In January, Larimer County began restoring a stretch of the Cache la Poudre River at River Bluffs Open Space. The open space is located between Timnath and Windsor. The area is popular for biking, birding, picnicking and exploring the river. The trail or trailhead will not experience closures during the restoration project.
The project is estimated to cost $1.67 million. Grants of $1.3 million from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, $154,000 from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and $100,000 from Great Outdoors Colorado will cover much of the cost, with Larimer County making up the difference.
The restoration will take 10-12 weeks to complete and includes:
- Removing large berms to reconnect the river to its floodplain and natural overflow channels.
- Installing instream structures to create habitat for fish and other wildlife.
- Creating a wetland area on the west side of the river by filling an existing man-made pond.
- Planting willow, cottonwood, sedges, grasses and other native plants.
- Removing debris such as concrete from flooding and prior attempts at erosion control along riverbanks.
- Replacing a barbed-wire fence with wildlife-friendly fencing.
In the 1950s, the Poudre River was channelized on the property that is now River Bluffs Open Space to protect the downstream bridge over Colo. 392. This restoration balances the existing infrastructure to sustain a healthy river for fish and wildlife.