St Vrain Greenway Phase 11 (Pavlakis District Park)
Public Meeting Summary
Concept Plans and Web Survey
Draft Master Plan and Web Survey
May 8, 2013 - The draft Master Plan was presented at the May 2 public meeting and were on display at various City buildings until May 13.
This project is on a 58 acre site is located between Main and Martin Streets and along the St. Vrain Creek. It will become Longmont's next District Park and trailhead to the St Vrain Greenway trail system.
What is a District Park?
A District Park is a park type that is focused on special and unique features of the site. Typical amenities include fishing, boating, hiking, and wildlife viewing. Examples of other Longmont District Parks include Golden Ponds, Izaak Walton Pond, Union Reservoir, Rogers Grove, McIntosh Lake and Jim Hamm Pond.
Pavlakis District Park Background:
- The Pavlakis site was originally master planned in 2001 as part of the St Vrain Greenway Master Plan, East Corridor Update. The site was identified for trailhead and passive park purposes and also included a proposed Whitewater Park.
- An RICD (Recreational In Channel Diversion) was obtained by the City in 2004 to retain water in the creek for this boating amenity.
- Site condition changes since the time of the original master plan include: Boston Avenue is now planned to cross the property's north end; dog parks are no longer considered compatible within this District Park setting; and shared parking and restroom facilities with the adjacent Fire Training Center is no possible because of the Boston Avenue roadway.
- Concerns from Colorado Parks and Wildlife related to State Listed fish species in the St Vrain Creek will be addressed in the design of any River Park amenities. (See Environmental information below).
The park has been underway with its formal park naming process. A City Ordinance provides the process and criteria for naming. Name suggestions were presented to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board at their September 9, 2012 meeting with a recommendation made for future City Council consideration of Dickens Farm Park. Council will make the final determination at a later date.
In brief, the Ordinance states:
Parks shall be named for a natural landmark, natural feature, or habitat in the vicinity of the park, or after a person or family who meet the following criteria:
- Has displayed outstanding long-term civic commitment
- Contributed service to the community above and beyond the normal
- Made noteworthy contributions to the development of Longmont parks and recreation
- Is worthy of public commemoration
- Has performed acts of national significance
- Homesteaded or was owner of the park property
- Has contributed significant funds for the park or local parks and recreation efforts
5 public meetings are planned for 2013 to discuss the proposed park. The first project meeting was held on April 26, 2012. Background, site analysis, information from Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff regarding a unique population of fish found in this reach of the St Vrain Creek, and a preference exercise were provided at the meeting.
MEETINGS: Look here for meeting dates and times!
Check prior to the meeting to confirm the date or time hasn't changed!
||Was held 4/26/2012
||Initial public input on appropriate amenities (Project was put on hold soon after this meeting, so Meeting #2 was a recap of Meeting 1, with new information & repeated opportunity for input)
|2 - Project Restart (complete)
||Thursday February 21
||6 - 8 PM
Review work to date, site issues & provide input for appropriate amenities
Thursday March 21
|6 - 8 PM
|Review Concept plans and provide input
Thursday May 2
|6 - 8 PM
||Review Draft Master Plan and provide input
||Monday June 10
||City Council Chambers
||Present Draft Master Plan to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
||Present Draft Master Plan to City Council for formal approval
*All meetings will be held at Parks Administration Sunset Campus building: 7 South Sunset Street, Longmont unless otherwise noted. The Sunset Campus building is west across Sunset Street from Izaak Walton Pond.
If you need daycare, special assistance or translation in order to attend the meeting, please call Maria Tostado at 303-651-8601.
Once the above public meetings are concluded, Staff will present the plan to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and City Council for formal adoption. Please check here for all meeting updates!
Public Meeting Summary
Minutes from all public meetings for the project are found here - the presentations noted as attached are not included.
St Vrain is unique from other nearby creeks such as the Cache la Poudre, Big Thompson and Boulder Creek. Although they all are transitional streams (from mountain to plains) they are now very different in terms of fish that inhabit the creeks. While these other creeks may have 3 to 5 'generalist' native fish species (fathead minnow, creek chub, white sucker, johnny darter, longnose dace), the St Vrain within Longmont has 21 different fish with 13 of them being native species. The “transition zone” of a river has cooler temperatures than the downstream “warm water zone” (i.e. the plains), yet is warmer than in the upstream mountainous areas. The stream channel in the transition zone generally features a meandering channel and has a relatively flatter grade. Sampling was done by the Colorado Division of Wildlife from 2006 - 2010 in 36 different locations on the St Vrain creek. This sampling found the variety and type of fish noted above including the following species that are protected by the State of Colorado:
Iowa Darter - State listed Species of Concern
Stonecat - State listed Species of Concern. Only found in a 2 mile stream area on the St Vrain creek and Left Hand Creek as well as on the Republican River
Common Shiner - State listed Threatened Species. This has only isolated populations in the state on the St Vrain and in West Plum Creek near Castle Rock
A sampling survey was again done in 2012 with 1 Iowa Darter found downstream of Longmont, 26 Stonecats found just downstream of the Bonus Ditch diversion (on the project site), and 5 Common Shiners found upstream of the Bonus Ditch diversion. The Iowa Darter and Common Shiners have low detection probably in this type of sampling, so more may exist.
