The Soldier Creek Tributary Project, in northwest Fort Collins, is providing the community with multiple benefits, including flood control through a creative partnership- three City of Fort Collins departments (Utilities, Natural Areas and Parks) worked together to acquire land to reconstruct Solider Creek (an original waterway) to the Poudre River. The project will improve stormwater quality, conserve wildlife habitat along the Cache la Poudre River and provide trail connections from Vine Drive and Lincoln Middle School to the Poudre Trail. The partnership saved money while providing new trails, flood protection and conservation. Soldier Creek stream reconstruction is underway and the trail connections are anticipated by the end of the year. Public access to the property will be limited to the trails as it is privately owned.
Utilities and Natural Areas split the cost of acquiring a conservation easement on 25 acres and acquiring 12.8 acres for the stream reconstruction and trail connections on property just south of the Poudre River and west of Shields. The partnership saved Utilities and Natural Areas each approximately half of what they would have to spent to achieve individual department goals and Parks obtained a trail corridor at no expense.
Natural Areas had been working to place a conservation easement on this property, when Utilities determined they needed to acquire some land for the Soldier Creek Tributary (also known as the West Vine Stormwater Outfall Project). The two departments decided to partner and work together to acquire both the land for the stream reconstruction and the conservation easement at the same time. Natural Areas, Utilities, and Parks regularly work together to identify vacant lands around the city that could serve multiple purposes such as trail corridors; drainages; stormwater quality improvement, and wildlife corridors. Parks identified this property as one that could also provide an important trail corridor.
The stream reconstruction is underway and Parks hopes to complete the paved trail connection to Lincoln Middle School and the soft trail connection to Vine Drive by the end of the year. Access to the property will be limited to the trail connections since it is privately owned.