Allow Exercise Groups Free Use of Public Parks


Target: Denver City Council

Goal: Encourage exercise by continuing free access to public parks.

Despite being one of America’s healthiest cities, Denver city officials are discouraging exercise groups from utilizing public parks by imposing a fee and permit structure. Please sign this petition urging city officials to drop permit requirements for people exercising in public parks.

“No exercise groups of any size permitted in this area,” signs will become the norm in most of Denver’s public parks and open spaces if a new proposal passes. Denver’s city council members are still mulling over the fee structure and permit regulations, but their rules are clear: no commercial activity will be allowed in city parks without a permit. While this law has been in place for years, it mostly applied to concerts, festivals, races, and food vendors who caused significant, noticeable damage to the area. Growing popularity of outside group activities gave legislators the idea for a new source of revenue, leading to the proposed fee structure and permit requirements.

Groups of people are able to use the parks, but as soon as money changes hands, they will need a permit. The private outdoor fee-based activity policy would permit exercise groups in 26 of the over 200 parks in the city and county of Denver. One-time, flat fees would range in price depending on the type of use, popularity of the park, and the time of day or season. Groups could not have more than 25 participants and fees could reach as high as $1,200 a month.

Because parks are not-for-profit businesses, most people think of them as belonging to the taxpayers, including people and groups exercising in the parks. Please sign this petition and demand that Denver’s city council members drop these ridiculous park restrictions and permit requirements, and find a new source of revenue.


Dear Denver City Council Members,

The proposal to require permits with costly fees for use of public parks and open spaces is a ridiculous attempt to collect revenue. In one of America’s healthiest cities, you should be encouraging increased use of the over 200 parks in Denver city and county, not limiting organized groups’ access to just 26. Please rethink the effect this proposal will have on people’s health, small businesses, the parks, and the social environment of Denver.

The already established city rule limiting commercial activities without a permit has historically applied to concerts, festivals, races, and food vendors. Those activities, which draws hundreds if not thousands of people onto park property, cannot be compared to a one-on-one training session, a small group of boot campers, or mommy groups pushing strollers on the asphalt.

As nonprofit businesses, public parks belong to the public and should remain free for their use. I have yet to hear how much damage is caused by these exercise groups, the number of complaints you’ve received from other park-goers, or  any hard evidence to suggest that these fees are necessary. Besides the fact that Denver would like a new revenue stream, why is this proposal being considered?

The fee structure, which could impose up to $1,200 a month in fees for small businesses, discourages exercising in groups, as well as small businesses’ development, and fitness altogether. As one of the healthiest cities in the nation, you must set an example for how it’s done, not try to make a buck off of the people keeping us healthy.

Do not demand private fees for publicly used land.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: lavisactive via Yahoo

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157 Signatures

  • Hermann Kastner
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