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Park Development


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Development of a park and interpretive plan in NE Colorado

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Park Development

  1. 1. Welcome to the virtual tour of Grand Opening October 23, 2009
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>In 2008, an international oil and natural gas company abandoned a natural gas well on the site and recognized the unique value of the wetland mitigation bank and its habitat by contributing a $119,000 grant for the creation of recreational amenities at the site. </li></ul><ul><li>In 2009, the grant was put to work in constructing a pavilion, parking area, trails, interpretive signs and reclaiming the abandoned oil and gas facilities. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Construction required extensive coordination between various private and public interests to complex issues involving various federal, state, local, and private concerns. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The talents of multiple consultants were also required for project completion, including engineers, land use planners, landscape professionals, artists, and highly skilled machine operators and construction personnel. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coordination and astute project management was the key to success. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The construction was completed in October of 2009. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The site is now open to the public, including groups and individuals. </li></ul><ul><li>Due to its remote location and for management purposes, the site is open by appointment only. </li></ul><ul><li>Images and some discussion of the site pre-construction and post construction follow . </li></ul>
  3. 3. Location <ul><li>Located 2 ¼ miles west of I-25 on Highway 52, NE Colorado. </li></ul>Bulrush Wetland Park Bulrush Wetland Park is located just over two miles west of I-25 on CO-52. The park is open by appointment only. Please call 720-382-5500 for an appointment. Entrance
  4. 4. Site History <ul><li>The site is part of the dry land prairie biome </li></ul><ul><li>located in a shallow draw and has historically been very wet. Drain tile was installed in the early 1900’s to help convert the native prairie lands and wetlands into agricultural production. </li></ul><ul><li>In the early 1900’s the site was put into agricultural production and farmed. Sometime in the early 20 th Century the farming was converted to animal husbandry and sheep were raised. The ranch was eventually abandoned and purchased by other interests. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1999, private land owners converted the former RainBaa ranch (85 acres) into a wetland and prairie preserve. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The intent of project was to restore wetlands in areas that had been converted to agricultural production supporting native plants and wildlife. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The restoration has been permitted as a wetland mitigation bank (Middle South Platte River Wetlands Mitigation Bank) by the Army Corps of Engineers and approved by other federal agencies. </li></ul><ul><li>The effort created 56 acres of wetlands, with 26 acres of upland prairie grass. </li></ul><ul><li>The site has been documented with over 120 native plant species, while hundreds of birds and other wildlife reside in or visit the site each year. </li></ul>(source:
  5. 5. Becoming a wetland mitigation bank Used by permission from Dave Yardley Source:
  6. 6. Goals <ul><li>Site development goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Preserve wetland and wetland charter responsibilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Zero impacts to the delineated wetlands, upland areas, habitat, and wildlife. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maximize educational and recreational experience for the public. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maximize use of private funding. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimize the use of public funds at this time. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Evaluation <ul><li>Evident that the wetland had a story to tell </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Water cycle, water shed, water quality wetlands, habitat, wildlife (birds), and plant material were key to the story. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of other elements identified as secondary or for future interpretive themes and opportunities, including; insects, soils, amphibians, fish, mammals, human interactions with the site, agricultural influences, historic and pre historic conditions, geology, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Evident that oil and gas was a significant part of the story, particularly with the removal of the equipment, relationship to the Wattenberg formation, and the contribution for improvements. </li></ul><ul><li>Evident that some recreational amenities were necessary to support recreation and and educational uses of the site. </li></ul><ul><li>Evident that access and oversight are concerns due to remoteness of the park in relation to the Town’s other amenities. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low maintenance improvements and use by appointment are key to success of the park. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Evident that the unique qualities of the site include naturalized conditions and experiences, urban relief, and unstructured interactions with the environment. </li></ul>
  8. 8. CO 52 Bulrush Boulevard / CR 5 Wetland Park Road Entry/Exit Parking Area Bulrush Wetland Park Park Boundary Park Boundary Abandoned well site Abandoned tank battery and facilities Shallow reservoir Wetland Shallow Wetland reservoir Wetland reservoir Wetland reservoir Trail Trail Wetland reservoir Park Boundary
  9. 9. Development Plan <ul><li>Interpretive signs would be used to be a cost effective tool for interpreting key features of the site. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Themes for the signs would utilize key elements as previously noted. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Trails would be developed to guide usage to least sensitive and for public safety. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Main trail to consist of crusher fines path </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secondary trails to consist of mowed paths due to proximity to chartered upland vegetative areas and to minimize impacts to sensitive resources. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pavilion would be constructed to allow for structured uses such as training, education, meetings, lunches, and to help manage users and user impacts. </li></ul><ul><li>A parking area would be defined to limit impacts to the site and contain motorized uses. </li></ul><ul><li>Seating to be placed in strategic locations to allow for user relief and wildlife observation. </li></ul><ul><li>Native seed mixes would be used to reclaim construction related disturbances and hasten reclamation. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Implementation of the Interpretive and Site Development proceeded as follows </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>Site plan map </li></ul>
  12. 13. Future Trail Location
  13. 14. <ul><li>Construction pictures </li></ul>Trail during construction
  14. 15. Future Parking and Pavilion site (Tank Battery to be abandoned)
  15. 16. Future Parking and Pavilion site (Tank Battery removed)
  16. 17. Parking and Pavilion site (Former Tank Battery site)
  17. 18. Completed pavilion, trail and fencing
  18. 19. Grand Opening October 23, 2009
  19. 20. Wetland, view north from trail
  20. 21. Photo by David Yardley Photo by Bill Schmoker Mallard Photo by David Yardley Yellow Headed Black bird
  21. 22. Photo: Courtesy of David Yardley Great Blue Heron escorted by a Black Bird
  22. 23. Interpretive signs.
  23. 24. Amenities <ul><li>Site features: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>47 Acres of parkland </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pavilion with seating for up to 23 adults 30 kids </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parking for several busses or up to nine cars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Approximately one mile of combined trail </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eight Interpretive educational signs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access to a wetland biologist / interpreter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reclaimed oil and natural gas well site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wildlife habitat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bird watching (over 100 specifies document on site) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wildlife (reptiles, mammals, amphibians, insects) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plant (hundreds of plant species) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Views (mountains, water, seasonal changes, farmlands) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All just minutes from Downtown! </li></ul></ul>
  24. 25. Photo: Courtesy of David Yardley An abundance of wildlife and vegetation to view.
  25. 26. Photos: Courtesy of David Yardley and Bill Schmoker Hundreds of plant and animal species to observe. American White Pelican Great Egret Blue Flax Common Grackle Green Darner Painted Turtle Over 100 bird species confirmed on site.
  26. 27. Animals
  27. 28. Spring in the wetland with views of the mountains.
  28. 29. New trail and pavilion with mountain back drop
  29. 30. <ul><li>Oil and gas 2 </li></ul>
  30. 31. <ul><li>Gas well pre reclimation </li></ul>Site of abandoned well prior to removal and reclamation
  31. 32. Site of abandoned well reclaimed.
  32. 33. <ul><li>Plants slide </li></ul>
  33. 34. North east corner of the wetland looking west
  34. 35. Bulrush
  35. 36. Discrete wildlife viewing
  36. 38. Thank you for visiting! Open Fall 2009