|The Natural Resources crew is small but has a large job. The crew consists of the Natural Resources Specialist and four summer seasonal employees. They manage the following in Lakewood's Regional Parks:
- Management of wildlife, including prairie dogs, beaver and coyote monitoring
- Wildlife habitat protection and restoration
- Control of noxious weeds and introduction of native plants
- Riparian and wetland restoration
- Controlled burns
- Construction and maintenance of soft surface trails
- Natural resources mapping of weeds, wildlife and trails
Current Management Plan Activities
- Russian olive tree removal along the Bear Creek Greenbelt in partnership with the City of Denver and the Mile High Youth Corps.
- Prairie dog management: Lakewood recognizes prairie dogs as an important wildlife species. Lakewood staff has mapped and tracked the prairie dog populations since 1999 and has seen a 106% increase in colony acreage and an 80% increase in population. Management efforts include fencing, native seeding, raptor poles and predator hides, live relocation, population reduction. The goal of Lakewood’s prairie dog management is to restore some ecosystem balance to the park by providing habitat for prairie dogs while also protecting the Greenbelt’s other habitat values, recreational uses, neighboring properties and visual appeal.
Grass Seeding: Reseeding is occurring in several areas. Work will be performed using a drill seed method
and follow-up weed control and restoration will take place in the spring.
The natural resources staff oversees several volunteer programs including:
- Bear Creek Lake Park Trail Crew
- William Frederick Hayden Park Adopt-A-Trail
- Eagle Scout projects
- Volunteer trail, restoration and weed removal days