South Suburban Parks and Recreation Proposed Rules & Regulations

South Suburban Parks and Recreation (SSPR) is seeking public feedback about its proposed general rules and regulations for parks, trails and open space within SSPR. Although the majority of rules have been in place for years, SSPR is going through a formal process of adopting them. Please read through the information below and leave any suggestions or comments in the box at the end. Thanks!


The following are general rules and regulations that govern the public use of property owned and or managed by South Suburban Park & Recreation District (SSPRD) with regards to Parks, Trails and Open Space.

The intent of the general rules and regulations is to set parameters in which Parks, Trails and Open Space property shall be used by the public. While we encourage open public use there needs to be a balance between the wide variety of activities and protection of public assets managed by the District.

Other specific rules, regulations and or procedures may be developed and approved by the Executive Director or his designee for special use areas such as sport courts, athletic fields, skate parks, dog parks, disc golf, swimming pools, etc.

Hours of operation:
Parks, Trails and Open Space areas shall be open daily year round. Non-lighted parks, trails and open space areas shall be open from sunrise to sunset. Parks with lighting suitable for use such as athletic fields, sport courts, group shelters and trails shall be open from sunrise to 11 p.m. unless otherwise posted or directed by local ordinance by jurisdiction.

Dogs must be on a leash not to exceed six (6) feet in length. Dogs must be under the control of the owner or person handling the animal. Dogs are only allowed off leash in approved off leash areas such as dog parks, temporary dog parks and any location signed as an approved off leash area. Persons handling the dog are responsible for cleaning up all dog waste from the animal.

Alcohol is prohibited in all parks, trails, open space, ponds, rivers and water body areas unless specifically allowed by permit only. Additional fees may be incurred through the reservation / permit process. Glass containers are prohibited.

Reservations are allowed for most shelters and park land by permit only. Permits need to be secured through the South Suburban Parks and Recreation District permit office.
Permits for the use on the South Platte River and portions of South Platte Park must be obtained from the Carson Nature Center located at 3000 W. Carson Drive, Littleton, CO 80120

Permits are necessary for any activity which requires special planning or scheduling, impacts departmental norms, displaces other uses, requires an exemption from any rules or regulations, requires any type of reclamation, or alters conditions from typical visitor expectations. All organized sport use of an outdoor park facility must obtain a permit for practice, games, tournaments or any special event. Permits are required for organized activities and groups of more than 15 people, for races, for river use, for camping, or where any fee for participation is paid. This might include event entry fees, private guides, course fees, training subscriptions, or contracted instructors.

At South Platte Park educational groups with an established instructor must complete a permit application but may have permit fees waived. This might include public school classrooms, scout groups, birding clubs, daycare field trips, and academic institutions that are not contracting an outside guide or instructor for the event.

Examples of “Special Events” include but are not limited to an organized gathering of people, all races; runners and cyclist, bike rides, river use, company picnics, birthday parties, HOA events, commercial vendor events, etc., and as identified on the permit application shall require a permit and associated fees for reserved use of facilities within the District. Fees are set annually through the budget process.

A Certificate of Insurance naming South Suburban Park and Recreation District as additional insured is required for organized events such as but not limited to Adult and Youth Sport Groups, leagues, tournament hosts, camp providers, fitness groups, vendors, special events, HOA’s, special districts, organizations both for profit and non-profit, etc. Individuals seeking a permit do not need a certificate of insurance.

Amplified sound systems may be allowed in conjunction with a park or shelter rental and must be identified on the permit application.

Temporary access needs for local municipalities, utility companies, special districts, contractors and residents require a permit and associated fees in order to access SSPR owned or managed property.

Litter / Recycle:
Litter and recycle containers are provided in most park areas. Park users are expected to dispose of their litter, trash and or recyclable items in the proper container. If no container is provided in the park, trail or open space area the park user is expected to carry their litter, trash and or recyclable out with them. At no time is it allowed to leave, throw or dispose of litter, trash and or recyclables on the ground or in any water body or landscape planting.

It is prohibited to dump any trash or debris on District owned or managed property. This includes but is not limited to the following; tires, lumber, concrete, televisions or other electronics, construction debris, grass clippings, yard waste, tree branches or other landscape material.

The open carry of firearms is prohibited on all district owned or managed property unless authorized by local law enforcement through local ordinances. Concealed carry is allowed with a valid concealed carry permit (C.R.S. 18-12-214) issued by a state approved law enforcement agency in Colorado and all rules for such carry are being followed.

