JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – An effort is underway to save Bear Creek Lake Park in Jefferson County. Lakewood City Council says they strongly support the mission to keep the popular spot as is.
The area is being studied by the Army Corps of Engineers in partnership with the Colorado Water Conservation Board for its potential to store more water for future use by Coloradans.
The potential impact would change the landscape of the area used by thousands.
“I just love the park. I can ride into the park from my house,” Les Jones said.
It’s also home to a wide range of wildlife. Jeff Pratt has grown his love for photography there.
“I’m one of a lot of people taking pictures of the baby owls in the nest, and every time I’m here more people stop by and say ‘what are you looking at?’ And more people see them,” he said.
Just about every visitor to the park has seen the signs about the study and a possible expansion.
“There’s a poster right there on the map there. It’s a little hard to miss, but people are talking about it yeah,” Jones said.
The study would look at the impacts of expanding the lake from 2,000 acre feet to 20,000 to help address water supply and demand gaps.
A recently formed advocacy group, Save Bear Creek Lake Park, is fighting to keep things the way they are. They took their effort to Lakewood city council.
“All in favor,” Lakewood city council said.
In a unanimous vote they signed a proclamation saying they strongly support efforts to save the park.
“And strongly support substantial weight be given to the alternatives identified by save bear creek lake park that will provide same level of water storage to the state but would have significantly reduced impacts,” the proclamation stated.
While there is understanding that water is in short supply in Colorado, those like Pratt who will be weighing in in on the study have their own suggestions
“Start with conservation and get that message out and see what we can do,” he said.
The Army Corps Engineer says the study could take nearly three years, are looking for input from the community.