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Arsenal settlements to provide $2.5 million benefit Denver Parks
8/14/2012
Credit:
Denver Parks Press release
DENVER, CO – Thanks to a recently announced payout from the Colorado Natural Resource Damage Trust as a result of damage settlements from the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) will receive $2.5 million for park improvements and land acquisition.

DPR will use the award for Grant Frontier Park, Heron Pond, First Creek and a land acquisition for future parkland in Montbello. DPR will partner with many agencies on these projects including the Greenway Foundation (Grant-Frontier Park), Denver Public Works (First Creek and Heron Pond), Urban Drainage and Flood Control (Grant-Frontier Park and First Creek), and Environmental Learning for Kids (Montbello Acquisition). Here is a breakdown of how DPR will use project funding:

Grant-Frontier: enhance 1.75 miles of the South Platte River that will dramatically improve the vegetation and aquatic habitat and help restore the South Platte to an ecologically healthy and sustainable greenway

First Creek: protect and enhance the First Creek riparian corridor including buffer around the stream, immediately upstream of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge.
Heron Pond: reconfigure and enhance a planned regional water detention facility that will create 20 acres (15 acres of water) of diverse wetland and riparian habitat.
Montbello: acquire 5.5 acres of remnant prairie one mile south of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal to create a native and wetland habitat along existing pond and to provide environmental education opportunities.
The project funding comes from the Rocky Mountain Arsenal natural resource damages (NRD) settlements. In May 2008, the State of Colorado, Shell Oil Company and the U.S. Army agreed to the largest natural resource damage settlement in the state's history. The money is held in a $10 million Foundation Fund and a $17.4 million Recovery Fund that is directed by the Colorado Natural Resource Damage Trustees. The Trustees review projects and make the awards. According to federal law, NRD money may be used to fund projects that restore, replace or acquire the equivalent of the injured natural resources.

“The funding from these damage settlements is meant to have an immediate, positive impact, and that’s exactly what is going to happen,” said Lauri Dannemiller, Manager of Denver Parks and Recreation. “We are pleased the Trustees share our vision of how these funds should work for Denver citizens.”