Possession or discharge of a firearm (including, handguns, rifles, shotguns, automatic weapons, paint ball guns, pellet guns and BB guns) or projectile weapons (bow and arrow, cross bows, slingshots, etc.) including those powered by gunpowder, gas, compressed gas or pumped air are prohibited.

Remote Controlled Devices:
Operating any unmanned motorized vehicle including drone, boat, submarine, plane, helicopter, hovercraft, rockets, etc., is prohibited unless through a special use permit approved for such use.

Hitting golf balls or practicing golf is prohibited in any park, trail or open space area. PGA Golf activities are allowed only at golf courses within the District.

Fireworks are prohibited unless approved through a special use permit.

Trail use:
Proper trail etiquette shall be followed at all times while using the trails within SSPRD. It is the responsibility of the trail users to stay current on local, state and national trail etiquette. Maximum speed allowed on SSPRD trails is 15 mph unless otherwise posted. Authorized vehicles on the trail include maintenance vehicles, law enforcement, district personnel, local government jurisdictions, utility company vehicles and Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices.

Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices (OPDMD):
OPDMD are allowed on District maintained property as allowed and defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Part 35. All OPDMD must follow all park and trail use rules.

Bicycles and E-Bikes:
Cyclists must yield right-of-way to pedestrians and horses, obey all traffic signs and signals, ride to the right, use proper hand signals when turning and give audible warning before passing on the left. Groups of cyclists must ride single file when passing or being passed.

An e-bike shall be defined as a two-wheel or three-wheel vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a motor while ridden is less than 20 mph. Maximum speed allowed on SSPRD trails is 15 mph.

Horses are permitted on designated soft surface trails. All horses shall wear manure bags to prevent excrement from falling on the trails. Groups of riders must ride single file when passing or being passed.

Horseback riding is allowed within 30 feet on either side of the Mary Carter Greenway Tail, and on established services roads within South Platte Park unless they enter designated wildlife areas or are marked for vehicles only. Speed is limited to a trot or lope. Horses are not allowed in the river.

Hoofed animals are prohibited on irrigated turf and natural open space areas unless approved through a special use permit.

Natural Open Space areas:
Unless signed otherwise natural open space areas are for the protection of wildlife and are intended for passive recreational use as well as pass through opportunities for pedestrians, equestrians and cyclists. Trail users must stay on the trail and keep all pets leashed at all times on a leash no longer than six (6) feet.

Any encroachment onto District owned or managed property is prohibited unless approved by special use permit.

Charcoal fires are permitted within charcoal burning grills at park shelters. Hot coals from charcoal grills must be thoroughly extinguished before leaving the site. Local fire bans may prohibit any fires during drought or dry conditions.
Propane gas fires contained within a propane gas grill or deep fryer are allowed as long as there is a shut off valve to immediately extinguish the flame during an emergency. Any oils used with frying food must be properly cleaned up and removed from the site by the park user. Failure to do so may result in additional fees or fines being assessed to the permit holder.

Tree houses / forts and rope swings:
Tree houses, forts, foxholes and rope swings are prohibited.

Ponds and water bodies within the District:
The following activities are prohibited unless otherwise posted or approved through the permitting process: swimming, bathing, wading, use of watercraft or flotation devices and walking onto the ice or ice fishing on ice covered pond surfaces where ice is less than six (6) inches thick.

The South Platte River is an exception where water contact for tubing, wading and recreational water sports is allowed.

Destruction of public property:
Destruction, damage or abuse of public property is prohibited by C.R.S. 18-9-117.

Geocaching / letter boxing / scavenger hunt / Pokémon:
Geocaching / letter boxing, other scavenger hunt type activities as well as metal detecting are allowed as long as no damage is done to any district owned or maintained property and the activities are not conducted in any restricted areas closed to the public. Organized gatherings of over 15 people require a permit.

Metal Detecting:
The use of a metal detector is allowed as long as there is no damage to District property or property that is managed by the district. Participants can only use small handheld garden tools to uncover their find and cannot dig deeper than 6 inches nor wider than 6 inches. All areas must be immediately restored and no digging is allowed on any athletic / sports field or high traffic area.

Motorized Vehicles:
No motorized vehicles are allowed on trails, walks, irrigated lawn areas or non-roadway areas unless required for district maintenance, district business or have been issued a permit allowing such use.

    This is a required question