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March 3, 2016

Study Session:

No Study Session

Regular Session:

Ben Davis of Onsight Public Affairs presented the results of a Public Survey on Conservation performed for Great Outdoors Colorado:

96% say parks are important

70% enjoy nature

62% say using parks is good for health

34% use parks as families

82% say places to play are important

55% want children outdoors more

81% say parks are good for the economy

80% support Great Outdoors Colorado

70% do not know Great Outdoors Colorado

The Committee approved purchasing a trail easement over the portion of the Welch Ditch maintenance road on the Easst side of South table Mountain that crosses the Sedita driveway and fee interest in the remaining portion of the maintenance road on the Sedita property. The Committee also approved the County entering into any necessary and appropriate documents with the Welch Ditch Company for them to formally abandon any interests in any portions of the Ditch within South Table Mountain Park.

These two items will permit construction of trail from the Denver West housing area on to South Table Mountain.

Director’s Report:

The Peaks to Plains Trail has been chosen as one of 16 priority trail projects across Colorado by Governor Hickenlooper through the Colorado the Beautiful Initiative. Governor Hickenlooper directed the Department of Natural Resources to lead this Initiative by elevating 16 trail gaps, missing trail segments and unbuilt trail projects across the state to priority projects. The 16 priority projects are intended to jump-start a more focused, coordinated conversation to support and promote outdoor recreation across the state. After six public meetings and almost 200 recommendations, the Peaks to Plains Trail was chosen as one of these 16 priority projects. Although it’s early in the development of this designation, it appears that potential funding opportunities and the ability to better collaborate with state agencies such as CDOT through the newly formed Trails Council are all possibilities.

Staff has developed a concept paper for the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Connect Initiative for the Peaks to Plains Trail, at the mouth of Clear Creek Canyon a 1.5-mile segment that will connect existing Golden trails in Grant Terry Park to the western terminus of the oxbow at Tunnel #1 on Highway 6. Concept papers were due on March 8th. The GOCO board approved JCOS to make a formal grant application at their April 7th meeting. Grant awards are estimated to be in October 2016. The Jeffco Open Space submittal for the 1.5 miles of new trail is estimated to cost $8 million with a maximum GOCO award of $2 million possible, out of the $10 million fund, statewide. Staff is working diligently on offsetting JCOS costs associated with the required minimum 20% match for this trail project. This includes the pursuit of federal, state, local and private foundation grants as well as financial partnerships with cities and park and recreation districts.

As part of the preparation for the GOCO grant opportunity, in February 2016, staff secured the services of Stream Design, the design consultant for Peaks to Plains Trail, to aid in master planning for the many trail connections, recreation pursuits and natural resource protection opportunities in this area.

Jeffco Open Space, along with a number of partners, is pursuing a grant through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) to advance the 100-milelong Rocky Mountain Greenway, also designated as one of Governor Hickenlooper’s 16 priority trail projects in 2016. The FLAP grants provide funding to local entities for access to federal lands. In this case, the grant will allow for trail connections across Indiana Avenue and Highway 128 to the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge.

JCOS has secured the services of Amec Wheeler Foster for development of grant materials and conceptual design for the crossings. The call for 2016 FLAP applications was released on February 15th with a 90-day turnaround. The total project cost for the two separate grade trail crossings is estimated to be $5 million. Design and construction will be completed over the next 3-4 years.

The cash match for the FLAP is 17%, or $1 million (trail crossings only) to $2.2 million (trail and wildlife crossings) of the total project cost, making this a great opportunity to quintuple the investment of multiple city and county partners in Jefferson and Boulder Counties. JCOS has met with various entities and there is great interest in financial support for this exciting trail connection.

Jeffco Conservation Partnership – Staff has secured the services of Paul Hellmund, instrumental in the successful Chatfield Basin Conservation Network of 15 years, to assist us in developing a County-wide conservation strategy. These organizations include: JCOS, Mountain Area Land Trust (MALT), the Trust for Public Land (TPC), Clear Creek Land Conservancy, Colorado Open Lands, and the Conservation Fund.

Jeffco Public Shooting Range – Arvada Blunn/Pioneer Location Staff is in the process of securing a consultant, AECOM, for a noise study and conceptual site plan for the location agreed upon with the City of Arvada as detailed in the 2015 Arvada Blunn/Pioneer Master Plan. The development of this important step is anticipated to be completed by the summer of 2016.

Organizational Assessment and Restructuring:

Jeffco Open Space - Organization Chart Earlier this year Open Space brought on Revolution Advisors, a local organizational development firm, to assist us with this work. The purpose of this assessment was make recommendations on organizational structure, efficiencies and process improvements. Below is a chart showing the framework for the new organizational structure that was rolled out in early March. JCOS believes this structure and many of the other recommendations make by RA will help us be more efficient and set us up to be more successful in addressing current and future opportunities and challenges.

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