Cache la Poudre River Ecosystem Restoration Project
Following many years of investigation, study and public input of the Cache la Poudre River in the Greeley area, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers presented a plan to Greeley City Council in late 2015 for proposed projects to improve the river corridor. In early 2016, the City of Greeley entered into a partnership agreement with the Corps to undertake selected ecosystem restoration and recreational improvement projects in several of Greeley’s natural areas.
The goal of the ecosystem restoration project is to improve riparian habitat along the Cache la Poudre River by restoring wetlands that previously existed at the project sites and replacing non-native vegetation with native plants more suited to support the area’s wildlife. An additional goal of the project is to provide access to portions of these sites using soft-surface nature paths that provide the opportunity for visitors to observe and learn about this important ecosystem.
The project will occur in multiple phases. Construction on the first phase began at Signature Bluffs Natural Area near 71st Avenue in mid-July 2018. Completion of work at this site is scheduled for early 2019. The nature path will reopen to the public in the spring. The construction schedule for Sheep Draw Natural Area, the second site for Phase 1, has not been determined but may begin in the fall of 2018. Design work for Phase 2, which includes a small area near the west side of Signature Bluffs Natural Area and a portion of Cottonwood Bend Natural Area is expected to start in the fall of 2018 as well.
Ecosystem restoration work will impact natural area public access as each site is being worked on. However, it should not impact use of the Poudre River Trail.
Upon completion, these areas will provide improved wildlife habitat and river health. The project will also provide improved access to the natural areas along the corridor, including nature trails and boardwalks through wetland areas. To learn more about Greeley’s Natural Areas, visit Greeleygov.com/NaturalAreas.