Restoration work begins fall 2019 for Second Creek Open Space
The Commerce City Parks Maintenance Division will begin work in fall 2019 on a project to restore the prairie in the Second Creek Open Space area, located south of E. 104th Ave. and north of E. 96th Ave., between Fonterra and Buckley Ranch.
Grassland restorations require research and planning; site preparation; planting; and weed and wildlife management. At the August 19, 2019 regular council meeting, the city council approved a resolution authorizing an agreement with the Colorado Wildlife Services program of the USDA, to facilitate restoration and wildlife damage management activities at Second Creek Open Space and various other sites throughout the City.
The Open Space Restoration will last several years and take place in different phases. In the areas that need the most restoration residents can expect to see site preparation over dozens of acres at a time. During the initial planting period, areas off trail will be closed to foot traffic. In subsequent years, as the native grasses become more established, areas will be reopened to foot traffic.
The city is using as much of the habitat management plan from the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge as applicable. The restoration will allow wildlife and trail users to access a seamless continuity of greenspace from north of 104th to 56th Ave. The Commerce City Parks Division will work in cooperation with Adams County Open Space to prevent non-native noxious weeds from being established in the newly seeded prairies.
The Second Creek Open Space also functions as a learning landscape for the students at the local schools who use the area to study biology. There are also some sections of the Open Space where Russian Knapweed has been isolated. In these areas, Colorado State University researchers will investigate using insects to help prevent the spread of Russian Knapweed without the use of herbicides.
The project is part of the ongoing open space maintenance plan. For more information contact Uriel Akiva, Parks Project and Program Coordinator at 303-289-8112.