC
  • Best Hiking/Biking Trail - Ridgeline Open Space
  • Best Park - Philip S. Miller Park 
  • Best Kids Summer Camps - Rock Rec Camp
  • Best Swimming Lessons - Castle Rock Recreation
  • Best Swimming Pool / Waterpark - the MAC
  • Best Workout / Fitness Center - Castle Rock Recreation Center
Best of the Best 2018 logo

2015 CAPRA Accreditation


The Department was accredited in 2015. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) recognizes park and recreation agencies for excellence in operation and service. Charged with providing high-quality services and experiences, park and recreation agencies across the United States turn to CAPRA Accreditation as a credible and efficient means of achieving these goals, while providing assurance to the public that the agency meets national standards of best practice.

2012 National Gold Medal Winner 


The National Recreation and Park Association Gold Medal Award honors communities nationwide that demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, resource management and agency recognition. Each agency is judged on its ability to address the needs of those it serves through the collective energies of residents, staff and elected officials.