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State park hit by floods to reopen next month

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Partial opening day is slated for April 1

By Ben Wiebesiek

FIRESTONE — After last year’s floods caused severe damage to St. Vrain State Park, park officials hoped to have the area reopened by March 1 this year so the public can return.

But that date has come and gone while repairs continue on key structures at St. Vrain.

 

Kathy Seiple, park manager for St. Vrain State Park, said a partial open date is scheduled for next month.

“Right now, the status of the park is that we’re closed,” Seiple said. “We are finishing up some major flood repairs. Our entrance station is near completion, and our opening day — our partial opening day, I should say — is April 1.”

The once-in-a-century floods last September destroyed the original entrance station, which had to be demolished and replaced. And the station is only part of the repairs at the park. Campsites and picnic grounds were contaminated by waste water that was mixed with the floods. 

The state allocated $2.6 million for the repairs at St. Vrain State Park, which includes new sanitized soil and mats for the campsites and picnic areas. Park officials expect that assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and insurance will offset the state’s costs for repairs.

“The north part of the park will be closed after April 1,” Seiple said. “We still need to do some work in the campground up there. The south campgrounds will be open as well as the ponds.”

The south side campsites are camp loops Tail Feather, Red Tail, Bald Eagle, Coot and Kestrel, sites 44 - 87. All are full hook-up sites and are available now for reservations, beginning April 1.

The ponds available for fishing are Bald Eagle, Red Tail, Coot and Pintail.

“We’re probably going to have a full reopening event in late spring, early summer,” Seiple said. “That will include volunteer crew cleanup activities.”

Last November, the park hosted a volunteer day with crowds turning up to do the physical labor required to rebuilding the facilities at St. Vrain State Park. But the date for this cleanup hasn’t been set yet, and park officials ask that the public waits for an announcement about the date.

“We’d really prefer that people don’t call us individually,” Seiple said.

Even though the park is scheduled to be open after April 1, there still will be construction occurring with possible road closures and certain areas of the park closed for short periods of time, due to work being done in these areas.

The north side of the park, which are the Mallard and Pelican camp loops, electric sites only, sites 2-40, will be open May 15, and are available now for reservations, beginning May 15.

Seiple said the park was looking to do restocking of fish this spring for the interested anglers.

“We’re looking forward to the park reopening,” Seiple said. “The fishing should be up to par as it has been in years past. We’re just looking to get our visitors back and having the ponds open for boats to use.”

 

Contact Ben Wiebesiek at 303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email bwiebesiek@metrowestnewspapers.com.