Open Space and Trails
Well-planned trails, abundant open space and beautiful parks are a few of the things that make Castle Rock a great place to call home. The Parks, Open Space and Trails Division prioritizes keeping the great outdoors accessible, while preserving Castle Rock’s rich heritage of outdoor recreation and trail use.
The Town of Castle Rock embraces conservation throughout parks, open space and trails. Currently, roughly 30% of the Town is designated open space. The Town demonstrates a commitment to appropriate land use planning and resource conservation through various programming, projects and outings. Visit the Environmental Education page or Animals Around the Rock page for information on upcoming programs.
In response to ongoing flooding and maintenance issues on East Plum Creek and Sellars Gulch trails, Town staff applies a mix of sand and paint to healthy native trees as protection from girdling and felling by active beavers in the area. The sand-paint mix has proved effective as an inexpensive protection measure against beaver activity. Volunteers do not paint trees that are unhealthy, such as having lighting strikes or multi-trunked, in order to leave some as food and building materials for the native beavers.
Preble’s Habitat Conservation Plan Renewal
As part of the Town’s commitment to conservation, the Parks and Recreation Department must ensure habitat conservation along trails and in parks and open space. The original Incidental Take Permit associated with the Douglas County Habitat Conservation Plan (DCHCP) for the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse expired on May 11, 2016, ten years from initial issuance. The renewal process has been initiated with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for a 10 year extension of the original permit and mitigation requirements established in the DCHCP.
The renewal process includes the renewal to the Intergovernmental Agreement between the Town of Castle Rock, Town of Parker and the Board of County Commissioners of the County of Douglas for the continued implementation of the DCHCP, as well as the authorization for the application for the renewal of the Incidental Take Permit. These documents were submitted to the USFWS Endangered Species Permit Office before the permit expiration date and the applicants received written confirmation from the USFWS Colorado Field Office that the Habitat Conservation Plan and Incidental Take Permit coverage remain effective throughout the renewal process.
With the renewal of the Take Permit and IGA, the Town can proceed with the completion of the remaining list of identified road, bridge, trail and utility projects (known as Covered Activities) within Preble’s habitat, such as the Festival Park Project, East Plum Creek Trail Phase 5 and new water and sewer infrastructure for the Utilities Department. Required paperwork has been submitted to the USFWS and is being updated in order for the renewal to be processed.