Loveland Needs Your Help Naming Three New Natural Areas
The City of Loveland is seeking the public’s help to name three new properties in Loveland purchased for open land and trail purposes. The properties are located in three areas of town – one along the east Big Thompson River corridor, another just north of Boedecker Reservoir and the third in Ryans Gulch southwest of the city.
Big Thompson Parcel
The 12-acre east Big Thompson parcel lies south of the river, across from Old St. Louis Natural Area and west of Boise Ave. The property was acquired in 2017 to preserve the riparian corridor and provide an extension of the Big Thompson trail to the east. Access for fishing and wildlife watching, including views of a nearby heron rookery (communal nesting area), will be available along a natural-surface trail. Native cottonwoods and willows provide shade along the river banks and refuge for songbirds, mammals and herptiles. Mink, wild turkey and white-tailed deer have been spotted, and a healthy brown trout population thrives in the waterway. Sawyer crews from Larimer County Conservation Corps helped remove invasive Russian olive and Siberian elm trees with funding from a Great Outdoors Colorado grant.
The 17-acre north Boedecker property is located along W. First Street near Rossum Drive. The property was purchased in 2017 and provides a buffer to nearby residential development for wildlife using the reservoir and adjacent habitat. The neighborhood natural area will offer natural-surface trails along the edge of the reservoir with fishing access, opportunities for wildlife viewing and outstanding scenic views. Native trees and shrubs, including cottonwood, chokecherry, wild rose and currant offer diverse habitat for songbirds, raptors, small mammals and amphibians. The site may provide future trail connections to nearby open lands and trails in the Mariana Butte area.
Ryans Gulch Property
The 185-acre Ryans Gulch property is located in southwest Loveland and is part of a 667-acre community separator between Loveland and Berthoud. The site was acquired in 2016 for wildlife habitat and a trail corridor for the south Front Range Trail connection. Mule deer, elk, coyote, prairie dogs and cottontails call this vast expanse of prairie home. Two irrigation ditches also traverse the property, providing a combination of upland prairie and cottonwood-lined waterways for a variety of foraging habitats and movement corridors for songbirds and mammals. Birds of the open prairie are common, including red-tailed hawk, American kestrel, golden eagle, magpie, raven, crow and western meadowlark. Russian olive trees have been removed here as well, with assistance from the Front Range Community College Exotic Species Elimination Project. The property will be restored with native shortgrass prairie species including grasses, wildflowers and shrubs.
In accordance with the Open Lands Naming Policy, names that reflect each site's unique ecological features, such as plants or wildlife native to the property, geological features, habitat types or physical identifying features will be given priority consideration. Proposed names should not create confusion with existing parks, streets or subdivisions.
Proposed names may be submitted until August 31, 2018. Submitted names will be presented to the Open Lands Advisory Commission for review at the September 8th meeting.