Temporary Trail Closure in Denver

February 5, 2020

UPDATE: February 19–“Due to the snow and the inability to access and remove all of the debris in these areas, a full assessment of the environmental impact the camping has had in the area has not been able to occur. The closure time line after the cleaning is solely dependent on all required actions to abate any discovered issues and the required time to allow the area to recover.” DPHE, Matthew Wilmes, told us this morning. We’ll continue to keep in touch with the officials involved in assessment and cleanup and will update you as we learn more.

UPDATE: February 10 — This morning, we received notice from Denver Department of Public Health & Environment that this closure has been amended to ALLOW through traffic on the Greenway. This is great news as it will allow for assessment and cleanup on the trail to continue, but will also accommodate trail users who use the Greenway for recreational use, or as a transportation venue. Short stops to rest or repair a bike tire will be allowed, however lengthy stops on this section of the Greenway will not be allowed.


February 4 — This morning, we received notice from Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) about a temporary closure of the Greenway from the Commerce City line to Quebec Street. (The Greenway has been closed from Quebec to Central Park bridge for a large flood mitigation construction project since June.)

The notice reads:

” The Executive Director of the Department of Public Health & Environment for the City and County of Denver has found that the Area defined below presents public and environmental health risks due to unsafe conditions associated with pest activity, harborage conditions, human waste, and trash accumulation. The Area shall remain temporarily ACCESS RESTRICTED for purposes of cleaning and abatement. The “Area” means the public rights‐of‐way, including adjoining sidewalks, embankments along Sand Creek, as well as posted areas of open space within the Sand Creek Area. This includes areas posted adjacent to 49th Ave, 47th Ave, Sand Creek Drive, Quebec Street, I-270, and I-70 respectively. “ACCESS RESTRICTED” means the public rights of way and areas identified above immediately surrounding and within the defined Sand Creek Area shall remain unencumbered and unoccupied for any purpose other than passing through or waiting for public transit at a transit pick‐up location. The areas posted are temporarily CLOSED until further notice and only accessible for municipal employees and their designees for purposes of assessment, cleaning, and abatement. This Order is effective until written release is documented by, and placard removed by, a representative of the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment ‐ Public Health Investigations Division. Questions can be directed to the agency contact information above.”

We’ve been advised that it may take several weeks to complete the process of assessing and then appropriately cleaning up the areas of concern.

We know many of you have been concerned about that area, and we’ve shared those concerns with the city. We look forward to a speedy resolution of the issues so the area, and the trail can be reopened as the earliest possible date. (See below for our protocol for reporting trail concerns.)

Map from Denver Department of Health & Environment

When trail users find conditions that concern them, we ask that they follow this protocol based on the location:

If there is an immediate threat, please call 911.

In Aurora, non-emergency concerns can be reported here: www.auroragov.org/city_hall/contact_us

In Denver, call 311.

In Commerce City, other non-emergency concerns can be reported here: http://www.c3gov.com/living-in/ask-c3

We ask trail users to inform us as well. We try to research the concern and get back to the trail user about the status of the concern (and hopefully action/resolution)  by the city.  Please email bnobles@sandcreekgreenway.org after you’ve reported your concern, so we can help support your concern, and get a report on resolution.

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Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership

About the Greenway

The Sand Creek Regional Greenway is a jewel in the necklace of trails that has made Denver a national model for linked trail systems.

This 14-mile public greenway connects the High Line Canal in Aurora, Colorado with the South Platte River Greenway in Commerce City. Along the way, it passes through northeast Denver and the new Stapleton community.

The Sand Creek Regional Greenway is open every day from dawn until dusk. Runners, walkers, nature viewers, horseback riders, and leashed dogs are encouraged to enjoy the trail. We invite you to become acquainted with our wilderness in the city.

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