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A recap from the Coal Creek Canyon Watershed Master Plan first community meeting:

The Environmental Group (TEG) secured a grant from the Colorado Water Conservation Board to sponsor the creation of a Watershed Master Plan for Coal Creek. Our team of consultants consists of: ICON Engineering, DHM Design, and Ecological Resource Consultants. Working with this team of consultants, we are in the process of getting the most up to date and scientifically accurate information about the state of the Canyon, and provide our community with a range of potential solutions and next steps depending on the community’s identified priorities.

The goal of the Master Plan is to identify needs and priorities for the Coal Creek watershed, specifically focusing on drainage improvements, and other community benefits surrounding the waterways. The ultimate result of master planning efforts and subsequent project implementation is increased resiliency in our communities, economies, and river systems.

What is a watershed anyway?

A watershed is defined as an area of land where surface water, in the form of rain or snowmelt, will flow to a common location downstream. For this study, our project team will be evaluating the Coal Creek watershed as it relates to the upstream topographic boundaries in Jefferson, Boulder and Gilpin Counties, and flows downstream to a location near Plainview Road, located approximately 1.7 miles west of Highway 93. The watershed area is 15 square-miles in size and covers over 8 miles in length of Coal Creek itself.watershed-simple-map

What does a Watershed Master Plan do?

A Master Plan is intended to serve as a tool to be used for future planning, infrastructure design, and decision-making. The process involves helping to guide communities towards prioritization and implementation of stream rehabilitation and restoration projects that reduce the risk of impacts to life and property during future flood events.

What was the purpose of the community meeting?

maps-laid-out-at-hallWe can’t do this Master Plan on our own! The goal of the first community meeting was to alert the community to the project, help identify the process, and solicit feedback from the community on its priorities and major issues. Over 60 community members attended and we received valuable information! There will be two more community meetings over the next few months and we continue to appreciate feedback through our project website.

What were some concerns or priorities that were addressed?

Of the 34 community members who responded to the survey at the meeting, the top issue areas were: 1) immediate bank stability/erosion protection, 2) transportation and emergency access, and 3) fundable solutions. Additionally, many people addressed concerns with; coordination and engagement with CDOT and Xcel, and the clean up of the creek area. Our team will be working to address many of these aspects in the coming week, including: recommendations for channel sizing, culverts, and bank protection, as well as the reestablishment or improvement to vegetation within in the corridor. Finding funding to make this all happen is also critical. Our team is evaluating grants and other funding opportunities that may help guide the community into the future.

What are the next steps?

Up to this point, our team has been working hard to collect data and complete field assessment to review the level of flood and erosion risk remaining within the watershed. We are now progressing towards developing solutions to improve these conditions. From there, our team will identify project costs and establish prioritization schemes, keeping in mind the valuable input received from the community meeting. With all of this information we anticipate the completion of a draft watershed plan in early July. Following feedback from TEG and other project stakeholders, we once again plan to solicit input from the community. Please continue to check for updates on our project website and Facebook pages for more information once the draft plan is made available.

For more information:

  • Please see our project website: www.uppercoalcreek.com
  • Or contact;
    • Craig Jacobson, ICON Engineering Project Manager, at 303-221-0802.
    • Chris Garre, President TEG, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 303.586.1491

Like this update? Check the Facebook page or project website for bi-monthly project updates!

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