Habitat restoration of suburban and urban open spaces in Colorado with a focus on community engagement, involvement and growth
Two initial centerpiece sites in Westminster and Broomfield – Metzger Farm and Plaster Reservoir, but to be extended to multiple sites over the next five years
Butterfly Pavilion, the City and County of Broomfield, the City of Westminster, Denver Botanic Gardens and Broomfield Open Space Foundation.
This project improves the ecological health and sustainability of open space parks as well as offering enhanced access to nature for residents of suburban and urban communities along the Colorado Front Range.
Colorado is blessed with breathtaking natural beauty within easy access of urban and suburban communities. Extensive parks and open space systems, such as those in Broomfield and Westminster, provide protection for habitats and wildlife, as well as opportunities for individuals to enjoy meaningful contact with the natural world. However, nearly one-third of Colorado’s children live in neighborhoods without a park, playground, trail, or other safe place to play outdoors. It is Butterfly Pavilion’s responsibility, as stewards of invertebrates and their habitats, to promote the restoration of these environments to the richest extent compatible with their surrounding communities.
The Urban Prairies Project will focus on habitat restoration as both a way to improve local green spaces and engage the community. The project partners will begin with two “centerpiece” open spaces, Plaster Reservoir and Metzger Farm, which will serve as the basis for a successful model of habitat restoration and public participation in the region. Over the next five years, the project partners will create a restoration plan for each site, including weed management, revegetation, erosion management and trail maintenance. Progress will be evaluated by measuring the changes in biodiversity and ecological function over time. These results will be then used to expand restoration efforts throughout other local open space systems in Broomfield, Westminster and over time throughout the entire Denver metro region.
In order to make the most of limited open space resources, this partnership will establish a Restoration Masters volunteer program. This program will recruit and train a cadre of long-term, committed Broomfield Open Space “restoration master” volunteers who assist with leading restoration work days, collect data about the plants and wildlife at the site and engage the public with information about their local open spaces through presentations or publications. By training and leading other volunteer teams, these stewards will extend the impact of habitat restoration to a larger audience. These volunteers will be key ambassadors between local open spaces and their communities, offering regular opportunities for residents to participate in restoration, observe wildlife and native plants and experience an active, outdoor lifestyle.