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File #: RES 2019-081    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 7/10/2019 In control: Town Council
On agenda: 7/16/2019 Final action: 7/16/2019
Title: Resolution Supporting the Submission of a Grant Application for a Connect Initiative Grant from the State Board of the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund for the Completion of the Colorado Front Range Trail Project in Castle Rock
Attachments: 1. Attachment A: Resolution, 2. Attachment B: GOCO Connect Initiative Summary Form, 3. Attachment C: Project Map, 4. Presentation

To:                     Honorable Mayor and Members of Town Council


From:                     Jeff Brauer, Director of Parks and Recreation



Resolution Supporting the Submission of a Grant Application for a Connect Initiative Grant from the State Board of the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund for the Completion of the Colorado Front Range Trail Project in Castle Rock




Executive Summary


The purpose of this agenda item is to obtain Town Council approval for a Resolution Supporting the Grant Application for a Connect Initiative Grant from the State Board of the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Trust Fund and the Completion of the Colorado Front Range Trail Project in Castle Rock. 


This process began in April with the submittal of a Concept Paper that received Council support on April 2, 2019. GOCO staff and the State Board selected the Town’s Concept Paper as one several finalists to move forward with submitting a full grant application.  The Town will be competing with five other trail projects for a total of $8.5 million in grant money.


If awarded, the grant money will be used to supplement the construction costs of three high-priority sections of paved 10-foot wide, multi-use trail along the East Plum Creek and the McMurdo Gulch in Castle Rock.  These sections will complete the primary trail extending to the southern and eastern borders of Town.  These segments are also the route for the Colorado Front-Range Trail (CFRT), which improves the Town’s chances to obtain grant money through GOCO.


A Town Council resolution in support of the grant is a requirement of the grant application. The Terrain and Montaine (Lanterns) Developments, Douglas County, the Douglas Land Conservancy and the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Foundation will partner with the Town to fund and develop the project.  The Town will be the primary coordinator of the project and grant funds, if awarded.   


The CFRT initiative began in 2003 by Colorado State Parks, with the support of many communities and stakeholders, to offer a multi-purpose trail connecting communities along the Front Range from New Mexico to Wyoming. Castle Rock functions as the southern crossroad for the CFRT: East Plum Creek, Hangman’s Gulch, Woodlands and McMurdo Gulch trails will eventually link travelers with the Cherry Creek trail to the east, and Denver to the north with Colorado Springs to the south.  This project would develop 1.7 miles of paved and soft-surface trail southward along the East Plum Creek and 3.3 miles of paved trail along the McMurdo Gulch, connecting Castle Rock to the existing Cherry Creek Regional Trail.


The final GOCO grant application is due on August 2, 2019 and grant awards will be announced on September 27, 2019.  If awarded, the Town has up to three years, or until September 27, 2022, to complete construction.  The project is currently scheduled for planning, design and construction over the next three years and therefore, would meet the project timeframe if awarded. 


Notification and Outreach Efforts


Currently, there is a multi-media outreach effort to notify the public about the trail project.  Outreach began with an informational table provided at the Tunes for Trails Perks for Parks June concert at Philip S. Miller Park, the Bike to Work event at Festival Park and the July First Fridays event at Festival Park.  A petition offered to residents at those events collected more than 250 signatures in support of the project and grant application.  A public informational table describing the project and grant application is currently on display in the lobby of both the Recreation Center and Miller Activity Complex.  Additionally, the community has been invited to offer feedback online at  Information about the project is also available at the project website.




The East Plum Creek Trail Phase 5 Project has been included as a Town priority in the Parks and Recreation Department Master Plan, beginning in 2002 and most recently in the 2015 Update. This project has also been specifically identified in the Three-year Strategic Plan, approved by Council resolution in 2018, as a priority for staff and budget allocation with measurable objectives to design and construct the trail in the next three years.


GOCO’s Connect Initiative focuses on connecting existing trail gaps, constructing new, highly demanded trail systems and providing increased access for youth and families to existing parks, open spaces, natural areas and environmental education opportunities. 

This is the final round of a 5-year strategy by GOCO to increase access to outdoor experiences.  GOCO intends to fund high-quality projects, including ones like this proposed project that offer important connections and increased access to recreational opportunities.


There will be an extension to the East Plum Creek Trail south through Douglas County (referred to as the southern segment) and along McMurdo Gulch in Castle Rock through several residential neighborhood communities, including The Woodlands, Terrain and Cobblestone Ranch (referred to as the central and northern segments).  The 5 miles of new trail will be 4.4 miles within incorporated Castle Rock that will consist of 10-foot wide concrete and the remaining 0.6 miles within unincorporated Douglas County will be 8-foot wide crusher fines following Douglas County’s trail standards for rural trail development.  Major project components to complete the trail include three low-water creek crossings (box culverts); two grade separated road crossings; one railroad-crossing underpass; five local drainage structures; and creek bank scour wall protection.         


The majority of the trail alignment will be built on existing open space or lands to be dedicated to the Town by developers as public open space prior to trail construction.  A portion of the southern segment will travel through Lowell Ranch, a non-profit agricultural education center owned by CALF, south of Castle Rock, protected with a permanent Conservation Easement held by Douglas Land Conservancy (DLC); both CALF and DLC are partners on the proposed trail project.  The Douglas County connection (south segment) will require an agreement with the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR); Town staff have been in negotiations with the UPRR on the proposed crossing since June 2018. Additionally, because the public will be accessing railroad property, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) is required to review such request.  Staff has been in contact and has submitted a PUC application for the proposed crossing.


The Town has submitted other grant applications in the past that were successfully approved.  The following is a list of successful grant applications submitted to GOCO in recent years:


                     2016: $1,000,000 GOCO Connect Initiative Grant for East Plum Creek Trail Phase 5 Project;

                     2013: $250,000 LPOR Grant for Philip S. Miller Park Phase 1 (adventure playground and environmental education amenities)

                     2012: $194,000 State Trails Construction Grant for Hangman’s Gulch Phase 2 Project;

                     2008: $230,000 State Trails Grant for the East Plum Creek Trail Zemp/Clingman Acquisition;

                     2007: $200,000 State Trails Construction Grant for the East Plum Creek Trail Connection;

                     2006: $400,000 Open Space Land Acquisition Grant for Quarry Mesa


Budget Impact


This project has been identified as the next planned trail project within the Parks and Recreation 5-year Strategic Plan and 5-year Capital Improvement Plan using funds from the Annual Trails Improvement Fund, which allocates approximately $550,000 annually to fund new trail construction as well as ongoing maintenance.  The rough estimate of Colorado Front Range Trail in Castle Rock is currently estimated at $5 million, which includes design and construction of 5 miles of new trail.  Using budgetary numbers, the proposed construction cost will be divided among the project partners listed below:


Great Outdoors Colorado: $2,000,000

Town of Castle Rock: $1,560,000

Terrain-Starwood Land Ventures (Terrain Developer): $582,000

Toll Brothers LLC (Montaine Developer): $726,000

Douglas County: $132,000


Staff Recommendation


Staff recommends approval of the Resolution Supporting the Grant Application for a Connect Initiative Grant from the State Board of the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund for the completion of the Colorado Front Range Trail Project in Castle Rock.


Proposed Motion


“I move to approve the resolution as introduced by title.”




Attachment A:          Resolution

Attachment B:          GOCO Connect Initiative Summary Form

Attachment C:          Project Map