Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jesse Murphy

Open Spaces has several projects for 2017


December 24, 2016

Boulder County Parks and Open Space will have about $775,000 allocated for their basic capital 2017 budget.

Throw in the addition of grants, partnerships with other entities, and carry over from last year, the department will have $2,641,569 for the scheduled 2017 projects.

These monies are used for a wide variety of expenditures. The department breaks it down into six categories; agriculture, ecosystems, forestry, historic preservation, public education and recreation/facilities.

The department has many projects scheduled to either be completed or started in 2017 according to Open Space Special Projects Manager Tina Nielsen.

There will be roughly five or six miles of new trails in the Lagerman Reservoir area, site improvements at the Castle Rock Recreation Area in Boulder County — along with work on historic bridges in that area.

Also included in this budget is the normal maintenance — replacing culverts and general management of existing trails.

“We’re excited to get these trail systems done,” Nielsen said. “We have a lot of exciting things going on. But those trails systems are going to tie into existing ones, and we think people will really enjoy those.”

No new monies are being collected for open space in 2017, but carry-over and sales tax will help with the purchase of some more acreage.

The county’s open space sits currently at 63,562 acres. Of this, 61 percent is open to the public, 30 percent is closed for farmers/ranchers, and nine percent is closed for public safety, wildlife/vegetation or still under evaluation.

Another 39,585 acres is privately owned but protected under conservation easements, bringing the Open Space total to 103,147 acres.

New purchases that look to be made in 2017 include 72 acres north of Longmont in July — contingent on grant funding.

Another is 230 acres on the Wheeler property on East County Line Road and Highway 52 in June.

One other property Open Spaces is looking to acquire is 34 acres near Isabelle Road and Hwy 287.

Funds for these purchases are already in the department’s reserves.

As for the other categories, funds will be used for repairing flood damage in several different areas, including restoration of historic sites and helping native plants recover.

For more information on this department, visit http://www.bouldercounty.org/os.


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