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Outdoors

  • Staunton turns 1

    For its one-year birthday celebration last weekend, Staunton State Park was transformed into a ranch from the early 1900s, about the time when Frances and Archibald Staunton called the place home.

    Visitors were treated to a rare look back at life during the Staunton Ranch days. Park volunteers performed demonstrations and gave presentations on building cabins, cooking on an open fire, and forging metal like a blacksmith.

    “People have enjoyed it and seemed to be having a good time,” said Ben Rideout, a Staunton volunteer.

  • Celebrating Staunton

    Staunton State Park will celebrate its first birthday this weekend, and park organizers are making sure the park is getting a fitting birthday bash.

    “We are all so excited to be celebrating the one-year anniversary of Staunton State Park,” said park manager Jennifer Anderson. “I just have the feeling that year two will be even busier, with more and more people hearing about the park.”

  • Rare plant, falcon nest discovered at Staunton State Park

    During a recent study of plant and animal life at Staunton State Park, the rare budding monkey flower was found on the Black Mountain parcel, along with a peregrine falcon nest.

    Raquel Wertsbaugh, coordinator of the Colorado Natural Areas Program, talked about the discoveries during a presentation at the Jeffco Open Space Advisory Committee meeting May 1.

    Areas of exposed Precambrian granite also have been identified on Black Mountain, Wertsbaugh said. Rock climbing on the mountain could imperil the rare plants and the falcon nest, she remarked.

  • ‘Skills area’ planned for mountain bikes at Apex Open Space

    Plans for upgrades at Apex Open Space Park in Golden include a mountain bike “skills area” in a currently unused space near the parking lot and the trailhead.

  • Webcam shows parking availability at Mount Falcon

    Hikers and bikers headed to Mount Falcon Park now can check online to see how many cars are in the parking lot.

    A webcam installed by Jeffco Open Space workers shows panorama shots of the often-full parking lot, updated every two seconds. The webcam is in “beta” testing at: http://jeffco.us/parks/mount-falcon-park-webcam.

  • Jeffco Open Space facing additional costs for Peaks to Plains Trail

    The initial phase of the Peaks to Plains Trail project is facing escalated costs, Tom Hoby, director of Jeffco Parks and Open Space, told the Jeffco Open Space Advisory Committee on April 3.

    The total cost of the trail connection from Golden to the Jefferson County line is now in the $75 million to $100 million range — more than three times the original estimate of $30 million to $35 million, Hoby said. 

  • County commissioners approve new master plan for Open Space

    After a month’s delay, the county commissioners have approved a new master plan for Jeffco Open Space.

    The board was originally scheduled to vote on the plan at its Feb. 11 public hearing but unanimously granted a delay at the request of several developers who wanted more time to comment.

    The master plan now has a section defining its purpose as a guide to open space acquisition and not as a tool for zoning and land development. 

  • Developers’ concerns spur addition to open space master plan

    Responding to concerns from developers about property with commercial potential, the Jeffco Open Space Advisory Committee on March 6 approved an addition to its master plan. The addition states that the agency will negotiate only with willing sellers, and will not pursue a property that has an active development proposal with Jeffco Planning and Zoning. 

  • How does your garden grow?

    The wintry weekend notwithstanding, spring is just around the corner — and with it will come a new gardening season.

    As the snow begins to melt, Colorado master gardener Dawn Miquel wants backyard horticulturalists to think about going native this year.

    Miquel, a volunteer with Colorado State University’s Arapahoe County extension office, said cultivating native plants in the garden offers multiple benefits, including being environmentally friendly. 

  • Department of Parks and Wildlife kills 5 coyotes after animal attacks woman at Clement Park

    Five coyotes have been fatally shot in South Jeffco by the state Department of Parks and Wildlife after a woman and her two dogs were attacked by a coyote in Clement Park on Feb. 10.

    The attack occurred near Johnson Reservoir as the woman was walking her two small dogs along the trail. 

    Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said the woman was walking with her pets early that morning when she noticed a coyote on the reservoir ice.