Park Projects

Upcoming Work on Dam in Easton Regional Park

April 12, 2019: Foothills Park & Recreation District has been notified that the following operation will occur at our property, Robert Easton Regional Park.

The owners of the Polly Deane Dam and Reservoir also known as Hine Lake, located in the Robert Easton Regional Park, have continued to monitor the seepage area on the dam and are in the process of lowering the water level to help reduce seepage and allow for repair of the dam. The dam structure has been reinforced and officials have been attempting to lower the water level to allow for further evaluation and repairs. Unfortunately, the dam outlet capacity and other contributing factors do not allow sufficient drainage flow to meet State regulations in a timely manner. Therefore, within the next couple of days, an additional pumping operation will commence which will use an auxiliary pump to increase drainage flows which will meet the State Engineer’s requested time frame. This pumping will release water through the spillway and water will flow through channels and greenways situated east of the dam. View a map of the direction of anticipated flows. This operation will likely continue for several weeks. Residents will notice increased construction activity around the dam, and more water than is typically seen in the waterways downstream from the dam. Engineers will calibrate the amount of water to be released so as not to cause damage and flooding. The flow areas will be monitored daily and pumping rates adjusted as needed to avoid unintentional flooding As water continues to be released, additional investigation is ongoing to determine the extent of possible damage to the dam and what mitigation efforts will be required to be performed by the owner.

Jeffco Emergency Management, Colorado Dam Safety, and the Colorado Office of Emergency Management will continue to monitor the situation at the dam and provide updates as needed.

April 8, 2019: The Polly Deane Dam and the body of water known as Hine Lake is located in Robert Easton Regional Park which is a Foothills owned and operated park facility. Though the dam is owned by the Bergen Ditch and Reservoir Company, the District has some ownership of the company for irrigation purposes and is working closely with Bergen and State of Colorado Dam Safety officials to monitor and assist with necessary repairs to the dam.

The following press release was issued on Friday, April 5, 2019 from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office:

“Emergency Management has been monitoring a dam safety issue with the Polly Deane Dam, also known as Hine Lake,  located in the Robert Easton Regional Park. On March 28, during a routine inspection of the dam, Bergen Ditch & Reservoir Co. (the owner) noted seepage in the area of the spillway. They notified the Colorado Department of Natural Resource’s Dam Safety Division and began monitoring the situation. Over the next 48 hours, increased soil erosion was observed and triggered an “Unusual Conditions Alert“ at the state level. Further investigation of the dam found that tree roots had grown into a seepage discharge pipe and allowed water to escape around it. This situation was deemed to not be an imminent threat to the surrounding community.

The owners and Dam Safety engineers have devised a mitigation plan to stem the flow of water and allow for repair of the dam. They reinforced the dam structure and officials are now lowering the reservoir to a point where they can access the weakened area and fix it. The water is currently being lowered and this will continue for up to several weeks. Residents will notice increased construction activity around the dam, and more water in the waterways downstream from the dam. There is no indication that a significant release of water or a dam failure is likely.

Jeffco Emergency Management, Colorado Dam Safety, and the Colorado Office of Emergency Management will continue to monitor the situation at the dam and provide updates as needed.”

Clement Park Renovations

  • Multi-year renovations have been occurring since 2016.  View project details
  • A new phase of renovations will begin in Clement Park from late August 2018 through spring of 2019, weather permitting. Projects will occur on the west side of the park which means you will begin to see various types of work and contractors within the park. Some areas will be closed to the public, including sections of the reservoir trail. View the overview of projects and impacts to the community.
  • Q: WHY IS THE JOHNSTON RESERVOIR WATER LEVEL SO LOW?
    A: The reservoir was partially drained in fall 2018 to accommodate rebuilding the outlet valve in the dam and to replace the overlook areas where the old piers were on the east side of the lake. Construction has been completed on the dam outlet valve and we are finalizing a report with The Colorado Division of Water Resources for final acceptance of the project. Once approved, the reservoir will be filled. Some areas will continue to be fenced off, including some trails, to accommodate the remaining park construction taking place through spring 2019.
    FUN FACT: The outlet valve that was replaced was original to the dam, dating back to the late 1800’s.

Improvement Projects

  • Multi-year improvements to existing parks and facilities.  View project details

Pride in our Parks Program

Blue Heron Park – Dam Reconstruction Project

  • The Flood Plain District and Jefferson County have rebuilt the dam to meet new storm water detention specifications and state requirements.
  • A new pedestrian trail and bridge were constructed as part of the project.
  • View the Dam Reconstruction Plan

Began: January 2018
Completed: July 2018

More information, contact:
– Colin Insley, Director of Parks Planning and Construction, 303.409.2304 | insley@fhprd.org
– John Conn, Jefferson County Transportation and Engineering. 303.271.8496

Additional activity will be occurring at this site in 2019, click to see Improvement Projects information

March 18, 2019 update:  Beers Sisters Reservoir
Beers Sisters Reservoir in Blue Heron Park is FULL thanks to the large storm our state recently experienced. The State declared a ‘Free River’ after this recent weather event which allowed us to capture as much water as the reservoir could hold. Now that the reservoir is abundantly full, anything additional flowing into it will continue to flow out and downstream to other water users. In the future, the District will continue to attempt to keep the lake as full as possible but is required to work within the water rights decreed by the State of Colorado. The reservoir will experience some water level fluctuation based on seasonal evaporation rate and state of our arid climate.

