New Belgium Brewery helps Fort Collins acquire Poudre River water rights

Using a $100,000 contribution from New Belgium Brewery, the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department recently acquired a 40 percent interest in the Coy Ditch, a move that will benefit habitats along the Cache la Poudre River Corridor.

The City’s recent acquisition consists of water that formerly irrigated the Link-N-Greens golf course where Woodward Governor’s new corporate headquarters are to be located. The Natural Areas Department plans to use the acquired water to enhance environmental values in and near the Poudre River. New Belgium Brewery contributed $100,000 towards the $700,000 purchase price.

“For New Belgium, this is a great way to invest in a healthy river and riparian corridor right where we live and work,” said New Belgium sustainability director Jenn Vervier. “Much of our philanthropic efforts go toward supporting healthy watersheds, but it is especially meaningful when we can work on something this close to home.”

The water rights acquisition brings the city’s total interest in the Coy Ditch to 50 percent. The remaining 50 percent is owned by a municipal water provider.

Natural Areas Department Director John Stokes said, “This purchase will help the city pursue a minimum instream flow on the Poudre River and also to augment ponds and wetlands. Both of these objectives are critical to river health. In addition to these benefits, the water rights open up the possibility for modifications to Coy Ditch diversion dam (just east of College Avenue) to improve habitat connectivity, recreation and stormwater management. The city wishes to extend its sincere appreciated to New Belgium for its farsighted and generous donation.”

Citizens are invited to an open house to learn more about more than 25 projects in the Poudre River Corridor on June 26, 4-7 p.m. at the Lincoln Center, Canyon West Room, 417 West Magnolia Street.

Topics include construction, trail closures, drought and fire, habitat restoration, flood mitigation and planning. Give input and enjoy kids’ activities and a cash bar. An overview of the projects and trail closures can be found at fcgov.com/riverprojects/

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