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JEFFCO OPEN SPACE Preservation in Progress 2013

Table of Actions Thanks to local purchases and widespread public support, visitors enjoy a variety of protected places to play. Jeffco Open Space funds also support nature-based open space parks, projects in cities and districts that provide public parks, enriching life in every corner of Jefferson County. As we celebrated our 40th year in 2013, we paid tribute to the the foresight of engaged citizens who helped to create Jeffco Open Space and enable us to preserve 52,817 acres.


responsibility, quality and results


the power of information


what matters to you



native flora and fauna



land for generations


vision, planning and execution


volunteers, our family and friends


historical knowledge, natural insights



natural connections



post flood progress


the past made present



our revenue and budget



local partnerships


meaningful, measurable goals


leaders, advisors and contributors


Share Care

Create Enlist Enlighten


Plan Recognize

Tim Cazier

700 Jefferson County Parkway, Suite 100 Golden, Colorado 80401 (303) 271-5925

Commit Jeffco Open Space represents the closest, most extensive park experience to the largest population center in Colorado, the Denver metropolitan area. Citizens and visitors alike look to preserve land, protect natural and park resources, and provide nature based experiences that are close to home. The citizens of Jefferson County have entrusted us with these important duties and in turn we commit to: Practice Responsible Management of our human, natural, historical, park and financial resources. Provide Quality Experiences for our customers, visitors, participants, staff and volunteers. Exchange Information and Foster Collaboration to produce the best possible results.

Jeffco Open Space Photo Archive


jeffco parks




You Tube

The results of a commissioned citizen survey showed that visitors want both effective onsite and electronic communications. Through digital delivery we send a monthly e-newsletter, Parks Panorama, to more than 6,000 subscribers. Our social media channels are twoway, allowing for a growing following to enrich the online experience with their own comments and photos. Videos lend a “you are there� quality to our communications. In 2013 videos took visitors to construction sites and up close to the flood damage of parks and trails. We have streamlined park messages to be clearer, more concise and visually appealing. Multiple signs point the direction throughout our parks. Staff members and volunteers are happy to assist and tell the tales of our 227 miles of trails.

William Lebzelter

Whether we communicate in person or online, we strive to keep park visitors up to date and on course.


Care above goal below goal

How are we doing taking care of you, our customers, our visitors and our participants? Jeffco Open Space participated in a pilot County program to measure and improve customer service. Through responses to two questions, we established a baseline Net Promoter Score (NPS), a measurement used by many major private-sector firms. Most US businesses operate within a score range of five to ten percent more promoters than detractors. By the end of our analysis period, our NPS score was 85, demonstrating excellent customer loyalty and satisfaction. While we continue to keep score, our focus is on taking care. According to author and speaker John C. Maxwell, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Jeffco Open Space tracked its Net Promoter Score over 26 weeks in 2013 to gauge and build loyalty.


Conserve “Jefferson County supports an amazing richness of rare fauna and flora well worth preserving for future generations,” said the authors of a 2011 Survey of Critical Biological Resources for Colorado State University’s Colorado Natural Heritage Program. We continue to further the 40-year conservation tradition of Jeffco Open Space. Volunteers bolster the work of our Natural Resource Management specialists in cataloguing and protecting flora and fauna. In 2013, Jeffco Open Space grew its new chapter of FrogWatchUSA, a nationwide effort aimed at conserving amphibians. Volunteers were trained to identify unique frog calls and enter observations into a national database. Another leap ahead for conservation.

Jeffco Open Space Photo Archive

Natural Resource Management Specialist Lisa Kluesner serves as FrogWatch USA Chapter Coordinator.


Preserve With the creation of Jeffco Open Space through one-half of one-percent sales tax funding in 1972 and continued community support, 52,817 acres have been preserved for Parks and nature-based experiences. Through donations, land purchases and partnerships with preservation groups such as land trusts, mighty feats of preservation have been accomplished. We’re guided by the principle of working only with willing sellers and donors and paying a fair value for property. In 2013, JCOS negotiated a donation of 29 acres from the Access Fund that will add to North Table Mountain Park when completed. We pursue opportunities to preserve land in keeping with our Master Plan values and the spirit of our founding.

At left, Coal Creek Canyon Park grew in 2012 with the acquisition of the Booth Property. In 2013, the Natural Resources crew released the findings of a comprehensive vegetation inventory of the property. Lisa Kluesner


Create Trails are people’s sustainable connection with nature. Building trails requires vision, planning and execution. These essentials are coming together in an exciting project in Clear Creek Canyon Park. A contract was awarded in 2013 to Concrete Express and Muller Engineering for a Clear Creek County/ Jefferson County joint project to build nearly six miles of trail along Clear Creek that spans both counties. The vision of 65-mile Peaks to Plains Trail connecting Loveland Pass at the Continental Divide to the confluence of the South Platte River Trail in Adams County. The project received a grant award from Great Outdoors Colorado of $4.6 Million under the River Corridors Initiative and received support from other area partners. Construction gets underway in 2014 with project completion anticipated in June 2015.

