Jolon Clark to Speak at CPFAN Annual Meeting, April 2, 5:30 pm, Carla Madison Recreation Center

There will be no CPFAN General Meeting and Program in March. Our Annual Meeting, where the membership will elect Board members for the 2024-25 term and vote on two proposed bylaw changes will take place on April 2 and we encourage all our members to attend.  If you are interested in serving on the CPFAN Board of Directors in 2024-25 please contact Georgia at We welcome your interest and participation. The agenda and protocols for the Annual Meeting will be published in the next newsletter that will go out by March 18, giving fifteen days notice per our bylaws.

We are very pleased to announce that Jolon Clark, Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation will be the speaker at our Annual Meeting. Following his presentation, Clark will open the floor to Q & A. He is looking forward to hearing your ideas and insights about the future of Denver’s parks.

Jolon Clark, Executive Director, Denver Parks and Recreation
Jolon Clark was born and raised in Denver. Denver’s Recreation Centers and outdoor spaces were central to his childhood. He remembers the tree house he and his friends built in an ash tree in their Washington Park neighborhood. “There were three branches where we would sit for our meetings,” he says of the secret clubhouse. Soccer, swimming and basketball were the other activities he enjoyed in the “magical’ world of his Denver outdoor experience. In fifth grade, he participated in a Balarat Outdoor Education overnight program and describes this mountain experience, especially the night hikes, as life-changing.  As a South High School student, he learned about the Venice on the Creek program launched by Joe Shoemaker and the newly founded Greenway Foundation. Clark joined the program and punted gondola-style wooden boats up and down Cherry Creek between Larimer St and Confluence Park during his high school and college summers, regaling his passengers along the way with the history and culture of the area.
Courtesy, The Gondola Blog by Greg Mohr

Inspired by Joe Shoemaker’s vision of trails, parks and gardens flowing through Denver, Clark joined the Greenway Foundation team and among other accomplishments, founded Spree (South Platte Environmental Education), that introduces Denver area youth to the river through excursions, day camps, internships and summer programs. In 2019, The Greenway Foundation awarded Clark the annual Hero of the River Award in recognition of his significant and longstanding impact on the continued improvement/evolution/ sustainability of the South Platte River Watershed.

Finding his passion, Clark went on to earn a degree in non-profit management and a CSU degree in Natural Resources. Clark was elected to the Denver City Council in 2015 to represent District 7. While on council, he was the architect behind the $40 million a year Parks Legacy Fund, the creation of the new Office of Climate Action, Sustainability & Resiliency, and the $40 million a year Climate Action Fund.

In 2023, Clark was picked by Mayor Michael Johnston to be the Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation. “The circle closes,” says Clark. “This is my dream job.” He is proud of DPR’s new initiative to donate bison herds from Denver parkland to Tribal Nations. He looks forward to further implementation of Denver’s Game Plan for a Healthy City, emphasizing the need to “provide good stewardship of every drop of water.” Undeterred by the financial challenges facing Denver and subsequently DPR, he looks forward to minimizing the impact with creative planning and partnerships. In particular, he wants to empower volunteers to engage more fully in Denver’s parks. He talks about the value of being nimble and thinking outside bureaucratic boxes.

Learn more about Jolon Clark’s inspired vision for Denver’s parks on April 2. You are in for a treat!