Our Open Space Director and Staff have a lot going on. They work hard for the all of us and for the Open Space Parks, and too often, their efforts go unrecognized. Every month, usually on the 4th Thursday evening, they meet with OSAC — the Open Space Advisory Committee, a group of county residents, appointed by our Board of County Commissioners. It’s OSAC’s job to review and consult with Open Space staff regarding Park operations and initiatives, and to advise the BCC on such. Until I started regularly attending the OSAC meetings, I had no idea just how hard the Open Space staff works, or even what was going on in the Parks. I suspect that if you’re reading this posting, that you don’t, either. These notes, taken by PLAN Jeffco Board members during an OSAC meeting, is our attempt to help you understand what a valuable resource we have in our Open Space staff.
JEFFERSON COUNTY OPEN SPACE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Open Space Administrative Office, 700 Jefferson County Parkway, Suite 100, Golden, CO
June 1, 2017
3:30 p.m. STUDY SESSION FIELD TRIP
Peaks to Plains, Scot Grossman
The majority of OSAC participated in the field trip. We took I-70 to the top of Floyd Hill then down to Clear Creek past the North Floyd Hill property acquired in partnership with Clear Creek County. Clear Creek County anticipates putting up to 5 miles of trail on the property including a trail down to Clear Creek at the “ox bow” on the Peaks 2 Plains Trail. MALT holds an easement on the property and will assist in the trail planning.
We then proceeded to the “Big Easy” area, about one-half mile east of the Mayhem Gulch Trailhead. During the early part of this year, Open Spaces contractor shaved a cliff and put up a concrete wall to allow room to build three lanes of US 6 north of the original alignment. On May 2 and 3, the highway was moved onto the new alignment and a pedestrian bridge was placed across the creek . The original highway alignment is being converted into a parking lot for about 60 cars. The area between the parking lot and creek will become a developed recreation area restrooms, shelters, tables, and access to the creek.
The bridge leads across the creek and the trail goes west for about 3/4 miles to connect with the existing Peaks 2 Plains trail. The Mayhem Gulch parking lot is being expanded for about 50 more cars. The area has new signage which is much more explicit than before and hopefully will make it easier for visitors to navigate and not be confused about the alternating week-end days on Centennial Cone.
6:00 p.m. PONDEROSA ROOM, OSAC Administrative Office
Final Review of Presentation for June 8th BCC/Committee Meeting
June 8, OSAC meets with the Board of County Commissioners. We reviewed the presentation to be used and suggested changes. OSAC members make the presentation, not staff.
7:00 p.m. REGULAR SESSION – PONDEROSA ROOM
Call Meeting to Order
Roll Call and Determination of Quorum
Approval of Minutes
Minutes of the April 6 meeting were approved as presented.
Additions to Agenda & Determination of Sequence
General Public Comment
No public comment
2017 Park Regulations Update, Mary Ann Bonnell. Mary Ann Bonnell presented the updated park regulations. It had been about 4 or 5 years since the last changes were made. The proposed regulations are listed below. OSAC will vote on these at another meeting.
Planning & Projects Team Update, Nancy York & Scot Grossman. Nancy noted that this year Open Space had reviewed more than 300 cases and provided comments on 17. One of interest is a 25-acre parcel east of Meyer Ranch on South Turkey Creek where the owner is considering a private dog park.
The FLAP grant from the Federal Highway Admin to bring the Rocky Mountain Greenway Trail across Rock Flats has been approved. Concerns by Broomfield of impact ot the trail on Walnut Creek has led to moving the trail to the south and west sides of the Fish & Wildlife Service property. This route also has the possibility of being used as part of the proposed Front Range trail. Confirmatory soil samples and analysis will be done before the project begins. Design is planned in 2018 with construction in 2019.
The Master plan for Beaver Ranch is complete and a community meeting is scheduled for June 7 at 6:00 p.m.
Three updated management plans are scheduled: Ranch area (Map 1), North Plains (Map 2), and the Mesas (including Mt. Galbraith.)
A trail plan for South Table is scheduled for this year.
The 1996 Water Resources Management Plan is being updated.
Projects underway in addition to the P2P on the west, include a new water diversion structure on the South Platte in Pine Valley Park to allow Open Space to maintain their water right. Removal of the Hall dam in Mt. Galbraith Park is underway. The P2P trail at the canyon mouth is funded and proposals are due later in June and a contract will be issued in the fall. It will be a design-build contract with design in 2018 and construction in 2019.
Mesas Region Management Plan Update, Regina Elsner & Andrew Valdez. Regina and Andrew gave a detailed review of the plan development process. The finished plan will be the basis for making day to day decisions on park management. The process starts with gathering data, evaluating the data, setting goals within a vision for the park, a monitoring plan, and finally the developed management plan. The entire processes is a balance between protecting the resource and providing a natural experience. (An example is signing to stay on trail in sensitive areas and not signing in non-sensitive areas.) North Table in particular has critical natural resources. A geo-spacial model for the park has been developed based on density of users and appropriate impact distances. This will allow evaluation of the placement of existing and potential trails and designation of protected areas. Two open houses, June 13 and 22, will be held to allow for public input.
