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Longmont Expands Ranger Program, Explores Application of Parks Rules to Downtown Breezeways and Plazas

New rangers to focus on downtown, parks and greenways

Post Date:04/11/2019 6:22 PM
In an effort to provide more eyes and ears and a welcoming presence in Longmont’s public spaces, the City is expanding its successful ranger program to include the downtown area, more parks, and greenways. In addition, areas in downtown that currently serve as pocket parks for downtown residents and customers—such as breezeways and small plazas—are proposed to be regulated similarly to parks and public spaces in other parts of the city. 

“Downtown Longmont retail and restaurant businesses have increased and the area is an important entry point to the City’s trail and greenway system,” according to David Bell, Longmont Natural Resources Manager. “Increasingly, public spaces like plazas and breezeways in downtown are well used, serving as connections to parks and open spaces in other parts of the city. Especially as we expand the ranger program into downtown, it makes sense to apply many of the same rules in parks and greenways to the downtown area.”

On Tuesday night, LDDA and City officials will be discussing with City Council which regulations from Section 13.20 of the Longmont Municipal Code regarding public lands would be best to apply to downtown. The new rangers would enforce these regulations and will also serve as goodwill ambassadors and deliver helpful services to business owners, patrons, and visitors.

In 2018, LDDA and the City partnered to pilot a program using privately-contracted ambassadors. While useful for understanding downtown needs and wants, LDDA and City officials believe expansion of the City’s existing ranger program, staffed by City employees, would be better serve the area.

New rangers will focus on education, compliance, and enforcement of the City ordinances, in addition to providing information about natural resources and downtown amenities. They will be able to cover more ground and will have additional training and a strong tie to police services to ensure that everyone using public spaces has a positive experience.

The new rangers will be City of Longmont employees working under the current ranger program that has been a successful part of the City’s Natural Resources Division. In the past, these rangers have focused on enforcing public land rules in parks, greenways, and open space.

The rangers will work closely with the LDDA (Longmont Downtown Development Authority), City maintenance crews, and other Public Works and Natural Resources staff to provide cleanup services, educate the public on the voluntary bicycle dismount zones, monitor breezeways and plazas, and keep an eye on smoking restrictions if or when they are implemented.

The cost for the new program is $60,000 and is shared by the Conservation Trust ($30,000), the LDDA ($15,000) and Longmont Open Space ($15,000).

About Longmont, Colorado 
Longmont, Colorado, is a 29-square-mile city with more than 300 days of sunshine and a spectacular vista of the Rocky Mountains. With a population of 96,192, Longmont sits at an elevation of 4,979 feet above sea level. With more than 1,800 acres of parks and open space, a robust craft beer scene, thriving art culture, fresh dining opportunities, and a Main Street teeming with new energy, Longmont is perfect for everyone from young families to those young at heart. Longmont is also home to several high-tech companies and a nationally recognized school district. Longmont is located in Boulder County conveniently situated 37 miles from Denver, 16 miles from Boulder and 30 miles from Rocky Mountain National Park.
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