Platte River Greenway concept unveiled

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By Crystal Nelson

BRIGHTON — City Council received a first look at what the city’s Platte River Greenway could look like during its April 22 meeting. 


Parks and Recreation Director Gary Wardle presented a concept plan for walking and biking trails along the South Platte River. The concept plan has the trail starting in Veterans Park and then traveling north along the east side of the South Platte River. The trail would end slightly north of Weld County Road 2.


The trail would be a 10-foot-wide concrete trail transitioning to a soft surface trail through the Morgan Smith Nature Area. While traveling the trail, residents could take advantage of multiple river overlooks and picnic shelters as well as a boardwalk and riverfront park on the northern end. 

Wardle told council the city currently owns about half of the land the trail is on, with properties on the north half of the trail — such as the potential Love’s Truck Stop property — designated for future development. He said this trail ties into the trail being built alongside the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District’s treatment plant and that the company is building a piece of the trail on the north side of WCR 2 that would connect with this trail. 

“Obviously the first thing we need to do is secure the right of way on the north end for the project. The south end we own, so it’s really getting that north end acquired and then we’ll be prepared to apply for some grants...,” he said, adding they would be seeking funding from Adams County Open Space and the State Trails Fund for the project. 

Because land from the trail west lies in the floodplain, that land can’t be developed into anything more than a parking lot. As development opportunities come about, Wardle said the city is sharing their plans with potential developers so they could generate ideas on how the trail could be enhanced and serve as a benefit. 

According to City Manager Manuel Esquibel, the plan right now is only a concept and isn’t concrete yet. He asked that the Parks and Recreation Department share the idea with the community so they can have input and bring it back for the council council to endorse at a later time. 

Wardle said the city may present the proposal at Culturefest for public input.