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Outdoors

  • Open Space sets goals for repairs to flood-damaged parks

    With help from volunteers, Apex Park may be partially open to hikers and bikers by this spring, according to a timeline established by the staff at Jeffco Open Space.

    The park in Golden has been closed since September, when flooding caused extensive trail damage. Other parks in the Jeffco Open Space system, which also were severely impacted, are slated for repairs in the coming months.

  • Open Space acquires Deer Creek Canyon property

    The 160-acre Deer Creek property south of Deer Creek Canyon Road is among land acquisitions finalized by Jeffco Open Space.

    Meanwhile, recommended grant recipients include the cities of Golden, Lakewood and Wheat Ridge, which collectively could receive the lion’s share of more than $800,000 from the Jeffco Open Space sales tax fund.

    Golden sought a $234,000 grant to construct the West 44th Avenue trail, which Jeffco Open Space Director Tom Hoby said needs to be done all at once, rather than in sections.

  • Jefferson County to set up slash burner — but where?

    To address the county’s growing need to dispose of slash, Jeffco is moving forward with finding a permanent slash collection site and using a “curtain burner” to dispose of it.

    “We are looking for a permanent collection site,” said Mark Gutke of the Jeffco Office of Emergency Management. “The goal would be to have that site collect slash year-round and burn it when the weather permits.”

  • Resident rallies to cause of prairie dog colony on Foothills’ land

    When Gina Writz heard that a parcel of open-space land near her house was being sold by the Foothills Park and Recreation District, she had one question: What would become of the prairie dogs that lived there?

    Writz, a lifelong resident of South Jeffco, was disturbed to find out that the only plan for the 50 or so rodent residents was for them to be exterminated. 

  • Clement Park improvements hinge on funding

    There’s a new vision for Clement Park. But first it needs a new infusion of funding.

    After four months of work, the Foothills Park and Recreation District board approved a new master plan for Clement Park that is a mix of new features and repairs to the park’s decaying infrastructure. 

    The plan comes with a price tag of about $24.3 million. The 2014 budget for Foothills, which was approved along with the master plan on Dec. 10, is $22.3 million. 

  • Balancing outdoor recreational needs with wildlife preservation

    Getting outdoors in wide-open spaces can have health benefits for people. However, converting wild, unspoiled lands into recreational venues for humans can have a questionable impact on wildlife 

    Finding a balance between outdoor recreational needs and wildlife protection was a focus of the PLAN Jeffco conference on Nov. 16 in Golden.

    “Can wildlife survive in these areas humans tend to develop?” Dr. Mat Allredge, wildlife researcher with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, asked during his presentation. “Will all wildlife be tolerated?”

  • Open Space master plan criticized for health focus

    The relationship between open space and public health gets an inordinate amount of attention in a second draft of the master plan for Jeffco Parks and Open Space, according to some members of the advisory committee.

    “I think there is an inordinate amount of text devoted to community health,” Jan Wilkins said while reviewing the second draft of the plan with other committee members last Thursday night.

    “There are so many aspects of open space,” Wilkins said. “There should be a more comprehensive description of what we do.”

  • Jeffco Open Space seeks clear goals for next five years

    Jeffco Open Space wants its new master plan to do more than just collect dust.

    The plan, which gets an overhaul every five years, will include a set of benchmarks to help the Open Space Division see if it’s meeting stated goals. Previous master plans have lacked goals and objectives that could be measured, said Jeffco Parks and Open Space Director Tom Hoby.

  • Staunton State Park packing them in

    Since its May 18 opening, Colorado’s newest state park has been packing in the crowds. 

    “The number of visitors was much higher than we expected,” said Jennifer Anderson, manager at Staunton State Park.

    From May 18-31, approximately 25,000 visitors experienced the 3,828-acre park southwest of Conifer. Anderson said more than 46,000 people entered the park in June.

  • Staunton is a stunner

    Staunton State Park’s much-anticipated opening weekend didn’t disappoint.

    “It’s been crazy getting ready for this, but seeing people happy has made all of the blood, sweat and tears worth it,” said Jennifer Anderson, the park manager. “I couldn’t have asked for the weekend to be better.”