On Sunday, September 4th, Stand will be holding its second Save Our Swallows event at Roger’s Grove (see events calendar for details). While the Bank Swallows at Roger’s Grove have finished nesting and are no longer in the vicinity, we’ll still meet to show anyone who’s interested where their nesting site is as well as other resident and migratory birds (warblers are moving through now!).
We’ll be presenting YOUR Save Our Swallows postcards at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 6th. Please consider attending at least the Public Invited to Be Heard portion of the meeting and wearing green to show your support for the Bank Swallows and the City’s efforts to restore their habitat at Roger’s Grove. Meeting details are also in the events calendar on this site.
Thank you again for your work to protect our swallows!
Members of Stand met with City Manager Harold Dominguez last week to discuss the City’s flood mitigation project and how to best protect the nesting habitat of the rare Bank Swallows that return to Roger’s Grove every spring. We appreciated the transparency with which he explained the challenges inherent in preserving the current nesting bank and were heartened to hear that the City is committed to providing alternative Bank Swallow habitat close by, also within Roger’s Grove.
At Tuesday night’s council meeting, Dominguez went on record to repeat that commitment. The City also committed to researching other municipalities’ Bank Swallow habitat replication efforts and, prior to RSVP construction within the area, conducting experiments to determine what works so that the restored habitat will have the best chance of attracting the nesting birds.
We’re still some ways off from flood mitigation work at Roger’s Grove, but with these commitments, we are feeling hopeful for the future of our Bank Swallows. Rest assured, we will continue to monitor the situation and advocate for the swallows every step of the way, including holding the City to its promises.
On Tuesday, July 26th at 7pm, Longmont City Council will be voting on whether to approve a resolution to submit a ballot question to be voted on on election day (November 8, 2022). If Council approves the resolution, voters would be asked to approve issuing up to $20 million of storm drainage revenue bonds to finance the completion of the Resilient St Vrain flood mitigation Project (RSVP). On Tuesday night, City Council can either approve the proposed ballot language, modify the language and approve, or neither approve the language nor put the language on the ballot.
Stand is asking that City Council amend the proposed ballot language to include the following language (in red) ensuring that the City will not use our Storm Drainage fees to destroy Bank Swallow habitat at Roger’s Grove during flood mitigation work:
Without imposing new taxes or increasing existing taxes, and while preserving the established Bank Swallow habitat at Roger’s Grove, shall the City of Longmont be authorized to borrow up to $20,000,000 for the purpose of financing storm drainage system improvements, including but not limited to improvements to the St. Vrain Creek drainageway from Sunset Street to Hover Street to protect downstream areas from future flooding; and shall the borrowing be evidenced by bonds, loan agreements, or other financial obligations payable solely from the City’s storm drainage enterprise revenues and be issued at one time or in multiple series at a price above, below or equal to the principal amount of such borrowing and with such terms and conditions, including provisions for redemption prior to maturity with or without payment of premium, as the City may determine?
Please consider showing your support for Bank Swallows at the Council meeting by wearing green and signing up to speak during public invited to be heard.
If you are unable to attend the meeting or are unable/unwilling to speak, please consider sending an email to Council urging them to consider adding language protecting the Bank Swallow colony at Roger’s Grove in the ballot measure.
Some potential talking points for an email to Council are below:
Any plans the City might consider to use storm drainage fee bond $$ to mitigate future flooding along the St. Vrain Creek must be designed so our bank swallow habitat will not be destroyed.
I do not want my tax dollars nor fees used by the City to wipe out the Bank Swallow habitat at Rogers Grove.
Please include language in the flood mitigation plans in the area of Rogers Grove that will ensure protection of the nesting habitat of Bank Swallows.
Our St. Vrain greenway, particularly near Rogers Grove, is a very special natural environment including the presence of nesting Bank Swallows who migrate many thousands of miles every spring/summer to have babies. Please use your authority as our council and representatives to ensure protection of this precious and rare habitat for this species, which is listed as “a species of special concern” in Longmont’s Wildlife Management Plan.
I understand the favored option for Longmont’s flood mitigation project in Roger’s Grove will almost certainly wipe out the rare nesting Bank Swallow habitat, which currently hosts 30-50 nesting pairs of the smallest of our North American swallows. These special, threatened birds travel every April from Central and S. America and the Eastern Caribbean to nest and have babies. I don’t believe I can support a ballot measure allowing my storm drainage fee increase to be used to ruin this habitat.
Please use your position as our elected city officials to direct City staff involved with flood mitigation plans to come up with a plan to protect our special, rare, and sensitive Bank Swallow colony habitat by Roger’s Grove. I will continue to monitor this development and will vote on the proposed ballot measure accordingly.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), in cooperation with the City of Longmont held a flood risk management study open house on Wednesday, September 18th at the Longmont Museum. During the open house, USACE presented its draft feasibility study to determine the best alternative for their assistance on a stretch of St. Vrain Creek near Izaak Walton Pond Nature Area.
The recommended plan includes a levee on the south side of the pond, channel widening and benching, replacement of the Boston Avenue Bridge, grade control downstream of Sunset Street Bridge, and construction of a stretch of retaining walls.
Email your comments on the report to email@example.com or mail to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, CENWO-PMA-A, ATTN: Tim Goode, 1616 Capitol Avenue, Omaha, NE 68102-4901. Comments must be postmarked or received by Oct. 4, 2019.
Longmont’s Natural Resources Department is holding its first public meeting open house regarding the update to the City’s Wildlife Management Plan (WMP). The WMP was first adopted in 2006 and it’s due for an update.
This first meeting will focus on Land Development Code changes with regard to the new prairie dog policy, the work being done with the Resilient St. Vrain flood mitigation project, and riparian setbacks. Other meetings will follow.
We ask that you please attend this meeting if you are able. This meeting will help inform updates to the Land Development Code regarding the 150-foot riparian setback and how Longmont deals with wildlife in general.
The meeting will be held at the Sunset Campus (7 S. Sunset Street, Longmont, CO) on Thursday, March 7 from 6-8pm. Snacks will be provided.
If you need translation services or other special accommodations, contact 303-651-8416 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For any questions, contact Dan Wolford at 303-774-4691 or email@example.com
Stand With Our St. Vrain Creek has been collecting resident signatures on a petition asking Longmont City Council to protect our St. Vrain Creek corridor from damaging urban development. Specifically, we’re asking Council to delay any development/redevelopment in proximity to St. Vrain Creek until:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency approves the new flood plain maps,
The Resilient St. Vrain (RSVP) flood mitigation project’s plans and funding are in place, and
The Land Development Code’s sections concerning riparian protection and wildlife management are updated.
It does not make sense to develop areas when the new floodplain designation could change and when the design for the entirety of the RSVP has not been determined. In addition, any development/redevelopment should be done under an updated Land Development Code rather than an outdated code that is 17 years old.
We’ll be presenting the petition on Tuesday, October 2nd during that evening’s public invited to be heard portion of the City Council meeting at 7pm at the Civic Center (350 Kimbark Street). In addition, we’ll be presenting City Council with postcards from residents asking that City Council maintain the 150 foot riparian setback and enact stronger protections for our riparian areas.
We ask that you please attend this council meeting to show your support for our St. Vrain corridor and area wildlife. Please wear green.
What: City Council meeting
When: Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Where: Longmont Civic Center 350 Kimbark Street, Longmont CO 80501
Longmont City staff and the Army Corps of Engineers presented an update on the Resilient St. Vrain flood mitigation project on Tuesday August 21st at the City Council’s study session. The slides from that presentation are available on the City’s Resilient St. Vrain website.
The complete presentation is also available to watch on Youtube or below.