December 4, 2018 update:  Beers Sisters Reservoir
Foothills Park & Recreation District filed a Substitute Water Supply Plan (SWSP) with the State of Colorado which was approved, and allowed the District on October 1, 2018 to capture flows running through Coon Creek into the Beers Sisters Reservoir in Blue Heron Park.  This SWSP expired on November 30, 2018 and therefore, the District is required to allow the flows that are coming into the reservoir to be released downstream.  As a result, sometime this week residents will see water flow out of the valve on the east side of the reservoir and down the streambed.  THIS IS NOT DRAINING THE RESERVOIR – it is only allowing the flows out of the reservoir that are coming into the reservoir. Based on our water rights, when we are permitted by the State to obtain water and continue filling the reservoir, we will do so.

If you would like to read the background information on the dam replacement project or if you are seeing this topic for the first time and wondering what work was conducted, please visit the link below. The link is a document developed in August 2018 that answers questions regarding the Dam Replacement Project construction that occurred in Blue Heron Park as well as information regarding efforts to refill the reservoir. You can view the document here: https://www.ifoothills.org/content/uploads/2018/08/Blue-Heron-Park-Community-Information.pdf

October 4, 2018 update:  Beers Sisters Reservoir being filled
Great News!! Foothills Park & Recreation District has recently closed the gate valve on the dam of the Beers Sisters Reservoir, located in Blue Heron Park, to capture and store any water coming downstream in Coon Creek from runoff or rain events. The District has recently received approval of the Fill Plan from the State Dam Safety Engineer. The District has been authorized to fill at a maximum of one (1) vertical foot per day.

In addition to the approved Fill Plan, the District has also filed a Substitute Water Supply Plan (SWSP) with the Colorado Division of Water Resources requesting a temporary change of water rights for temporary augmentation of the out-of-priority depletions at Beers Sisters. Previously, the District had filed for and received a decree for junior water rights on Coon Creek, but these rights are out of priority at this time due to a lack of precipitation. Because of the desire to refill the lake as quickly as possible, the District has been working to identify other opportunities besides waiting for the junior water right to be in priority. The SWSP augmentation was filed, and will require a 30-45 day approval process. However, the State will allow water to be captured pending approval but if it is not approved, the water must be released. The District is cautiously optimistic that the SWSP request will be approved.

If you would like to see some background information on the dam replacement project or if you are seeing this topic for the first time and wondering what work was conducted, please visit the link below. The link is a document developed in August 2018 that answers questions regarding the Dam Replacement Project construction that occurred in Blue Heron Park as well as information regarding efforts to refill the reservoir. You can view the document here: https://www.ifoothills.org/content/uploads/2018/08/Blue-Heron-Park-Community-Information.pdf

August 22, 2018 update:  Dam Reconstruction Project
Foothills Park & Recreation District has received many questions regarding the construction that occurred in Blue Heron Park as part of the Dam Replacement Project in 2018. We have addressed those questions in this informational document. The goals of this document are to improve communication between the concerned neighbors and entities involved in the dam project, clarify the facts surrounding water rights, and to share the District’s intentions for both the reservoir and the park’s future appearance.

July 18, 2018 update:  Dam Reconstruction Project
The dam reconstruction project at Blue Heron Park has been completed with a final walk-through inspection with all the agencies involved in the project.

The temporary fence will be removed in mid-August.

Why is the reservoir empty? When will the reservoir be refilled?
The District has junior water rights to fill the reservoir. However, in order to fill it, we must have a very rainy period with permission from the state to fill. This would require enough water to ensure everyone that has water rights senior to ours receives their allotment before we can receive our allotment. As of this point, it may be a while before the reservoir can be filled. Currently, the state is very dry and those with senior water rights get water first. (For example: farmers along the Platte.)

For water use in the future, the District is filing for additional water rights and an agreement with a local ditch and reservoir company to improve how water is delivered to the reservoir. For now, we have to leave the reservoir gate open and let water flow into a grate on the lakeside of the dam and downstream so the senior water users can receive the water. We appreciate your patience with this project and we look forward to when we can get the lake filled so that we can re-install and turn on the water aeration system.

June 8, 2018 update:  Dam Reconstruction Project

  • The contractor (American West) is still on track to wrap up the project this month.
  • Bridge abutments and outlet structure are complete with the core of the dam replaced.
  • The pedestrian bridge is being installed and pedestrian trail should be completed by week of June 11.
  • Revegetation should follow and the project should be completed by the end of the month.
  • The lake fill will happen when Foothills Park & Recreation District has permission from the state to fill. We hope we can fill it yet this summer, however, it will be contingent on weather and flows in the tributary system. In the meantime, we will leave some fencing in place to detour access to the lake bed.
  • This project was made possible with funding from Urban Drainage Flood Control District and Jefferson County.

Parks Call 303.409.2300