Some call it the jewel of Northern Colorado, referring to reservoir No. 4, about one mile northwest of Wellington. The pristine lake, sometimes called Lake Wellington, is lined with magnificent, 100-year-old cottonwoods trees that have provided a haven for wildlife, and beauty for all those who have utilized the fishing reservoir.
Today, survey stakes mark the future high-water mark of the reservoir after refurbishing of the dam that may be done this fall. If the North Poudre Irrigation Company (NPIC) and the City of Fort Collins, which owns majority interest of the company, decide to refurbish the dam, hundreds of trees will be cut down, and the natural habitant will be destroyed. The reservoir is one of the most popular fishing reservoirs in northern Colorado, leased by the Division of Wildlife. Wellington’s master plan is to some day have a park at the reservoir, but who wants to go to a park without trees?
Steve Smith, director of NPIC, has said that NPIC will be studying the cost effectiveness of the project, and refurbishing will begin this fall if the decision is made to proceed. By next spring the reservoir will be raised to capacity, minus hundreds of large cottonwoods, which have adorned the lake for nearly a century.
Northern Colorado has suffered a great loss of trees in the recent fires. We need to preserve what trees we have, especially in a park-like setting like Lake Wellington. For those who want to save the trees, I urge you to contact the board of directors of NPIC and the city council of Fort Collins to preserve the jewel of Northern Colorado.