Rocky Mountain Greenway

Extension of Rocky Mountain Greenway North and into Boulder County


The Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) partner group will begin soil sampling field work at the two project locations on July 1. This effort is in tandem with sampling protocols both within the Refuge (conducted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service) and along the Indiana right of way (conducted by the Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority). These efforts will produce a robust and up to date dataset of approximately 250 samples from both surface and sub-surface soils. In addition, the FLAP group has agreed to share split samples with Michael Ketterer, professor emeritus of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Northern Arizona University. His proposed work plan of independent evaluation of the sampling effort is available for download below. Finally, the contractor conducting the sampling and analysis will be observed by members of the Jefferson County Public Health Department.  

Project Background

 In 2016 Jefferson County Open Space joined with five neighboring open space partners (City of Boulder, Boulder County, City and County of Broomfield, City of Westminster and City of Arvada – collectively referred to as the Partner Group) to submit a grant to extend the Rocky Mountain Greenway regional trails project. This extension links the Greenway from where Phase One currently terminates in Broomfield’s Great Western Open Space, through Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, and into Boulder County. The grant specifically sought funding for trail crossings of Indiana Street and Colorado Highway 128.

The Rocky Mountain Greenway is one of three Colorado the Beautiful statewide priority trail projects that intersect Jefferson County and has also been designated by former President Barack Obama as an official project of America’s Great Outdoors. The vision of the project is to ultimately connect the three Front Range National Wildlife Refuges (Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Two Ponds and Rocky Flats) with Rocky Mountain National Park through an interconnected, multi-use, regional trail system.

Phase One, linking the Rocky Mountain Arsenal and Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuges, is already mostly complete. Phase Two (of which this project is part) linking Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge and Lyons is in the planning and study phases, and Phase Three - between Lyons and Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park - is still in the conceptual phase.

Governor Hickenlooper Inaugurates the Refuge to Refuge Segment of the Rocky Mountain Greenway

Rocky Mountain Greenway -Governor Hickenlooper

Project Status

The elected boards and commissions of the Partner Group have requested that additional soil sampling be conducted to address public concerns regarding possible residual contaminants at Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge.

The Partner Group agreed to perform an independent confirmatory analysis (which will include site-specific soil sampling for radionuclides in the areas of disturbance) to corroborate findings by state and federal agencies that conditions at the trail crossing locations at the perimeter of the Refuge boundary are consistent with public health standards for recreational activity. Construction of the crossings into the refuge will occur only if the confirmatory testing results are consistent with the standards which show the site is safe for public use.

After a competitive bid process, Jefferson County has retained Engineering Analytics to perform the requested diligence which will include public engagement and outreach.

News, public meetings, documents and opportunities for comment will be announced on this page so please bookmark to stay informed.

It is important to note that this effort is related to, but separate from, the opening of Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge. The results of this effort will not affect the planned opening of the Refuge to the public. This is an independent effort solely related to the linkage of the Rocky Mountain Greenway to planned trails at the Refuge.

View Conceptual Project Map 

Overview Map

Rocky Mountain Greenway Overview Map

Project Timeline (Subject to Change) 

  • Early July, 2019 – Field work completed by Engineering Analytics staff will be conducted in conformance to the SAP. Actual field work is estimated to be completed within two days.
  • September, 2019 – Laboratory analysis of the soil samples for multiple radionuclides will be completed by ALS and has an estimated turn-around time of 6-8 weeks for preliminary results.
  • October, 2019 – The draft report from Engineering Analytics is estimated be provided within approx. four weeks of Engineering Analytics receiving laboratory data from ALS. 
  • October – December, 2019 – Jefferson County Open Space and Engineering Analytics staff will present the report to the six FLAP partners and will make report and data publicly available on this page. 
  • January – March, 2020 – If the findings of the report are acceptable to the FLAP partner group, an IGA will be created to proceed with the FLAP grant from Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and extend the Rocky Mountain Greenway through the Refuge and into Boulder County. 

Documents for Download

Grant Submittal Package
Request for Proposals (RFP)
Winning Proposal from Engineering Analytics
Comprehensive Conservation Plan for Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge
Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)
Draft Sampling and Analysis Plan
Grant Resolutions and Letters of Support
Open House Display Boards
Summary of Public Engagement
Anonymized Listening Log
SAP Version 4.0
Third Party Independent Validation Sampling Protocol
Final Report (Pending)
Intergovernmental Agreement by Partners for Participation in Grant (Pending)

External Links

Rocky Mountain Greenway Project Website

Rocky Flats Stewardship Council – Formed to provide ongoing local government and community oversight of the post-closure management of Rocky Flats.

Overview of Rocky Flats History and Concerns – Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment report to Rocky Flats Stewardship Council.

Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP Grant) – Federal funding source related to this effort.