Trees out to widen creek
by: Karen Groves, YourHub.com
A cyclist rides under a canopy of branches along the Ralston Creek Trail last week at Hoskinson Park in Arvada. farewellA tribute ceremony will be held next week for 270 trees slated for removal along the creek bank as a result of a reconstruction project.
Provided by: Kristin Morin, YourHub.com
Article Contributed on: 12/7/2010 3:45:48 PM
Arvada parks will see nearly 300 removed along Ralston
Arvada is moving forward with a plan to widen the Ralston Creek channel and rebuild the Garrison Street Bridge despite concerns by some neighbors of the project that it is proceeding too hastily. The changes are part of a renovation project meant to revitalize two aging parks along the creek bank.
Participation at recent public workshops has been lively. Resident John Kiljan said he thought the entire process was moving too quickly and resident T.O. Owens agreed.
As a result, they are engaging neighbors to join the newly formed Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community, a group that will review design plans as they evolve.
Owens said the redevelopment of North Jeffco and Hoskinson parks should revitalize not just the neighborhood but the retail corridor.
“If what the city gives us is a piece of grass to water and nothing to make it a multigenerational gathering place, then I think the neighborhood is doomed,” Owens said.
However, city officials said work will begin next week.
Because hundreds of trees must be removed along the creek bank between Garrison and Carr streets, the city plans a Dec. 15 farewell tribute at 10 a.m. near the Pioneer Pavilion at 9101 Ralston Road.
Public information officer Maria VanderKolk said contractors have been hired to take out trees that are diseased, damaged or dying. The second phase of tree removal will be next fall.
VanderKolk said the tribute is a way for the city to acknowledge the difficulty losing the trees poses to some residents.
“Some people have a spiritual connection with trees. We’re acknowledging this is really too bad, but it has to be done,” VanderKolk said.
The long-term vision for the parks is as a “central park,” which will offer play areas, picnic and seating and an interactive splash deck. (To view a slide show, go to http://bit.ly/i6U3dQ.)
According to Assistant City Manager Vicky Reier, the site will have more pedestrian-friendly paths and better access to shopping at nearby Arvada Square.
Because the city is obligated by the federal government to address the floodplain designation that covers the parks and nearby homes and businesses, the plan faces some constraints.
In addition, she said because the parks will be lowered by about four feet, certain structures traditionally placed in a park, such as an outdoor pool, can’t be placed there.
“What should encourage homeowners is that most of them will be released from purchasing floodplain insurance when the project is finished,” Reier said.
VanderKolk said residents might see increased property values as a result of the release from floodplain insurance.
Owens estimated not having to pay flood insurance would save him about $1,300 a year and said that was a positive.
“People can be excited that it’s going to be fabulous in a couple of years when the landscaping has matured. It will be beautiful,” VanderKolk said.
Karen Groves: 303-954-2303 or firstname.lastname@example.org