Work Continues on Aurora’s Triple Creek Greenway Project
The City of Aurora has completed the third in a series of projects in its efforts to create the Triple Creek Greenway Project. Upon completion, the project will add fourteen miles of interconnected greenway and trails for pedestrians, bicyclists, equestrians, and wildlife between the existing terminus of the Sand Creek Regional Greenway and nearly 30,000 contiguous acres of publicly owned land surrounding the Aurora Reservoir. Users will be able to travel an uninterrupted 27-mile route from the Aurora Reservoir to the South Platte River in Denver.
The completed acquisition is the 6th and Coal Creek Expansion property that adds 87.59 acres to the project. The property will immediately provide new opportunities for interpretive programs administered by naturalists at the City of Aurora, as well as soft surface trail extensions to the adjacent Aurora Sports Park and Sand Creek Riparian Preserve. The property is a mosaic of shortgrass, mixed grass and shrubland prairie that provides refuge for burrowing owls, red-tailed hawks, great horned owls and meadowlarks
In addition to the City of Aurora, lottery-funded Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), the Arapahoe County Open Spaces program and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Natural Resource Damage Fund are providing money for this project. The Trust for Public Land pre-acquired the property in December to meet the landowner’s needs and provided bridge financing to complete the deal. Adams County has contributed funding to other portions of the Triple Creek project.
This rapidly growing section of the Denver metro area is home to some important open space and outdoor recreation amenities, but what exists now is not enough to keep up with projected growth. In addition, many of projects are isolated from one another and there are currently no existing links to them from nearby neighborhoods. Approximately 23,000 people live within one mile of the Triple Creek Greenway corridor with an additional 17,000 homes projected within planned residential areas.
Arapahoe County Open Spaces Program: The Open Space Sales and Use Tax generates 25 cents for every $100 spent in Arapahoe County. These dedicated funds are invested in a wide range of open space projects to enhance our environment and quality of life. The program’s mission is to enhance, protect and connect Arapahoe County’s treasured parks, trails and open spaces for residents to enjoy today and forever. Rocky Mountain Arsenal Natural Resource Damage Funds: The funding is related to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal natural resource damages settlements. In May 2008, the State of Colorado, the U.S. Army and Shell Oil Company agreed to the largest natural resource damage settlement in the state’s history. The money is held in a $10 million Foundation Fund and a $17.4 million Recovery Fund. According to federal law, states may recover money from entities that damage natural resources and use that money to fund projects that restore, replace, or acquire the equivalent of the injured natural resources.
The Trust for Public Land: Founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land is the leading nonprofit working to conserve land for people. Operating from more than 30 offices nationwide, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than three million acres from the inner city to the wilderness and helped generate more than $34 billion in public funds for conservation. Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year.
Great Outdoors Colorado: GOCO receives more than $55 million in Lottery proceeds annually to help preserve, protect and enhance the state’s wildlife, park, river, trail and open space heritage. It was created by voters in 1992. For more information, visit www.goco.org.