Golden Long Term Improvement Plans... Input Needed - Mountain Buzz

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Old 03-16-2009   #1
Broomfield, Colorado Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 61
Golden Long Term Improvement Plans... Input Needed

Hey all,

I am presenting to the City Council and Parks/Rec Board tomorrow night on the long term plans on Clear Creek.

I am looking for constructive thoughts as to how to make the park better FOR ALL USERS.

What do you think we need or you see as a problem (within reason).I am looking at three primary things:
  1. Bring the park up to date with others in the country. We must justify sustainability of all work done (streamside and instream) and how it would be sustainable.
  2. Yearly Dredging allowance and ease of permits every March. This will allow for features to work as designed and minimize streamflow change creating less functional features as designed and quicker wear/streambed erosion. We now have access to the WW Park Improvement account again that we can get money into for any updates we want to change.
  3. Recreating a Full Advisory Committee to the Parks Board/City Council for the Whitewater Park. Create more accountability between all groups and US as users to convey messages and goals to the whole community. This advisory board would ideally include the old guy always tanning at the center with his wife, the tuber that is always there, Mike Paris, Greg Kopp, Myself, rep of Golden Riversports, Rep of Confluence Kayaks, Rep of Alpenglow.... etc. Ideally this group meets once monthly to talk about each months goals that we place out there, communication of issues, growth model, events, etc.... The meetings would not be during the work day as in years past, but rather at night after boating over beer and burgers in the park. Paul Birkenholder of Parks and Rec would be present and the whole group overseen by Rod Taurello, Parks Director.
The changes currently being worked on for 2009 year:
  • Fence coming down this month (work done by School of Mines)
  • New access points in the middle and top of the whitewater course (multi-user focus with nice tiered and wheel accessible for raft carts and open canoe access). The goal is less wear on trail and not blocking the creek path.
  • Better slalom structure to minimize broken gates and allow for ease of movement of gates. (Parks has already dug our new pole caissons on the other side) ( Front Range Paddlers has funded this)
  • Signage explaining all user activities on the bank for pedestrians
  • Parking lot on westside of river with access points from the new park being put in place. You will see this happen quickly as they have access to the grants that have just been made available from the County.

*****I need this by tomorrow afternoon to best represent everyones requests (let's be reasonable). *** Please post on here for all to view and not sending me PM's and/or emailing me direct
[email protected]

I imagine a park that is updated and more competitive with places like Reno and all other new parks in the country as I am sure most of you want as well.

Who has a desire to be part of the Advisory Committee??

Thanks for helping bring our groups together for a common vision.

[email protected]
Rocky Mountain Whitewater Club (formerly Front Range Paddle Association)

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Old 03-16-2009   #2
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 417
My comments are:

1. please don't modify or "improve" the library hole. That hole is a great feature as it is, and every time someone tries to impove an already good feature it gets worse (ie. bleacher hole, bottom hole below Washington bridge).

2. if it is possible to make the bleacher hole and bottom hole back the way they were 4-5 years ago, that would be awsome, although I suspect that is not possible.

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Old 03-16-2009   #3
Broomfield, Colorado Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 61
We will not be making any changes to the instream features for the next year.

By dredging, I feel that the old feel will be brought back and the features will be able to act as they should at 150 CFS +. It has been 5 years since there has been any dredging (Post 2002 "floods").
Right now it is getting a talking point list for showing what is great about the park as of right now and what is keeping it from becoming the BEST OPEN WHITEWATER PARK IN THE COUNTRY or WORLD.

The long term planning that I am trying to influence will include looking at: Changeable features (hydralic/movable structures),
In stream floor changes to lessen sediment buildup in certain areas.
Viewing areas to improve (west side of river)
Running speaker wire and coms devices for events.
Camping permission for special permit for special events (freestyle Nats or other larger festivals/Slalom World Cup, Fishing Championships??? )

Thanks for your thoughts..... keep em' coming
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Old 03-16-2009   #4
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,107
Not a specific golden playpark thought, but a clear creek comment. I'd love to see the dam on the lower clear creek run removed and see the gradient used to make a nice wave / hole play feature. Keep that in mind for longer term projects.
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Old 03-16-2009   #5
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 316

Excellent work here are my thoughts on the place:

- Re-establishing a committee that meets regularly is the best idea yet. This will help to manage a variety of issues as well as think of creative ways for expanded use.

