South Platte River: Surf’s up! (soon)

Oxford Reach Whitewater Park Looking Upstream Toward Oxford Avenue via Arapahoe County.
Oxford Reach Whitewater Park Looking Upstream Toward Oxford Avenue via Arapahoe County.

From The Elbert County News (Tom Munds):

Dorothy Hargrove, Englewood’s director of library, parks and recreation, told officials at the June 29 tri-cities meeting that the project called River Run includes a trailhead and amenities including a wave generator so visitors can surf the South Platte River.

She said it has been a project involving a number of agencies including Englewood, Sheridan and Arapahoe County — plus the agreement from the Army Corps of Engineers — for all the work on the river channel.

“The project includes a pavilion, restrooms and easy ADA accessible from the parking lot to the river,” she said. “River Run is just one part of the effort to revitalize the South Platte River through Littleton, Englewood and Sheridan.”

The effort is being spearheaded by the South Platte River Working Group. The group is made up of representatives of Englewood Sheridan, Littleton, Arapahoe County, South Suburban Parks and Recreation District, the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Urban Drainage and Flood Control District and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Grants from Arapahoe County Open Space funds as well as money Englewood received from the open space fund and from lottery funds provided the roughly $800,000 needed to construct the trailhead.

Another trailhead amenity was funded when Greater Outdoors Colorado approved Sheridan’s grant request for $350,000 to construct and equip the playground adjacent to the river.

Plans are for the money to be used to build a nature-themed playground, seating overlooking the river, pedestrian paths and to install landscaping around the playground.

Other river amenity projects are planned or under construction. For example, South Suburban Parks and Recreation District applied for a Great Outdoors Colorado grant to construct a walking and running trail along the east bank of the river from Union to Oxford avenues. The estimated cost of the east-side trail is about $3.3 million.

Hargrove and members of the South Platte Working Group talked about some of the other efforts, including the work at Reynolds Landing and Carson Nature Center in Littleton. There are plans for bank enhancements along much of the seven-mile stretch as well as creation of a whitewater tubing and boating channel between West Union and West Oxford avenues. Smaller trailheads are planned at Union and Belleview avenues.

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