Adams County Commissioners Award More Than $9.5 Million in Open Space Grants

Today, the Adams County Board of Commissioners (BOCC) awarded more than $9.5 million in open space grants for 20 projects thanks to the voter-approved Open Space Sales Tax. Funding for the Spring 2021 grant cycle came from revenues from the second half of the 2020 Adams County Open Space Sales Tax, which was passed by Adams County voters in 1999, and in perpetuity in 2020.

When the Open Space Sales Tax was presented to voters in 1999, the ballot question called for the creation of an Open Space Advisory Board. This board recommends open space projects to the BOCC for funding. Grants are funded from 68% of the tax proceeds and are awarded twice a year.

The grant recipients for the spring 2021 grant cycle are as follows:

Mini Grant: Adams County Sheriff Memorial Wall Project – Adams County Facilities & Fleet Management Department
Project Summary: The goal of this project is to use symbolic design elements through intentional material choices which will withstand the test of time to honor deputies for years to come. The memorial plaques shall include name, rank, and end-of-watch date. The memorial will accommodate current and future events such as a loss of a deputy, Law Enforcement Week, Victims’ Advocate Week, and prayer vigils.  
Grant Award: $5,000

Adams County Water Efficiency Upgrades Project – Adams County Parks, Open Space & Cultural Arts Department
Project Summary: Adams County Parks, Open Space & Cultural Arts (POSCA) was awarded an Adams County Open Space grant to perform a major upgrade to irrigation throughout the Adams County parks system. This will involve a series of replacements to sensors, controllers, and other equipment that will make the system more responsive and water-efficient, while allowing POSCA staff to access and control the system from anywhere.
Grant Award: $100,000

Riverdale Bluffs Trail System Project – Adams County Parks, Open Space & Cultural Arts Department
Project Summary: POSCA was awarded an Adams County Open Space grant to develop visitor amenities at Riverdale Bluffs Open Space. Purchased in 2010, this open space park has been available for recreation, but there are currently no trails, signage, restroom facilities, or shelters, and there is only minimal parking. Adams County wishes to develop Riverdale Bluffs into an accessible open space, connected to the rest of the county’s parks, trails, and open space systems and beyond, while maintaining wildlife habitat and scenic values, and being respectful of neighboring properties.
Grant Award: $750,000

Mini Grant: 2021 Lake Appreciation Day Project – Barr Lake State Park
Project Summary: The 15th Annual Barr Lake Appreciation Day was held on July 10. In 2020, even with COVID-19 restrictions, Barr Lake had 93 volunteers participate by cleaning the shorelines, eradicating noxious weeds, and staining boardwalks. One of the main purposes of this event is to bring public awareness to water quality and issues that face our lakes and waterways including the importance of keeping Barr Lake free of debris and dangerous obstacles that may harm mammals, birds, and waterfowl that frequent the lake.
Grant Award: $1,960

Acquisition of Historic Splendid Valley Target Property One Project – City of Brighton
Project Summary: The City of Brighton was awarded an Adams County Open Space grant conservation easement on Historic Splendid Valley (HSV) Target Property One. These 116 acres are in HSV south of Brighton, within the District Plan boundaries adopted by Adams County and the City of Brighton. Land, ditch water shares, and transaction and due diligence costs are included in this grant request. This keeps the site as productive farmland.
Grant Award: $2,500,000

Founders Plaza Phase Two Project – City of Brighton
Project Summary: The City of Brighton was awarded an Adams County Open Space grant for Founder's Plaza Phase Two. The plaza will become an iconic gateway into Brighton that enhances downtown with creatively flexible event spaces and public art that provides shade and pleasant vistas. Founders Plaza, located at the intersection of Bridge Street and South Main Street, is entering Phase Two enhancements. Residents want this half-done space turned into the heart of Brighton. The project includes soil preparation, landscaping (trees, shrubs, and flowers), irrigation, colored concrete, site furnishings, lighting, signage, seat walls/planters, and more.
Grant Award: $385,000

