State, Adams County, Hyland Hills mull land swap

Trade could mean improvements to Lowell Ponds

Posted 1/2/19

A three-way swap of responsibilities could bring plenty of improvements to an urbanized wildlife area in Adams County’s southwestern corner. The county government could take over maintenance and …

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State, Adams County, Hyland Hills mull land swap

Trade could mean improvements to Lowell Ponds

Posted

A three-way swap of responsibilities could bring plenty of improvements to an urbanized wildlife area in Adams County’s southwestern corner.

The county government could take over maintenance and control at the Lowell Ponds state wildlife area, which is just south of Interstate 76 straddling Lowell Boulevard.

“The state no longer wants to maintain it,” said Bryan Ostler, Adams County’s deputy manager for community services. “They’ve really only maintained it at a minimal level and we are interested in doing it just because of the location and because it fits well with our parks master plan.”

Ostler county officials hope to get the Colorado Department of Transportation to sign quit claim deed on the property, effectively giving control to Adams County early this year.

“We’d need to do a master plan for the area, but we’d invest some money early on to make it more of a recreational area,” Ostler said.

In exchange, the county would hand control of the Jim Baker Reservoir, about a half-mile north of Lowell Ponds, over to Hyland Hills Recreation District.

The budget currently set for county improvements at the Baker Reservoir would be changed to improve the Lowell Ponds.

“That’s what we would do to create a nice, new park amenity for the community,” Ostler said.

County Commissioners are scheduled to review the swap in January.

The wildlife area is in the midst of the urban Metro Denver area, with highways running around it and industrial development all around.

“We’ve had a number of issues in the past with trash dumping, graffiti, people breaking the fences and we really can’t do much,” he said. “The state owns it and controls it.”

Ostler said the county would often get complaints from neighbors about trash dumping in the area.

“We worked with the state to get it cleaned up, but when they’ve reached their limit on resources, we thought we could utilize it a lot better,” Ostler said. “We certainly want it to be nice. It has two nice ponds that can be used, and I’m sure will come up with more uses the more we study it.”

Lowell Ponds is about 43 acres currently used for fishing, picnicking and hiking. Boats, except for float tubes, are prohibited. The series of small ponds alongside Clear Creek is home large and smallmouth bass, catfish, bluegill and crappies.

“It’s not really open for a lot of use,” he said. “Our intention is to clean Lowell Ponds up and make it available for recreation. There’s a small shed out there that we will have to assess and determine if we want to demo it. It really hasn’t had much upkeep to the general property.”

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