Omaha, NE – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, in partnership with the Boulder County Parks and Open Space Department, will hold a tree planting ceremony on Earth Day to celebrate the end of construction of a stream ecosystem restoration project along an approximately one-mile stretch of Lower Boulder Creek on the county’s Alexander Dawson Open Space property. The ceremony will take place on Friday, April 22, starting at 8:30 a.m. MDT at the project site, which is located between N 109th Street and Kenosha Road in Boulder County. Limited parking will be available along the Boulder County property access road located just south of the 109th Street Bridge. See enclosed map.
Approximately four to five cottonwood trees will be planted on site during the ceremony. The saplings are all clones propagated from Boulder County’s national champion cottonwood tree, also known as “The Gentle Giant of Boulder County.” The champion tree, which died in 2012, was approximately 150 years old, stood taller than a 10-story building, and was nine feet in diameter with a canopy that stretched more than 100 feet across. In 1967, the tree was listed in the American Forests’ National Register of Big Trees as the largest plains cottonwood in the country and remained the largest for nearly 45 years.
BACKGROUND: A construction contract was awarded in 2014 to American West Construction LLC of Denver, CO for $2.6 million. The project included realigning the one-mile section of Lower Boulder Creek to restore natural meanders and placing in-stream habitat such as riffles, large woody debris and gravel bars. Remaining work includes planting native riparian, wetland, and upland grasses, forbs, trees and shrubs along the stream and is expected to be complete by early 2017. A groundbreaking ceremony was held in October 2015 to celebrate the start of construction on the project.
Release no. 20160413-001