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July 16, 2014
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Glenwood seeks residents' input to improve river access

City of Glenwood Springs parks officials want to know how residents view the riverfront areas at Two Rivers and Veltus parks and are gathering suggestions on what kind of shoreline improvements should be made in the future.

A survey being conducted by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department is specific to the roughly 25-yard strip extending from the water’s edge up into the grassy park areas.

That includes the Roaring Fork River as it passes by Veltus Park, and the Colorado River, which is a focal point at Two Rivers Park below and just above the confluence of the two waterways.

“People love being down near the river, whether they’re fishing, accessing the river for rafting or kayaking, swimming or just sitting and enjoying it,” said Tom Barnes, the city’s director of parks and recreation.

“But there’s not a good, safe way to get down to the water in either of these parks, and there is also a fair amount of erosion that’s very visible and causing some problems,” he said.

The city recently obtained a $36,000 Great Outdoors Colorado planning grant to look at future shoreline restoration and enhancement projects. The city is paying for the remainder of the $48,000 planning effort.

The park shoreline survey is the first step in identifying how people use the river areas and how they view the existing amenities and river access at the two parks. It also asks what types of improvements they would like to see.

Suggestions in the survey include additional boat ramps, fishing access trails, sandy beaches, improved restroom facilities and terraced riverbank areas.

The survey can be completed electronically at Paper copies are available at the Glenwood Springs Community Center, City Hall and other locations. Parks representatives will also be handing the survey out to people who are using the Two Rivers boat ramp and other facilities.

“We’re hoping to get some good feedback and really want to encourage people to make comments,” Barnes said. “Good, bad, indifferent; it’s all valuable to this effort.”

The survey will continue through Aug. 15. In addition, the Parks and Recreation Department is hosting four public input sessions, at 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on July 29 and again Aug. 13 at the community center.

Gary Lacy of Recreation Engineering & Planning, the city’s consultant on the project, will conduct the meetings.

“It’s an opportunity for community members to come out and meet with him and discuss what outcomes they would like to see from this effort,” Barnes said.

The survey responses and input from the meetings will help the Parks and Recreation Department develop a list of priorities, potential projects and cost estimates, he said.

Barnes said a report is expected to be completed and before City Council by late October or early November, so that any additional planning or specific projects can be considered as part of the 2015 city budget.

“Our goal is to do it once and do it right,” he said of the initial planning effort. “Hopefully we can see some restoration and enhancement projects take place as a result over the next few years.”

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The Post Independent Updated Jul 17, 2014 11:55AM Published Jul 17, 2014 02:35PM Copyright 2014 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.