August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 46

BUILDING NATURE
While parks, for example, are typically
manicured and intended for
recreation,
this
effort added wilderness
to the city with nature as
a primary user. Managed as " open
space " lands, fallen trees stay where
they lay, plant succession is encouraged,
and policies and practices allow
local wildlife to thrive. Places
that in the past were kept behind
locked gates now allow users to skip
to school, stroll downtown, sit on a
rock, climb on a log, or build a sandcastle
- all surrounded by a brandnew
and ever-changing " ecoscape. "
A vision made possible by a 450page
grant application assembled
by Keith Desrosiers of Thorne Nature
Experience, the project was
awarded $2.8 million in the inaugural
Great Outdoors Colorado
Inspire grant cycle. In addition to
a full year of public outreach and
500,000
backyard-to-backcountry
programming hours in
education,
funds were also earmarked
for capital improvements across the
city. Most of those dollars were focused
on Drainage #4 with matching
funds provided by City of Lafayette
and project partners.
The built work, designed by Design
Concepts, ended up with a $2
million price tag. The project team
navigated a gauntlet of reviewers
and approvals, vocal neighbors, enthusiastic
partners, red tape, budget
issues and setbacks. With unwavering
support from city leadership,
including
Project Manager Rob
Burdine and Director Monte Stevenson,
the effort stayed on track.
Eye-on-the-prize nudges from the
grant manager,
steady and persistent
problem solving by the civil
engineer, and impeccable construction
work by the contractor also
ensured the project was completed
to success.
Access to Nature
This effort was driven by a dire need
for access - both to places and experiences.
While the new trail links
residents to schools and businesses,
it also creates an immersive everyday
experience abuzz with local
wildlife, vibrant flora and dappled
tree shade. In a busy and built-up
part of town that until now has been
isolated from any natural areas, it
provides equity and improves quality
of life for nearby residents.
Many neighbors in this part of
Lafayette have never been to the
summits or the riverine valleys of
the Rocky Mountains or even the
Front Range foothills, less than an
hour away. Barriers of time, transportation
or finances can be insurmountable,
so the project team
brought the majesty and wonder of
that experience to them.
For decades, Drainage #4 was a
concrete trickle pan surrounded by infrequently
mowed weeds and restricted
by fencing. This utility channel
was transformed into the Inspire Trail
corridor. Native grasses and shrubs,
reeds and rushes now serve as a
backdrop for an Americans with Disabilities
Act-compliant, soft surface
footpath with pedestrian bridges that
cross back and forth over a winding
creek. Narrow single-track trails also
were added for a sense of adventure
and exploration, complete with steppingstones
across the creek bed. A
chance encounter with a dragonfly or
swooping hawk, or the rush of being
engulfed in wildflowers are now everyday
occurrences for trail users.
The centerpiece of the project,
a two-acre nature play zone, was
created on the grounds of Alicia
Sanchez International Elementary
School. The property had been
inaccessible, fenced in years ago
for a reason that no one seemed
to recall. Intended as a gateway to
the natural world for young people
and their families, the idea was to
transform this unused spaced into
a magical place that would enchant
the kids, and in so doing, enchant
their parents.
Local students were engaged earViews
of the Rocky Mountains were
enhanced to make the connection
with this invaluable local resource and
promote a " backyard-to-backcountry "
theme.
46 Parks & Recreation | A UGUS T 2 0 22 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G

August 2022 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of August 2022 - Parks & Recreation

August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 1
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 2
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 3
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 4
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 5
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 6
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 7
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8a
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8b
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 9
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 10
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 11
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 12
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 13
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 14
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 15
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 16
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 17
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 18
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 19
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 20
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 21
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 22
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 23
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 24
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 25
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 26
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 27
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 28
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 29
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 30
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 31
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 32
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 33
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 34
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 35
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 36
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 37
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 38
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 39
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 40
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 41
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 42
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 43
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 44
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 45
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 46
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 47
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 48
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 49
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 50
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 51
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 52
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 53
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 54
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 55
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 56
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com