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Overview of the East Plum Creek Restoration Partnership

By | Stream Restoration | No Comments

Our mission is helping people help the land by promoting projects through education to further sustainable use of natural resources, while balancing the needs of agriculture and urban growth. This project is the catalyst for many of the district’s community events where hands-on learning leads to seeds of stewardship that we hope will grow into conservationists of the future. 

The East Plum Creek Restoration Partnership is an extensive stream habitat improvement project along a nearly one-mile stretch of East Plum Creek, a central wildlife corridor, as it passes through the Historic Lowell Ranch in Southern Castle Rock. The importance of East Plum Creek is due to its position in the central wildlife corridor that connects thousands of preserved acres of National Forest, State Parks, State Wildlife Areas, and Douglas County Open Space. Impacts to East Plum Creek do affect the Plum Creek and Chatfield Watersheds. 

This project aims to restore the creeks appropriate geomorphology and hydrology while improving water quality and reducing sediment loading. Native grass, decrease in noxious weeds and Russian Olive trees will improve and expand the habitat for aquatic and wildlife along this important corridor.

The Colorado Agricultural Leadership Foundation’s (CALF) Historic Lowell Ranch is a private working, agricultural education center. Lowell Ranch was originally homesteaded in 1878 and members of the Lowell family have occupied and owned the ranch since then. CALF encourages a high-level of sound stewardship practices including livestock and gardening practices. The property is a conservation easement held by the Douglas Land Conservancy and was designated a Historic Landmark by the Board of Douglas County Commissioners in 2010; this is a special place. Please note that Lowell Ranch is open to the public during special events or by appointment only.

Below one can find details within the links about the historic reports on the site, current restoration work and conservation practices, engineering plans, partner affiliations key to our success, community events at the site, and photo presentations on all of the above.
Please send inquiries about the partnership, to get involved, or to purchase native plants and seed to our District Manager Heather@DouglasConserves.org.

Partners

  • Douglas County Public Works Department – permits, contractors, planning and engineering efforts and guidance, educational outreach, and funding assistance 
  • Douglas County Open Space and Natural Resources – planting and propagation efforts and guidance, funding assistance
  • Board of Douglas County Commissioners – support for conservation practices via funding assistance
  • Colorado Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF) – access to Lowell Ranch, support of our project and conservation goals, plant products from seed, and plant materials on site
  • Colorado State Forest Service Nursery – provide quality native seedling trees, shrubs, and grasses and support of conservation
  • Douglas Land Conservancy – ongoing support of our conservation practices
  • The Bees Waggle – pollinator speakerships, teaching engagements, and planting support
  • Fox Creek Elementary ECO Action Team – planting support and youth stewardship-leader perspectives
  • Volunteers – support and continued interest in conservation practices, planting support, stewardship
  • Douglas County School District Sustainability – continued support of conservation practices, planting support on site, professional development for teachers on site, student field trips
  • Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) – funding assistance and support of community engagements and conservation practice
  • Colorado Youth Corps Association and the Mile High Youth Corps – funding assistance through the corps program and support of conservation practice
  •  Highlands Ranch STEM School – Drone study for conservation efforts and youth stewardship-leader perspectives
  • Douglas County Master Gardeners – planting support, teaching engagements, and support of conservation practices

Federal Grant Programs Available Through the Farm Bill

By | Federal Grants | No Comments

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is available to landowners.  See Flyer for more information.  Check out the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS website) for more information on other available federal programs.

Contact USDA – NRCS Franktown Service Center District Conservationist Deric Clemons by e-mail or by phone 303 218-2634 for more information regarding their programs.

Noxious Weed A and B-List Species Grant

By | Grants | No Comments

The Douglas County  Conservation District has opportunities for Douglas County residents to apply for our Cost-Share Grant in the pursuit of controlling noxious weeds.  This  cost-share grant will assist with a 50% cost share up to $500.00 per  property for chemical and  biological control methods for weeds on the Colorado State Noxious Weed “A” and “B” list species.  Details are on the grant application.  Obtain the 2020 Grant Document from our website at  https://douglasconserves.org/grants/.

Fuels Mitigation Grant

By | Grants | No Comments

The Douglas County Conservation District offers a Fire Mitigation Cost – Share Grant to residents of Douglas County, Colorado.  For more information visit our website Douglas Conserves.  Feel free to call our Franktown office to reach the District Manager at (303) 218 – 2622 or EMail to DCCDistrict@gmail.com.  Thank you for your interest.

2018 Outdoor Environmental Adventure Camp for Youth

By | Educational Events | No Comments

Camp Rocky is a fun and educational opportunity for youth ages 14 through 19 who are looking for an outdoors adventure.  The Douglas County Conservation District offers partial scholarships to attend this camp.  See below for contact information.

Camp Rocky, sponsored by the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Colorado State Forest Service, and other partners, will be held TBA in a mountain setting above Colorado Springs near Divide, CO.   The camp provides a great opportunity for those who enjoy the outdoors and are interested in learning more about Colorado’s natural resources.

Camp Rocky staff members are professionals in their respective resource fields.  They assist participants in learn about their environment while working in teams and meeting other students from across Colorado.  Each year, new and returning students choose one of the following resource fields for their area of focus:

  • Forest Management: The forestry team learns about different forest types, how to determine the overall health of the forest, how to find a tree’s age without cutting it down, why trees can be “dangerous”, and how fire can be “good” for forest health and safety.
  • Soil and Water Conservation: This team learns about two primary components of nature – soil and water. They will create a river and learn how different types of soil affect plants, wildlife and humans.
  • Rangeland Science: The rangeland science team learns about the fitness of rangeland and forage.  They will study how rangelands provide food for livestock, habitat for wildlife, and clean water for drinking.
  • Fish and Wildlife Management:  The wildlife biology team will track a radio-collared animal, go electro-fishing (a “shocking” experience), and learn how different types of Colorado wildlife survive the elements.

Additional activities include volleyball games, hiking, archery, trap shooting, a campfire, the Camp Rocky challenge, and a dance.  At the close of camp, students will receive a Camp Rocky certificate of Achievement.

Eligible youth include those who have completed eighth grade by June 1, 2018 through age 19.  The cost is $300.00, all inclusive.  Limited scholarships for Douglas County Colorado youth are available.  For more information, application, or scholarship information, contact the Douglas County Conservation District at 303-218-2622 or email DCCDistrict@gmail.com