Monaco Park Renovation Phase One Project – City of Commerce City
Project Summary: Monaco Park, built in 1973, has not had any significant improvements aside from irrigation replacement in the last 20 years. This project will completely renovate this nine-acre park. The scope of work contains many components, and this grant will focus on phase one of two phases. Monaco Park has been an important gathering place and recreational destination for city residents and visitors for nearly 50 years, and over the last year it has seen even more use. Phase one will create an overall master plan, install an inclusive playground, add accessible connections into and through the park, replace shelters, and begin updating pedestrian lighting. A future phase two will replace the basketball court, widen perimeter sidewalks, enhance landscaping, complete pedestrian lighting, and activate the southern part of the park.
Grant Award: $960,000

90th Avenue Tree Planting Project – City of Federal Heights
Project Summary: The City of Federal Heights and the Hyland Hills Park & Recreation District are partnering to replace dead and/or dying trees along 90th Avenue, Pecos Street, Messina Park, and City Hall. The mature landscaping that invites residents and guests into Water World and City Hall has been plagued by the emerald ash bore and needs a dedicated effort to remove and replace trees that are dying, replace trees that have already been removed, and filling in gaps in the tree canopy.
Grant Award: $100,730

Jaycee Park Ballfield Improvements Project - City of Northglenn
Project Summary: The Jaycee Park Ballfield Improvements project comprises a major electrical service upgrade, replacement of the existing ballfield lighting with a new, more efficient LED light structure system that meets modern standards, and rehabilitation of the scorekeepers' booth at Jaycee Park - home to Northglenn's only lit softball/baseball field. In addition, the project includes a new Level II dual-port electric vehicle charging station in the parking lot, which is shared by the Bill Goodspeed Happy Tails Dog Park. The improvements will enhance the recreational amenities to users of all ages and abilities and demonstrate the city's commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability.
Grant Award: $170,000

Mini Grant: Sustainable Path to Northglenn’s Trails and Waterways Project – City of Northglenn
Project Summary: The Sustainable Path to Northglenn's Trails and Waterways project will assist in alleviating the urban pressure exerted on the city's watershed areas through the planting of purposefully selected native and hardy trees along the Farmers' Highline Canal, Grange Hall Creek, and the Tuck Lateral Corridors. The aging tree canopy on these waterways, adjacent to the associated trails, has been significantly impacted in recent years. Northglenn welcomes and encourages the use of the community's natural areas, and with increased population and active lifestyles comes the increased need for maintenance of free access to healthy waterway trails. Over 200 trees will be planted and aid in restoration of more than 100 acres of open space without creating a dense vegetation wall or blocking line of sight; at a minimum, approximately 50 trees will be planted through a combination of a successful Adams County Open Space Grant award and the financial assistance of other partners.
Grant Award: $5,000

Carpenter Recreation Center Renovations Project – City of Thornton
Project Summary: The Carpenter Recreation Center aquatic facilities are being replaced and expanded. Aquatic facility improvements include a new lap pool, wave pool, activity pool, lazy river, NINJACROSS installation, family locker rooms, party rooms, hot tub, sauna, steam room, and relocated pre-school playground. In addition to the aquatic facilities, the basketball court floor, as well as the entire HVAC system are being replaced as part of the project.
Grant Award: $1,711,909

Grange Hall Creek Park Rehabilitation Project – City of Thornton
Project Summary: This grant helps fund rehabilitation design and construction of the 16.1-acre Grange Hall Creek Park. Built in 1985, the project would create an inclusive park, including replacement of the playground (last updated in 1999), half basketball court, and pedestrian bridge. Other improvements would include addition of shade shelter(s), site furniture, and a landscape design to follow Naturally Thornton concepts that replace 'looking bluegrass' on slopes with native grass and habitat shrub plantings. The non-potable irrigation pond requires evaluation and rehab to improve water quality and retention. Other recreational amenities would be considered based on public input and budget.
Grant Award: $985,489