These small native fish travel up and down streams at 64 cm/sec. which is fast enough to navigate swift water velocities that are typical of our Front Range streams. However, higher velocity's often used to create Whitewater Park features create a barrier for these fish to move along the stream but would allow for predator fish movement (brown trout & large mouth bass) into the area. Also the pool / drop configuration typical of whitewater parks may attract predator fish to the pools, which then eat these smaller fish. These are concerns expressed by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists.
Two concept plans were developed for public review & comment. Your comments were used to help determine the direction of the Draft Master Plan.
Alternative Plan A
Click this link to open a pdf to zoom for more detail (2507 KB)
Plan A Highlights:
- Parking lot on east end of park with access from Martin Street
- New trails around East pond
- In-channel River park with small 1 - 2' drops from the Bonus ditch dam to Martin Street. Approximately 8' total grade change.
- Spectator area at the dam structure and at the East pond
- Bike skills area for small children (small rolling trail) near Main Street
- East and West ponds are connected with new bridge over the connection. Boating opportunity through enlarged single pond
- Habitat with increased riparian areas at North pond, wetlands in north and west ponds, forest restoration downstream of dam, and more open water in East / West pond
- Natural Play area in a discovery trail between West pond and river -series of discovery events such as crawl through log, stepping stones, and sand & water play.
- Fishing in East pond only with bank side access (also allows boating)
- Small shelter near parking lot east of East pond
Alternative Plan B
Click this link to open to a pdf to zoom for more detail (2794 KB)
Plan B Highlights:
- Centrally located parking lot with access from Martin Street
- Fewer new trails in park
- River park shown as a 'by-pass' around the Bonus ditch dam with flatter moving water. Approximately 5' total grade change.
- Spectator areas near dam and in the new channel near the East pond
- Habitat areas with less open water, more wetlands and reforestation around west pond and in stream channel habitat
- Nature play area in single defined area north of West pond - also including play events such as crawl through log, stepping stones and sand / water play.
- Fishing at East pond with bank side access and fishing pier (no boating)
- Larger central shelter with open amphitheater space
- Historical interpretation area near historic Dickens Homestead
Draft Master Plan
This draft master plan was on display and available for public comment until May 13. The plan is currently being revised based on staff and public comments and will be presented to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (see meeting schedule above).
Draft Master Plan Highlights:
- A centrally located parking lot is provided, with access from Martin Street.
- Additional trails are provided to serve new amenities (program area, parking lot, river park spectator areas) and for recreation (beginner bike skills trail and nature play discovery trail).
- The River Park is shown as a 'by-pass' around the Bonus ditch dam with slower-moving water. Approximately 5' total grade change is spread out over the new channel length. (This will result in the least impact to the native fish in the natural river channel).
- Spectator areas for the River Park are provided near the dam, along the new bypass channel and at the East Pond.
- A short bike skills trail is provided for beginners on easy rolling terrain and built with various trail materials.
- Boating is allowed in the East Pond, but both West and East Ponds are primarily managed and designated as a native fish refuge. Ponds will not be stocked with sport fish, and fishing not permitted.
- Habitat areas are created for more environmental diversity, with less open water, expanded wetlands, and reforestation around ponds, along the existing creek and the new bypass channel.
- A nature play discovery trail is designated around the West Pond and could include play features such as logs, stepping stones and sand / water play features.
- A medium-sized shelter (accommodating up to six picnic tables) is provided in the central park area, with small shelters located near the nature play discovery trail and the bypass channel.
- An informal program space is created overlooking the West pond (suitable for small environmental or recreational programs)
- Historical and environmental interpretation areas are provided (subjects could include information on the Dickens family and early Longmont history, pond ecology, native fish in this reach of the St Vrain creek, and the new Colorado State Amphibian - the Tiger Salamander).
DRAFT MASTER PLAN
Click here to open a pdf for more detail (3179 kb)