Three things from the Windsor town board work session Monday
September 26, 2015
1. Coalition for the Poudre Water Shed presents to town board
Coalition for the Poudre Water Shed Executive Director Jennifer Kovecses approached staff with an opportunity to participate in a regional effort to develop a floodplain master plain for the Poudre east of Interstate 25.
The coalition was originally created following the 2012 wildfires, which — in addition to causing the loss of homes and trees — caused increases in runoff, flooding, sediment erosion and debris flows along the river.
The increased erosion and ash in the river affected its ecology and ability to reliably deliver clean drinking water, Kovecses said Monday.
The group was initially formed as a network known as the High Park Restoration Coalition, but broadened its mission to work toward the overall health of the river system.
Due to the fire's direct impact on Greeley, Larimer County and Fort Collins, the board was, and currently is, mostly made up of representatives from those communities.
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"I'm a little surprised that Windsor wasn't in your mind for boat members," Mayor John Vazquez said Monday.
Kovecses said the reasoning was due to the immediate impact of the fires, but that the organization had purposefully left some board seats open to add representatives from other communities such as Windsor down the road.
Currently, development of the master plan has no financial impact on the town. However, if the coalition is successful in collecting grant-funding the Community Block Development Grant – Disaster Recovery a form of match may be required. Town staff expects that the requirements can be met with an in-kind contribution.
For more information on the coalition visit http://www.poudrewatershed.org.
2. Skyview Elementary asks for outdoor STEM classroom support
Skyview Elementary schools teachers gave a presentation looking for support for their outdoor classroom area on the east side of the school.
The teachers asked the board to support and sponsor a Great Outdoors Colorado application that could give the project $30,000 for construction of the classroom.
"This outdoor classroom will create an area on the east side of the school where students and the community will have the opportunity to learn about natural ecosystems and the environment," according to materials presented to the board.
Mayor John Vazquez was strongly in support of the application and said that the project was exactly the kind of program he had in mind when talking about education development in the past.
In 2013, Skyview Elementary School of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) participated in the Jane Goodall Roots and Shoots Program for all students between kindergarten and 5th grade interested in environmental education.
Under the program, students took interest in learning about the school's wetlands, which then turned into a hope to transform the area in an outdoor classroom for use by students, other Weld RE-4 schools and the community, according to materials.
At completion, the classroom will be 45,000 square feet in and around the drainage area east of the school's parking lot. Benches and pathways will be installed into the study zone so students can safely observe and collect data.
The classroom will include a music area, bat houses, outdoor science lab, amphitheater, pollinator garden, native plant finder area and digging area.
The classroom is an extension of Skyview's commitment to STEM education and helps students understand "real-life issues around the watershed as it relates to Windsor," according to materials.
In 2014, the Skyview Roots and Shoots Committee met with Greenscape Designs, a landscape architecture firm, to decide how to design and build the classroom.
They hope to begin construction, if funding goals are met, by spring of 2016. The program requires no funding is required by the town of Windsor.
The board directed staff to pursue a sponsorship of the GOCO application.
3. Pickleball lovers look to build four outdoor courts
A group of local pickleball enthusiasts approached the town board to also ask for sponsorship of a GOCO application that would provide funds to transform one of the two inline hockey rinks at Main Park into four pickle ball courts.
The group — mostly made up of retirees, similar to the national pickle ball scene — regularly uses the Community Recreation Center to play, but has begun to outgrow the space.
The additional court space would allow group members to more comfortably teach residents interested in learning the sport. They also were open to the idea of leaving older equipment at the Main Park location so families could try it out during their park visits.
"It's good exercise and a great social venture," group member Brian Moeck said Monday during the work session.
In order to transform the space, the rink backboards would be removed, fencing would be installed along with court nets and surface improvements would be made.
Approximately half of the cost of the $45,000 project could be funded by a GOCO grant. Town staff requested an additional $20,000 be used from the Capital Improvement Fund for the project.