Scot Grossman

Stream Design, LLC

At left, a photo simulation of the Clear Creek trail. Designers seek to mimic the historic look of railroads while minimizing the visual impact when railings are required. Top, construction has begun.


2013 Volunteer hours Total: 23,262 1,164 Volunteers

Enlist Volunteers created Jeffco Open Space through a grassroots campaign. We are grateful they remain a force that helps us expand programs and projects. Our volunteers rack up big numbers and make huge contributions. In 2013, 1,164 volunteers logged 23,262 hours. Dedicated volunteers are at the heart of our operations; answering phones, giving tours, hosting parks, patrolling trails and monitoring wildlife. Many people discover their role and all the benefits of volunteering窶馬ew experiences, new skills, new people and a healthier, happier mind and spirit. Below: Twenty-two members of the Flood Response Team received the Special Achievement Award for exemplary efforts communicating park closures to visitors.


Enlighten Jeffco Open Space is a place for lifelong learning. Tots aged two to five who participate in Lookout Mountain Nature Center’s Nature Nuts learn about critters and their role in our ecology. Youngsters connect with Colorado and local heritage at Hiwan Homestead Museum through curriculum-based school programs. People of all ages take advantage of programs offered by these two destinations—more than 19,000 for Hiwan Homestead and 65,000 for the Nature Center in 2013. Out on the trail, rangers seek to instill the wisdom of Leave No Trace™ ethics and responsible recreation. “Teaching is only demonstrating that it is possible. Learning is making it possible for yourself.” - Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage

Heidi Skiba

A Nature Sketchbook program at Lookout Mountain Nature Center fires the imagination of a young participant.


Enliven People benefit just by proximity to open space lands. Those who move to areas with surrounding green space are happier and have lower levels of anxiety and depression, research shows. The benefits multiply with activity in natural settings—increased energy and improved metabolic and cardiovascular health. Young people are spending less time outdoors in unstructured play than ever before—on average seven minutes per day. It is important for them to enjoy the health benefits of time outdoors and establish a relationship with nature. This desire energized the “Party for Parks”celebration at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in April 2013. In honoring the 100th, 40th and 20th anniversaries of Denver Mountain Parks, Jeffco Open Space and Great Outdoors Colorado respectively, attendees raised over $90,000 for the Jeffco Outdoors Foundation and the cause of connecting families and children to nature.

Pets and people come together at the Elk Meadow Park Dog Off-Leash Area.

Rachel Murray

Trips for Kids Denver/Boulder

Far Left: Party for Parks fundraiser for Jeffco Outdoors Foundation. Left: Trips for Kids Denver/Boulder provides fun-filled day-long mountain bike outings for children ages 10 and up.


Recover Following record-breaking rains and flooding in mid-September, flood recovery became our highest priority and will remain so in 2014. After thorough assessments of parks and trails for damage, closures were implemented at the hardest-hit areas including Apex Park, Lair o’ the Bear Park and trail segments within White Ranch, North Table Mountain and Alderfer/Three Sisters Parks. A flood recovery team reported damage to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to recover costs. Volunteers signed up to help in droves, helping to reopen Lair o’ the Bear Park and trails on North Table Mountain. Strategies were put into place to open Apex Park in phases, allowing recreation at this popular park and responsible trail restoration.

Katie Matthews

Volunteers and staff shore up Matthews/Winters Park by reconstructing the picnic area and resurfacing flood-damaged trails.


Revive Our passionate staff and volunteers make “way back when” vivid for us now. An example is what’s taken place at Baehrden at Pine Valley Ranch Park. In preparation to open this rustic 1928 Colorado Alpine lodge for public tours during the summer months, Park Construction staff reclaimed the character of the lodge inside and out. Crews repointed masonry, tackled storm water and drainage issues, assisted in building a retaining wall and oversaw lead abatement. Our workers replaced load-bearing logs and ceiling planks and came up with their own recipe to match 85-year-old stain. They forged replicas of original ornamental hinge straps, hand hammering them to a final form. Future resources will need to be dedicated to fully revive this architectural landmark and cultivate appreciation for remnants of our heritage. Alicia Vermilye

Volunteer Rebecca Young leads a tour group through Baehrden during the first season that the lodge has been open to visitors in Open Space history.