Mini Grant: Stocking Fish Growth for Anglers Project – City of Thornton
Project Summary: Approval of this mini grant marks the third year of funding to help double Thornton’s fish stocking budget, which allows stocking of more Thornton lakes and ponds. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) recommends additional fish stocking, to continue for several years as the budget allows, until CPW can confirm natural reproduction is successfully sustaining fish populations. Thornton has 12 fishing ponds.
Grant Award: $5,000

Tri-State Open Space Acquisition Project – City of Westminster
Project Summary: The City of Westminster is in negotiations to acquire approximately 14.3 acres of the Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association's undeveloped campus at the southwest corner of 114th Avenue and Huron Street. This narrow parcel, much of which is floodplain, represents a wonderful opportunity for preservation of valuable ecosystem in Adams County. This acquisition will directly connect the Ranch Creek Open Space (3.58 acres) to the Westminster T-Ball Complex and Elm Tree Garden (6.47 acres). This acquisition will enable enhancements to local and regional trails in an area that currently lacks comprehensive trail access between existing parks and open space.
Grant Award: $402,500

Clear Creek Valley Park Phase One Project – Hyland Hills Park & Recreation District
Project Summary: This grant is for active park development dollars for the installation of two sand volleyball courts, four pickleball courts, shade shelters with tables and benches, additional parking for park users, and landscape restoration.
Grant Award: $285,000

LuBird’s Playground at Stanley Marketplace Project – LuBird’s Light Foundation
Project Summary: There are more than 74,000 children with disabilities in Colorado and most playgrounds do not give these children an opportunity to experience the fun and joy of being outdoors with their peers. LuBird's Light Foundation is building an extraordinary, one-of-a-kind inclusive playground at Stanley Marketplace for children and families of all needs. LuBird's Playground in Aurora will be one of the only inclusive playgrounds in Adams, Douglas, Arapahoe, and Denver counties. Our playground will include state-of-the art handicapped accessible swings, spinners and slides, musical sensory play equipment, and more – all with a magical, vibrant, and joyful design.
Grant Award: $150,000

Rainbow Park at Monterey Project – Mapleton School District
Project Summary: The funds will support the construction of Rainbow Park, which will include four tennis courts and a walking path complete with outdoor seating for a learning space and landing areas for exercise/additional play equipment at Monterey Community School. With the addition of the four tennis courts, it is our goal to bring more sporting events and spaces for recreation to the community. These active spaces are intended to serve not only Mapleton students/athletic teams but the Mapleton community as well.
Grant Award: $330,000

Community Park East Planning Project – Strasburg Parks & Recreation District
Project Summary: The Community Park East Planning project is the next step in the development of the Wagner Street Land Acquisition. The project will ultimately establish a "recreational hub" within Strasburg, complete with amenities and facilities the community has identified as top priorities. It will provide a complete connection between the School District campus and the Recreation District facilities. This grant will fund consultant services to prepare a schematic design and bidding package for Phase I of the construction plan.
Grant Award: $36,085

Trupp Park Phase Five Project – Town of Bennett
Project Summary: With support from Adams County Open Space Sales Tax, the Town of Bennett has made significant and much needed improvements to Trupp Park over the last six years. These improvements have included a new playground, renovated playfields, and skate and bicycle playground. Trupp Park is currently identified as the town’s community park, making it one of the town's most highly utilized amenities. For this phase of the project, the primary improvements will be the upper play field and the grandstand. These much-needed improvements will help create a safe, healthy, and functional community park.
Grant Award: $198,000

Mini Grant: Community Garden Expansion Project – Town of Bennett
Project Summary: Community gardens contribute to a healthy lifestyle by providing fresh, safe, affordable herbs, fruits, and vegetables which help to relieve stress and increase sense of wellness. These gardens also help strengthen community bonds as neighbors work side by side tending their gardens and enjoying success and fruits of their labor. By expanding the garden, more residents will be able to participate in the program.
Grant Award: $5,000