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South Platte River Restoration

2010 July 30

SouthPlatteWhile visiting Denver over Memorial Day weekend, I walked from my downtown hotel to the lower downtown area and the South Platte River. I did not expect to see a revitalized waterfront with very busy bicycle paths lining the river along with new apartments and condos. The rapids at Confluence Park, where Cherry Creek joins the South Platte, was filled with young adults tubing its length as though they were in a water park. In fact, this was an urban water park where children and their parents build sand castles on the banks of the rivers and splash to their hearts’ content. Onlookers enjoyed the site of so much activity both along and in the two rivers, as dog walkers and even a bird watcher strolled along the river bank.

It was a very heartwarming and impressive site for an urban waterway, especially considering how heavily degraded the area once had been. The Greenway Foundation documents the history of restoration of both the rivers and the neighborhood. This effort could serve as a model for other Urban Waterways. Their work has obviously paid off. It would be nice to hear from those that enjoy this resource and other similar areas.

About the Author: Wayne Davis is an environmental scientist in the Office of Environmental Information and has been promoting the use of aquatic biological indicators for community outreach for most of his 23 year EPA tenure. He also manages a Web site on biological indicators –

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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8 Responses leave one →
  1. William Kistler permalink
    July 30, 2010

    The Denver area has done a lot to make areas such as the South Platte enjoyable…if you are ever in town again, try to get out to Golden (about 1/2 hour west) they have done a lot to make the community very walkable and have the Clear Creek kayak park…beautiful area

  2. Cal Banyan permalink
    July 31, 2010

    I completely understand what you are saying. I live in Tustin, California and ride my bike several times a week. My favorite ride is along a waterway heading to the Pacific Ocean.

    Keep it GREEN!

  3. Cathy Davis permalink
    August 1, 2010

    I wish more cities had these kind of resources.
    C. Davis

  4. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    August 1, 2010

    Cleaning up urban water ways and converting them from polluted waters to important natural and recreational resources is a very important thing. We are doing similar work on the Oso Creek Trail in Mission Viejo and its looking alot nicer to have the litter and gocery carts gone, to have collpsed manholes replaced, and to have a war on graffiti. And the Creek’s path is accessible to wheel chairs for much of its length, too. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  5. simon permalink
    August 3, 2010

    It’s such an important thing for any urban area to have areas like this, and to encourage people to use them for getting out and getting fresh air and exercise!

  6. Truck driving jobs permalink
    August 9, 2010

    this was really great news. this was also a great information to us about river that was restored at South Platte


  7. Justin permalink
    December 14, 2010

    That looks like such a productive and wonderful project! I wish more cities would take advantage of their waterways to provide lovely recreational areas like this.

  8. May 8, 2012

    This is a good and very important post. Others should share this. Good job.

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