Account 2013 Adopted Sales Tax Revenue  Allocation 2013 Adopted Sales Tax Revenue Allocation $35.15 M $ 35.15 M

2013 Adopted Expense Budget 2013 Adopted Expense Budget $28.38 MM $ 28 38 $ 28.38 M

County Share $ 11.65 M

Operations, $10.28 M 33%

Debt Payments for Land Acquisitions $ 12.95 M Cities Share $ 10.51 M 30% Local l Government  Grants $1 22 M $1.22 M  4%

Debt Payments for Land Acquisitions $12.95 M Cities Share $10.51 M County Share $11.65 M Total 2013 Adopted Sales Tax Revenue $35.11 M

Debt Payments  for Land  Acquisitions Acquisitions  $12.95  M 42%

Park and Trail  Development $4.16 M  14% Land  Acquisitions $2.20  M  7%

Debt Payments for Land Acquisitions $ 12.95 M Land Acquisitions $ 2.20 M Park and Trail Development $ 4.16 M Local Government Grants $ 1.22 M Operations $ 10.28 M Total Adopted Expense Budget 2013

$ 30.81 M


Support 2013 Local Park and Recreation Grants Funded with Jefferson County Open Space Sales Tax Fund City of Arvada Majestic View Nat. Center – Environmental Educ./Comm. Agriculture Project $103,250 City of Edgewater/City of Lakewood Walker Branch Park Improvements (Joint Grant) $180,000 City of Golden Regional Trail Bridge Improvements $46,000 City of Wheat Ridge Neighborhood Park Development – West 44th Avenue & Kendall Street $211,000 Columbine Knolls Grove Rec. Dist. Pool Shelter Development $46,300 Ken-Caryl Ranch Metro. Dist. Community Splash Pad @ Ken-Caryl Ranch Community Center $21,000 TOTAL $ 607,550 2013 Local Park and Recreation and Nonprofit Grant Awards Funded from the Jefferson County Conservation Trust Fund (Colorado Lottery Proceeds) Nonprofit Grant Awards Beaver Ranch Community, Inc. Entrance Sign and Security Lighting Evergreen Audubon Society Evergreen Lake Interpretive Project Friends of Dinosaur Ridge Stabilize Dinosaur Tracks

$10,500 $5,250 $8,250

Local Park & Recreation Grant Awards Apex Park & Rec. Dist. Simms St. Center – Ph. 1 Park Development (8 pickleball courts) Evergreen Park & Rec. Dist. Wulf Park – Plaze and Park Enhancement Project Foothills Park & Rec. Dist. Lilley Gulch & Lakehurst Park – Playground & Outdoor Education Projects Prospect Rec. & Park Dist. Maplegrove Park – Tennis Court Development TOTAL

$158,720 $78,500 $114,300 $80,000 $455,520


Plan Throughout 2013, Jeffco Open Space staff engaged the community and the leadership of the Open Space Advisory Committee to update the 2008 Master Plan. Measurable goals and associated strategies for the next 5-year period reflect our commitment to acquire and preserve lands, protect natural and park resources, and provide for healthy, nature-based experiences. Among our 5-year goals: Preserve at least 1,700 acres. Refine stewardship standards and systems. Expand the trail system by 25 miles. Develop and employ a communications and community involvement plan. Increase program participation by 27,000 people each year. Increase volunteer support by 16,850 hours each year. Promote individual and group stewardship of public lands through 12,000 additional educational contacts annually. Support the Nature-Health Connection through the creation of five additional regional Jeffco Outdoors maps.


Recognize Board of County Commissioners Faye Griffin, Donald Rosier, Casey Tighe Open Space Advisory Committee Wayne Forman, Jan Wilkins, Ken Morfit, John Litz, Kevin Burke, Felicity Hannay, Rebecca Watson, John Wolforth, Bob West, Mike Dungan, Tookie Nemchak, and Janet Shangraw. Jeffco Open Space Leadership Tom Hoby, Director of Parks & Open Space Amy Ito, Park Planning and Construction Manager Don Klima, Administration & Education Services Manager Stanton LaBreche, Park Operations Manager Thea Rock, Communications Manager Theresa Topping is honored with the John Litz Award, formerly known as the Volunteer of the Year. From left to right, Tom Hoby, Director of Parks & Open Space; John Litz, Open Space Advisory Committee member; Topping; County Commissioner Faye Griffin and County Commissioner Donald Rosier.

Photos on page 16, top left to bottom right Row 1: South Valley Park, Pine Valley Ranch Park, Row 2: Lair o’ the Bear, Trail Stewardship Team, Baehrden, Elk Meadow Row 3: Reynolds Ranch Park, Crown Hill Park, Foothills Animal Shelter, Ranger mascot Row 4: Mt. Galbraith Park, Trail Stewardship Team, Hiwan Homestead Museum history education, North Table Mountain

Annual report prepared by Open Space Communications staff members Bob Eriksson and William Lebzelter.


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Jeffco Open Space 2013 Annual Report  

Preservation in Progress 2013 Jeffco Open Space, Colorado Annual Report

Jeffco Open Space 2013 Annual Report  

Preservation in Progress 2013 Jeffco Open Space, Colorado Annual Report