- removing the fence and opening up access on the other side is huge as well.

-Dredging makes me a little nervous. A couple of years ago The library hole had problems from erosion from underneath the structure. It is my opinion that the sediment is helping to hold those structures in place. I am not sure if this is the best way to improve the structures. As it may cause more problems in the future.

- I would contact a company other than Shipley and Lacy to possibly reengineer the features before the investment is made in dredging. They seem to do ok with aesthetics and slalom courses but lack in freestyle functionality. They have been managing the park for years now and it seem it gets worse and worse.

- The adjustable feature that the town of vail has needs to be on the wish list.

- The pond at the rec center seems like it would be a great place to to teach roll classes... access and beach there would great.

- The short run from the first tunnel down to the park is also a plus. It would be great if that whole stretch were devolped a bit more similar to the creek through boulder. Better walking paths and such.

So there you go...You are doing great work. I am sure you will get many responses to your message. I hope it is not overwhelming.

Ben Rodda
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Old 03-16-2009   #6
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,105
I realize this isn't the short term feedback you're looking for, but from a kayaker's POV, the quality of the features is the major downside to the Golden WW park right now. The library hole and grand stand hole are the only thing worthwhile at low water and the grand stand hole the only thing at higher flows. Lyons and Lawson have much better features.

I think the accessibility, the bike path, the seating around the river, and general atmosphere there is great (for its intended purpose).
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Old 03-16-2009   #7
Arvada, 80003
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 253
First. We still do not have a hole that you can complete a quality loop in, with out ramming your feet into the concrete. If Lawson can be so good at 300 cfs why cant golden? It is ridiculous that even at 800 cfs there isn't a good big air feature in the park.

Second. Waves are the future of this sport, and what everybody is looking for right now. While they are the hardest to get right they are worth every penny. People flock to even small waves. Remember Hawaii 5-0 two years ago. That was by no means a big surf wave, hell it was more of a hole, but even the green left shoulder was a blast for wave moves. People came form all over for Union. When was the last time that happened (before two years ago).

Third. So many drops are wasted space. Everybody (kayakers, boogie boarders, swimmers, and sometimes tubers) seems to hag out at the features designed for kayaking. So why then do we only have two features that are really designed for kayaking? The rest seem to be a waste.

Fourth. The number of kayakers in Golden has seemed to drop off in the past few years. If we do not update the features, and make the park more interesting for the people who consistently boat there we are going to see numbers continue to decline.

I am glad we are bringing up dredging. This is a necessity, I have seem so many good parks turns into absolutely nothing because of sediment build up. Green River Wy. is the prime example of how sediment build up effects a feature. That hole was better than Salida, and now it is nothing.

This is what I see, take it or leave it.
"Ain't a single rock in this river that can stop us!" Slug
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Old 03-16-2009   #8
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 67
1. We need one hole that you can actually do freestyle moves in with out hitting the bottom and or braking boats. Like Lawson and or Lyons, both low water rivers that are a million times better than Golden.

2. Dredging needs to be done along with up keep of the overall park.

3. Get the Clear Creek Whitewater committee going again with some new members who are excited to volunteer time and ideas.(sorry Chris I am done volunteering on this board, time for some new blood, as the Kid said some boaters are not boating there anymore because there are not any good freestyle features, myself included.)

Chris I think this is great that you got things rolling again.
It is easy to sit and bitch about how bad the park is and how easy it is to make a good hole. Go Volunteer and make this happen.

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Old 03-16-2009   #9
Broomfield, Colorado Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 61
Hey MP... Can you email me.. I have some things to run by you and for you to see my presentation to the board and other plans.

Would love your feedback since you have been so active for 10+ years now...
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Old 03-17-2009   #10
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Geologist, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 612
I noticed a digger in the channel this afternoon and some large boulders in the channel above the traditional put-in for the current slalom course/ww park. Are they adding new features or dredging?
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