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Historic farm gets new master plan, grant from History Colorado

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By Crystal Nelson

BRIGHTON — Brighton Parks and Recreation Department Director Gary Wardle presented council with a new master plan for the Bromley-Hishinuma farm during its July 22 study session. 

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Although the city completed a conceptual master plan in 2009, Wardle said the new master plan has been refined to what the city can actually construct. The plan designates space for the public to use and space for farming to take place inaccessible to the public.

An entry feature will be located  on the corner of Bromley Lane and 15th Avenue, a road that will be built in the future. A roadway and parking area will be located to the east of 15th Avenue and that road will also connect to the Oasis Water Park.

The public will have access to a couple of lawns, picnic tables, shelters, restrooms and historical gardens for viewing. Jamie Ramos, landscape architect with Stanley Consultants, said they looked for a number of ways to convey the history of the property and that there could be space for hands on activities or a self guided tour.

“We look very deliberately at considering the past, the present and the future context of this site and it’s importance to Brighton,” Ramos said. 

Ramos said a historical landscape specialist helped them determine how the site looked when the Bromley family owned the farm and what kind of trees and flowers should be planted there. Spaces for small animals, stables and corrals are also included in the design and he said there’s an opportunity for seasonal events such as a pick-your-own pumpkins or hayrides.

“Everybody’s going to want to come to this site at least once if they have any interest in the history of this site,” Ramos said. “Where we see the value in this type of site is really bringing the community onto the property more than once seasonally.” 

As the master plan was coming together, Ramos said they wanted to promote the idea of farm to table. Wardle said they are considering the idea of a commercial kitchen which could be leased to local farmers in the community.

“Maybe they have an orchard and they have a lot of plums that year, they could use that commercial kitchen to bring the plums in and make plum jelly that they could take back to their farm and sell or any any other forms of produce that they want to preserve in some manner,” he said. “They could use the kitchen and it could be a good revenue source for the farm.”

He said the city would have to fund the construction of a commercial kitchen and then generate revenue to reimburse the cost of construction. 

Wardle said the big question is how the city is going to irrigate the site and that he’s currently working with the utilities department to see if they will be able to dig a shallow well. 

With the exteriors of the farmhouse, barn, and migrant workers cabin complete, he said the landscaping is the next step for the exterior of the farm. Once the master plan is approved, the department will be moving forward with preparing the construction documents so they will be ready to go out for bid for the project.

The city will be offsetting the cost of the project with grants and has already received a $417,300 grant from Adams County Open Space for the project. Wardle said they will also be applying for a grant through the Home and Garden Show foundation.