- 2018-2019 Budget and Fund Balance. The projected fund balances at the end of 2017 and 2018 will be less than one million dollars plus the required reserve. This will impact the ability for making acquisitions and major capital investments. It may be necessary to adjust the grant program if a great property or project comes along.
- JCOS Preservation Progress – 2016 Annual Report. Each year, Jeffco Open Space provides an annual report on accomplishments made toward our 2014-2019 Master Plan goals. The JCOS 2016 Annual Report, Preservation Progress, shares how JCOS has invested in public open space, parks and trails that enrich life throughout Jefferson County.
- Dakota Ridge Trail Extension Project. Thank you for those who joined staff of the site visit last month of the Dakota Ridge Trail Extension Project. I have heard from many of you how impressed you are with the skill and vision that is being used at that location.
- Deer Creek Canyon Park – Black Bear Trail Fence Construction Two positive developments have occurred with this project since the last update. First, Lockheed Martin has agreed to waive the requirement for privacy slats on the 2014 Trail Easement fence. Secondly, the fence construction contract will also include installation of approximately 4,400 linear feet of a wildlife friendly wire fence along the north boundary of the County’s 1992 Martin Marietta Trail Easement Agreement. This fence will replace the existing chain link fence, which is required by the Easement Agreement.
- Jeffco Open Space Volunteers Celebrate Earth Day. On April 22 JCOS staff and their volunteers were very busy celebrating the 47th Annual Earth Day! They participated in the Lakewood Earth Day event, engaging with 675 visitors at the booth. Additionally, 80 volunteers worked on three separate volunteer projects in the parks. At Crown Hill Park, 51 volunteers moved 26 tons of crusher fines to redress existing trails, closed a social trail and erected new fencing. Other volunteer projects took place at Windy Saddle and Clear Creek Canyon Parks in rock climbing areas. Thank you to the Jeffco Open Space Trails, Park Services and Lookout Mountain Nature Center teams for all their hard work in making the events a success.
- P2P Honors – ACEC and DRCOG. On April 25, Jeffco Open Space, along with the contractor Muller Engineering Company Inc., received an Honor Award for the Peaks to Plains Trail, from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). Additionally, JCOS was one of eight recipients of the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) 2017 Metro Vision Awards. The award is for the three-mile segment of the Peaks to Plains Trail that was opened last year, and DRCOG focused on the community partnerships involved and the future connections the trail will make in the state.
- Big Easy Trailhead in Clear Creek Canyon Park. On May 4, a U.S. Highway 6 closure brought us one step closer to the grand opening of the Big Easy Trailhead in Clear Creek Canyon Park. Realigning and paving the highway near mile marker 262.5 allows for construction of a new 50 car parking lot and creek-side recreation area. The closure allowed for the safe delivery and installation of the fourth Peaks to Plains Trail bridge. Spanning 129 feet and weighing over 70,000 pounds, the bridge was built and transported in across Clear Creek.
- Bark Rangers in the Parks! The first graduating class of Jeffco Open Space Volunteer Bark Patrollers was May 7, at the Foothills Animal Shelter and supported by Jeffco Animal Control. This is a collaborative effort to provide stewardship education around dog safety and etiquette in our parks through the Park Patroller program. The training integrated important messages around pet licensing and the important work the Shelter does toward animal welfare in the Jeffco community. Jeffco Animal Control officers provided the “test” dog who helped assess temperament for suitability as a dog safety and awareness presence in our parks.
- 3rd annual Welchester Elementary School Service/Education Day. On May 10, JCOS held our 3rd annual Welchester Elementary School Service/Education Day at Welchester Tree Grant Park. 37 4th graders and their teachers braved the elements and helped improve their Park as well as learn about its ecosystems. Many thanks to Nature Center staff for preparing and leading the education portion of the morning and the Natural Resources Team for spearheading the service part of the morning.
- National Trails Day at Dakota Ridge. Our next large volunteer event is this Saturday, June 3 at Dakota Ridge. National Trails Day is the country’s largest celebration of trails. Staff is encouraging volunteers to joining us in the construction of the Dakota Ridge Trail. Volunteers will be using hand tools to build sustainable rock structures such as, bank turns, rock walls, steps and drops.
- Beaver Ranch Community Meeting. On June 7, staff will be host a community meeting on the Beaver Ranch Master Plan and Forest Management Project. The event will take place at the Beaver Ranch Main Lodge in Conifer from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
- Personnel Changes. Don Klima, Manager of Administration & Real Estate has announced his decision to retire after 30+ yrs. of public service. Don has worn many hats while at JCOS and we are forever grateful for his contributions. In anticipation of Don’s departure, we are happy to report that we have conducted interviews for his replacement. I’m pleased to announce that our new Administration and Real Estate Manager will be Gina Barton. Gina will be joining our team on June 19th which will allow her to spend several weeks transitioning with Don before he departs. I believe Gina will be a great asset to our already awesome team. She has worked in the parks and recreation field for over 23 years and has a Bachelors degree in Finance from Regis University. For the past 19 years she has worked for the City of Westminster Parks, Recreation and Libraries as Management Analyst and as Manager of the City Park and WI