River's Edge Natural Area Master Plan

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River's Edge Natural Area
960 West 1st Street
Loveland, CO  80537
(located across 1st Street from Centennial Park) 

Master Plan

In April 2012, the City presented the Preferred Plan for River's Edge Natural Area at a Public Open House. Approximately 50 citizens attended the meeting where they had the opportunity to review the preferred plan and provide feedback. Below is the River's Edge Preferred Plan prepared by AECOM on behalf of the City. Also below is an illustration of potential pond edge enhancements to improve habitat around the ponds. These documents were used to guide the development of River's Edge for public access.  

Summary of Public Design Workshop

In February 2012, the City hosted a Public Design Workshop to discuss the three design concepts for the River's Edge property (formerly known as HP/Agilent Open Space). More than 40 citizens attended the public meeting where they had the opportunity to review the design alternatives and provide feedback. Below are the three design concepts and the site analysis map completed by AECOM on behalf of the City. The three alternatives provide illustrations of potential site features. Also below is the slideshow that was presented at the meeting.

What Features or Facilities are in an Open Space?

In order for the City to start the planning and design for River's Edge Natural Area, staff reviewed the site’s natural resource values and potential recreational uses. Staff refers to the City of Loveland Open Lands Plan (2003) regarding recommendations for public access and trails. These guidelines help staff and City officials determine appropriate activities and facilities for each open space property. The City of Loveland Natural Areas Sites (2008) rates wildlife habitat values, species diversity, and enhancement potential for each natural area inventoried in the city. These ratings are used to help determine appropriate management zones for public access, habitat restoration, and enhancement efforts.

The following is a list of features and amenities that are appropriate at River's Edge Natural Area:

  • Natural Areas
  • Pedestrian Trails
  • Bicycle Trails
  • Connections to Recreation Trail/Adjacent Properties
  • Picnic Areas/ Group Picnic Shelters
  • Drinking Fountains
  • Restrooms
  • On-Site Parking
  • Wildlife Habitat
  • Fishing Access 
  • Benches
  • Bicycle Racks
  • Environmental Education Facilities
  • Historical/Cultural Interpretive Facilities

Please note that horses are prohibited on City of Loveland Recreational Trails by Section 12.44.030 of the Municipal Code.

Media Releases:

  • 4-12-12 (PDF) - Open House Scheduled for Preferred Master Plan Review on April 26, 2012
  • 2-14-12 (PDF) - The City of Loveland hosts a public workshop for HP/Agilent Open Space
  • 1-18-12 (PDF) – The City Hires AECOM for HP/Agilent Open Space Design

Statement of Environmental Conditions at River’s Edge Natural Area

The condition of the ponds and land at River’s Edge Natural Area were reviewed in 2011 when the City purchased the property.  In 1984, chemical releases were discovered beneath one of the buildings at the nearby Hewlett-Packard facility located on SW 14th Street, now the Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation and Technology (the “Site”). The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) required active remediation of the contaminants at the Site from 1990 to 2000. After more than a decade, CDPHE approved the removal of the remediation systems in 2004. Currently, no further active remediation is required by CDPHE or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the Site. Additional safeguards have been established by recording and implementing an environmental covenant that now places restrictions on the use of the Site and some adjacent property. The Environmental Covenant does not affect any of the River’s Edge property north of the Big Thompson Ditch or the water in the River’s Edge ponds.

In an effort to identify and evaluate any continuing environmental concerns with respect to the land and water at River’s Edge, the City of Loveland contracted with Walsh Environmental Scientists and Engineers, LLC in 2011 to complete an Environmental Study of the entire Site and River’s Edge Natural Area. As a result of the study, the City further remediated several land surface areas located outside of the area covered by the environmental covenant. Remediation included soil screening, debris removal and disposal, and confirmation sampling. The environmental study also included an analysis of the water in the River’s Edge Ponds. The study indicated that at the time of analysis, the ponds were in compliance with applicable CDPHE contaminant thresholds. In 2012, CDPHE and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) conducted a study to investigate the presence of mercury contaminants in fish that could potentially be consumed by public anglers. All levels of mercury were well below CDPHE standards for fish consumption. Additional surveys completed by CPW (2012), found high-quality, viable fish populations in each pond. The City and CPW continue to actively monitor and manage the fisheries at River's Edge.

If you require further information, please call the
Parks & Recreation Administration Office at: (970) 962-2727.

River's Edge Natural Area Project Schedule PDF

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