South Platte - Program Updates
South Platte Riverfest
The South Platte RiverFest was held on June 25 and 26. It is Denver’s premier urban river celebration featuring standup paddleboard lessons, sports demos, live music, water stewardship information, vendors and much more. The event helps raise awareness and money for the restoration and reclamation of the river.
The South Platte River Urban Waters Partnership (SPRUWP) held its most recent quarterly partnership meeting on May 4, 2017. The meeting provided partners with updates on SPRUWP initiatives, including the ongoing natural capital resource and water quality assessments. In addition to updates and networking time for the partners, representatives from local academic institutions presented on their research initiatives.
Notes from all SPRUWP meetings can be found here.
Urban Water cycle bike tours
Urban Water Cycle Bike Tours, along the South Platte River, will run June 6 and 7. Join a half-day bike tour offered in the partnership area by the Barr Lake and Milton Reservoir Watershed Association and Colorado Stormwater Council with support from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Pedal along the South Platte River from Johnson Habitat Park to Riverside Cemetery to discover how groups are reclaiming, using, and protecting urban waterways. See water quality improvement projects; learn about stormwater monitoring, history, recreation along the creek, community education, and long-term watershed and urban planning efforts, including the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative.
The South Platte Partnership held its quarterly meeting on February 16th. Topics of discussion included status updates on partnership initiatives such as the Natural Capital Resource Assessment and the Water Quality Assessment Tool. Partners also gave brief updates on their activities followed by discussion of future events and meetings.
December: New housing initiative funding
The Denver Housing Authority will receive a $30 million grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to improve housing and increase business opportunities and job possibilities in Sun Valley. The Denver Housing Authority, named a grant finalist in September, plans to build 750 mixed-use housing units in an area where about 83% of residents live below the poverty line.
The former EPA Administrator met with professionals from Denver Housing Authority, HUD, and EPA for a discussion on the transformation plan for Sun Valley Homes. Sun Valley is a Making a Visible Difference community, a Partnership for Sustainable Communities location, and an Urban Waters Federal Partnership location. There was a discussion around green infrastructure, storm water, and energy efficiency among other topics.
The former Administrator was able to see Weir Gulch, which was restored, after being designed and funded by EPA, and the nearby brownfields sites that will become part of the transformation. In the afternoon, there was a children's environmental health roundtable with a number of children's health professionals present. Rachel Hansgen from Groundwork Denver spoke about the South Platte River Urban Waters Partnership Denver Metro water quality assessment tool for E. Coli.
June: Bike Tours
The Colorado Foundation for Water Education (CFWE) is offering half-day bike tours. Pedal through the Bear Creek watershed, southwest of Denver, to discover how groups are reclaiming and protecting urban waterways. Tours will view first-hand water quality improvement projects, recreation along the creek, long-term watershed planning and community education and stewardship. Registration is free but required.
The Water Connection hosted a presentation, "Innovation and Collaboration at Denver Water," that featured speakers from Denver Water and the Coalition for the Upper South Platte.
Water Quality Assessment Tool
The Water Quality Assessment Tool is now live! The Urban Waters Partnership and the Water Connection developed this innovative resource for the South Platte River Watershed. Developed through an unprecedented collaboration of some of the most talented and knowledgeable water quality experts in the region, The Water Quality Assessment Tool allows for a uniquely interactive experience that makes visualizing and understanding water quality data more accessible than ever. The tool allows you to view the big picture, or zoom in for more detail. This tool is accessible to the public, decision-makers, and research scientists. It can be used to investigate baseline conditions, delve into regional trends, and can help inform solutions to urban water pollution.