The city of Wheat Ridge, Colorado has a long and storied past that dates back to the Gold Rush of 1859. It was then that the city served as a rest stop for miners on their way to mountain gold camps. The city was named Wheat Ridge due to the golden wheat ridges that travelers observed while passing through the Overland Trail. Located in the Colorado Piedmont, at the western end of the Great Plains, just east of the Front Range of the Southern Rockies, Wheat Ridge is a beautiful and vibrant city. Clear Creek, a tributary of the South Platte River, flows east and then northeast through the city. Lena Gulch, another tributary of Clear Creek, runs northeast through the southwestern part of the city.
After unsuccessful miners returned to the area and began cultivating the land, Wheat Ridge began to grow. Wheat fields were converted to fruit and vegetable gardens throughout the Denver area. Over time, fruit and vegetable cultivation gave way to greenhouses and carnation production, earning Wheat Ridge its nickname “City of Carnations”. The City of Wheat Ridge is an autonomous municipality located in Jefferson County, Colorado, United States. It encompasses approximately 10 square miles of area, with 173 acres developed for parks and 300 acres of open space. Wheat Ridge was one of the first cities in Colorado to receive the “Tree City USA” designation due to its intensive tree planting in the late 1970s and its tree ordinance and board of arborists.
For those who prefer to explore outdoors, Wheat Ridge is home to more than 20 parks, equestrian trails, and open public spaces. The Wheat Ridge Municipal Center is approximately 8 km (5 miles) west-northwest of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. Wheat Ridge Park was later renamed Anderson Park in honor of the first mayor of Wheat Ridge. Bicyclists and walkers can tour the Wheat Ridge Greenbelt trail system and birdwatchers will enjoy Prospect Park. Family-run restaurants with menus ranging from South American to authentic Italian cuisine are scattered around Wheat Ridge. Wheat Ridge is located immediately west of Denver and is part of the Denver—Aurora—Lakewood metropolitan statistical area.
Before being incorporated as a city in 1969 and establishing a parks and recreation department, two recreation districts were responsible for acquiring and developing several parks in Wheat Ridge. Thanks to open space funding from Jefferson County open space grants and a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado, Wheat Ridge was able to purchase large tracts of land along streams for preservation as open space. Nestled on I-70 as it heads west into the mountains, Wheat Ridge is an expansive community with a mix of cultural and commercial centers. As a suburb of Denver, Wheat Ridge is part of the Denver metropolitan area and Front Range Urban Corridor. The Wheat Ridge Parks and Recreation Department is committed to providing quality parks and recreational opportunities to its community.