A bicyclist makes her way along the county-funded Mary Carter Greenway. File photo
On Dec. 6, the Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners awarded $939,568 in grants for trail projects to the City of Aurora, Copperleaf Metropolitan District No. 2, the City of Englewood and South Suburban Parks and Recreation as part of the county’s Open Spaces fall grant cycle.
“We enjoy amazing partnerships with our cities and special districts and value their continued support in developing and preserving our beautiful parks, trails and open spaces,” Commissioner Rod Bockenfeld said. “With more than $382,901 in matching funds from these four agencies, I look forward to these projects coming to fruition for citizens to enjoy for many years to come.”
Aurora will use $500,000 toward the Triple Creek Trailhead. Future improvements will include vehicle and horse trailer parking, connecting trails, hitching posts, restrooms, equestrian drinking water, site furnishings and new signage.
“This abandoned mini-golf facility was purchased and repurposed into a place that cyclists, equestrians and nature lovers can all appreciate,” said Tom Barrett, Aurora’s parks, recreation and open-space director.
“Users can access miles and miles of trails from this point, including the future Triple Creek Greenway to the east. It’s an exciting time of growth for Aurora’s open-space system.”
With a $60,193 grant, Copperleaf Metropolitan District No. 2 will conduct public outreach, as well as design and engineer new trails for its community.
“The development of these trails will bring a huge benefit not only to Copperleaf, but all county residents as this trail design will connect to the entire Arapahoe County Master Trail System, allowing for fantastic connectivity for our residents,” said Daniel Frank, president of Copperleaf Metro District No. 2. “The impact of the future trail system will be significant—bringing a family-friendly amenity to Copperleaf and connecting users to local schools, parks and destinations like the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds, Aurora Reservoir and the town of Parker.”
The City of Englewood will leverage its $250,000 for a Northwest Greenbelt Trail connection project. When completed, a half mile of new 10-foot-wide concrete trail will replace 20-year-old asphalt trail that is damaged and dilapidated.
“This greatly needed trail will benefit Englewood citizens by making a safer trail crossing at Zuni Street on the west and connecting people to the Mary Carter Greenway Trail to the east,” said Dave Lee, Englewood’s open-spaces manager.
South Suburban Parks and Recreation was granted $129,375 to plan the second phase of river integration at Hudson Gardens. The planning project will include the selection of a project designer, studies, community outreach, site planning, engineering, permitting and more.
“The grant project at Hudson Gardens is another step in an ongoing process to improve the safety, connectivity and efficiency for trail users along the Mary Carter Greenway,” said Brett Collins, director of planning at South Suburban. “Strong partnerships between South Suburban Park and Recreation, Hudson Gardens, City of Littleton, South Platte Working Group and Arapahoe County continue to enhance and transform the South Platte River corridor from C-470 to east Dartmouth Avenue.”
Rich Meredith, executive director of Hudson Gardens, said the South Platte River and Mary Carter Greenway Trail are integral to the to the local trail system and recreational community.
“We have been afforded the opportunity to link these two extraordinary regional assets to Hudson Gardens through the river-integration project and look forward to connecting trail users with the cultural, educational and artistic amenities within our facility and expanding the usage and enjoyment of the river corridor,” he added.
Since 2004, Arapahoe County’s Open Space grant program has awarded more than $29 million to 25 local cities and special districts for 176 projects throughout the county. Earlier in 2016, more than $2.9 million was awarded during the spring grant cycle.
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