Grab Your Paddle Boards; Oxbow Opens

PADDLER, KAYAKERS, RAFTERS AND SWIMMERS: GRAB YOUR GEAR AND SUNSCREEN AND HEAD TO OXBOW PARK. IT’S OPEN! YOU’RE WATCHING THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK, BROUGHT TO YOU BY PUEBLO COMMUNITY COLLEGE SOUTHWEST. I’M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE. THE LONG-AWAITED IMPROVEMENTS TO OXBOW PARK AND PRESERVE ARE COMPLETED AND ARE NOW OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. OXBOW PARK IS THE NORTH TERMINUS OF THE ANIMAS RIVER TRAIL LOCATED OFF OF ANIMAS VIEW DRIVE. THE CITY OF DURANGO PURCHASED THE 44-ACRE PARCEL IN 2012, BUT PUBLIC ACCESS WAS LIMITED BY LACK OF PARKING AND OTHER FACTORS. CITY PARKS AND RECREATION DIRECTOR CATHY METZ SAID IT WAS IDENTIFIED AS THE NUMBER ONE PRIORITY FOR INVESTMENT AND IMPROVEMENT BY RESIDENTS WHO PARTICIPATED IN PUBLIC MEETINGS FOR THE ANIMAS RIVER CORRIDOR MANAGEMENT PLAN.
THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN IDENTIFYING THE PRIORITY PROJECTS FOR THE ANIMAS RIVER CORRIDOR IS OXBOW BEING IDENTIFIED AS THE NUMBER ONE PROJECT FOR THE CITY TO COMPLETE TO PROVIDE ACCESS, PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE RIVER UPSTREAM OF OUR 33RD STREET RIVER ACCESS. SO IT ADDED 1.3 RIVER MILES FOR PADDLERS AS THEY ENJOYED THE ANIMAS RIVER IN DURANGO THE PARK INCLUDES DRESSING ROOMS, A RESTROOM, PICNIC AREAS, PARKING AREAS, A BOAT LAUNCHING PARKING AREA, A BOAT RAMP AND A NATURAL BEACH IN THE DEVELOPED PORTION. A NATURAL SURFACE TRAIL LEADS INTO THE PRESERVE. LEE PETTY, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT WITH PARKS AND RECREATION, SAID DESIGN, ENGINEERING, CONSTRUCTION OF THE ANIMAS RIVER TRAIL EXTENSION FROM ANIMAS CITY PARK TO OXBOW PARK AND THE OXBOW IMPROVEMENTS COST ABOUT TWO POINT ONE MILLION DOLLARS.
IT’S A WONDERFUL TERMINUS FOR THE, FOR THE TRAIL SYSTEM RIGHT NOW. IT GIVES A WONDERFUL DESTINATION THAT WE’RE, THE PUBLIC CAN UTILIZE A NATURAL SWIM BEACH. THAT’S HERE ON THE LAKE, AND WE’RE ON THE RIVER, AND WE SEE TONS OF USE ALREADY.  JUST YESTERDAY, I SAW SEVERAL FAMILIES SWIMMING IN COLD WATER, AND I’M SURE THEY WERE REAL EXCITED, BUT, YEAH, AND THEN THE BOAT RAMP AS WELL IS ANOTHER GREAT AMENITY THAT GIVES THEM GIVES A PAVED ACCESS FOR, FOR LAUNCHING RAFTS AS ANY WATERCRAFT, BUT LAUNCHING RAFTS INTO THE RIVER AT DOWN TO THE 300 CFS. AND SO IT’S A, IT’S A GREAT LITTLE PAVED ACCESS SYSTEM TO THE RIVER.THE PARK WILL BE OPEN YEAR-ROUND, EXCEPT WHEN HIGH WATER ON THE ANIMAS FLOODS THE BANKS. METZ SAID THE 38-ACRE WILDLIFE PRESERVE ALSO WILL BE OPEN YEAR-ROUND, BUT ACCESS WILL BE LIMITED TO FOOT TRAFFIC ONLY. DOGS AND BICYCLES ARE PROHIBITED TO PROTECT MIGRATING AND NESTING BIRDS. AS MANY AS 90 SPECIES OF BIRDS HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED IN THE AREA, ACCORDING TO VARIOUS STUDIES.
WELL, WHAT WE DISCOVERED IN OUR ENVIRONMENTAL WORK THAT WE DID WITH THE OXFORD PARK AND PRESERVE IS THAT THE PRESERVE IS A GREAT NESTING AREA FOR BIRDS. AND SO WE HAVE A PROGRAM IN PARTNERSHIP WITH COLORADO PARKS AND WILDLIFE FOR MONITORING BIRDS IN THE PRESERVE. AND WE’VE HAD THAT PROGRAM ONGOING FOR THE LAST SIX YEARS. AND SO WE’RE, IT’S CALLED THE MONITORING AVIAN PRODUCTIVITY AND SURVIVORSHIP PROGRAM WHERE WE ARE MONITORING THE LEVEL OF BIRD ACTIVITY IN OXBOW PRESERVE. AND SO ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE DO IS WE DO ALLOW PUBLIC ACCESS AS LONG AS WE’RE NOT HAVING A FLOODING CONDITION YEAR ROUND. BUT WE DO RESTRICT THE PRESERVE TO JUST PEDESTRIANS, WALKING, NO BICYCLES AND DOGS. IF YOU’D LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT OXBOW PARK, RULES AND REGULATIONS, VISIT THE PARKS AND RECREATION PAGES AT DURANGO GOV DOT ORG. IF YOU CAN’T WATCH, GET OUR PODCASTS AND LISTEN TO LOCAL NEWS NETWORK STORIES ANY TIME, ANY WHERE. AVAILABLE ON YOUR FAVORITE PODCAST AP. THANKS FOR WATCHING THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK, I’M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE.

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