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Red Rock Canyon remedial projects starting in March

       In the coming months, Colorado Springs Parks plans major improvements in two areas of Red Rock Canyon Open Space, which could cause some trail closures.
       One location is the former landfill west of 26th Street, as part of its continuing restoration; the other is a pre-city-ownership holding pond/dam at the intersection of the Red Rock Canyon and Red Rock Rim trails that's been deemed illegal and must be filled in.

The former landfill, now covered with grassy soil, still requires methane monitoring at Red Rock Canyon.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Information on these projects was provided by City Parks via the Winter 2017 edition of the Red Rock Rag, published by the Friends of Red Rock Canyon; and an e-mail response to follow-up questions from the Westside Pioneer.
       The first area to get attention will be the landfill, where a new groundwater monitoring well will be installed. The contractor, Geologic Services & Consultants (GSC), plans to start drilling for the well in late March.
       This work is part of a landfill “corrective action plan” (CAP), which was recently approved by the Colorado Department of Health & Environment.
       The CAP also requires more fill dirt on the landfill “to repair areas that settled over the years [and] bring the landfill back into compliance with our state requirements,” the Rag article states.
       Elaborating on this information, the e-mail to the Pioneer from Jennifer Schreuder of City Parks states that the landfill-cover effort “is still in the design phase. Parks is working with our consultant (GSC) to develop a grading plan and specifications that will allow Parks to solicit bids later this year.”
       The landfill dates back to the mid-20th century. It was closed in 1986.
       The holding pond, currently empty, sits behind a 10-foot-high dam, Schreuder said. It was built without a state permit before the city bought Red Rock Canyon in 2003.
       “This holding pond came to the state's attention during the historic rains the area experienced in May 2015 when the Sand Canyon dam failed and sediment spilled onto South Ridge Road and High Street,” the Rag article states.
       The state dam inspector told the city to fill the hole “as clean fill material becomes available,” Schreuder said.
       But there is no hard deadline. Filling the hole - mostly via Parks contractors trucking extra dirt they accumulate from other projects - is expected to take “several years,” she explained.
       Schreuder added that the money for the Red Rock projects is coming from conservation trust funds (state lottery money).

Westside Pioneer/press release