Poudre Ponds is adjacent to the Cache La Poudre River in Greeley, Colorado. The site was purchased by the City of Greeley in 2001 and is used for open space, recreation and water storage. The property also parallels the 21-mile long Poudre River Trail, which is a bike connection across the three counties of Weld, Greeley and Windsor.
The approximately 250 acre site currently includes several reclaimed gravel pits and was opened to the public for recreation in 2011 with funding from the “Fishing is Fun” program by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Federal Sport Fishing Restoration Program. The complex includes four parcels that are in various stages of recreation, active mining and reclamation. In 2019 work began on parcels A and B to create a new slurry wall and to complete the remediation of Parcel B as a water storage pond. This document describes planning and design work done in 2019-2020 for the overall landscape for the site in conjunction with the Master Plan and site engineering with Aecom.
The Poudre Pond Open Space is currently part of the Eastern Plains section of the Colorado Birding Trail, which links outdoor recreation sites that offer wildlife viewing opportunities. The Ponds are also an important destination for recreation fishing in the community and offer non-motorized boating only.
The Cache la Poudre River also known as the Poudre River starts high in the mountains, with its headwaters in the northern part of Rocky Mountain National Park. The river flows down and across the plains eastwards, joining the South Platte River approximately 5-miles east of Greeley and the Poudre Pond site. The river is designated as “Wild and Scenic” by the National Wild and Scenic River System.
Geographically, the river water carries rock and sediment from the mountains and across the prairie. The action of the river has over time sorted rock and gravel, the largest material is deposited in the mountains, while the smaller gravel and sediment is carried across the plains. This process created gravel beds in the alluvial floodway of the meandering river and is the reason sites like this became gravel extraction mining sites.
* Diane Lipovsky served as Project Leader and Project Manager for the design team while employed as a landscape architect at Civitas.