Carolyn Holmberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm Management Plan Update
Stearns Lake at Carolyn Holberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm

Carolyn Holmberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm
Management Plan Update

An updated management plan was approved on Jan. 5, 2021. The plan will better balance the multiple uses of Carolyn Holmberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm.

Final Plan Approved

On Jan. 5, 2021, the Board of County Commissioners approved and adopted the management plan update at a business meeting. The commissioners requested an additional amendment regarding the 104th Street trail. Staff incorporated the additional approved amendments into the plan, which included changes to Chapter 3 Management Direction (changes marked on pages 51 and 55).

Public Input Process

Jan. 5, 2021: Board of County Commissioners

The Board of County Commissioners approved and adopted the management plan update on Jan. 5, 2021.

Dec. 15, 2020: Public Hearing

The Board of County Commissioners held a public hearing on Dec. 15 to consider approval and adoption of the management plan update. The meeting was held virtually and public comment was accepted.

The commissioners passed a motion to approve the plan with the following changes:

  • Update the prairie dog management recommendation to acknowledge that the proposed population thinning/reduction methods will be a pilot project informed by the consultation and knowledge of outside experts.
  • Remove the proposed future trail along the historic railroad grade.
  • Remove the proposed trailhead development at the end of S. 104th Street.
  • Clarify BCPOS role in efforts to address Rock Creek water quality issues.
  • Prioritize additional parking opportunities as follows:
    1. Explore off-site parking opportunities in collaboration with agency partners and adjacent municipalities.
    2. Further evaluate and improve the existing Stearns Lake Trailhead if possible.
    3. Study the proposed Brainard Drive Trailhead including an analysis on estimated changes in visitation.

Nov. 19, 2020: Parks & Open Space Advisory Committee

Staff presented the proposed management plan update to the Parks & Open Space Advisory Committee on Nov. 19. Public comments were accepted. The committee voted to accept the plan as presented by staff with modifications to 1). Defer new trailheads to explore off-site parking balance options and 2). Balance a sustainable population of prairie dogs, predators, and grasslands.

Nov. 5, 2020: Historic Preservation Advisory Board Meeting

Information item with staff presentation to the Historic Preservation Advisory Board with discussion on the draft plan update, with an emphasis on cultural resources. Public comment was not accepted as was an information item only.

Oct. 27, 2020: Virtual Public Meeting

Staff presented an overview of the draft plan update, recommendations, and the public input and approval process. A question and answer session followed the presentation.

April 23, 2020: Parks & Open Space Advisory Committee

Staff presented an update at a virtual meeting of the Parks & Open Space Advisory Board (Parks & Open Space Advisory Committee). The update included analysis of public comments received thus far. The meeting was livestreamed and allowed the public to submit written comments which were read to Parks & Open Space Advisory Committee members for their consideration.

March 11, 2020: Open House

An open house was held on March 11. Staff shared information and gathered input on what is working well, areas for enhancement, and opportunities and constraints to consider in developing redefined management direction.


The primary objectives of the plan update are:

  • Create a working document that shows and respects the values and interests of all stakeholders.
  • Is balanced, flexible, and innovative in its approach.
  • Has been thoroughly analyzed through a thorough and transparent process.
  • Limits current and future conflicts.
  • Provides for the preservation and management of the area’s important agricultural, natural, cultural, and recreational resources.

The updated management plan is envisioned to:

  • Document the most up-to-date information about the property including its agricultural, natural, cultural, and recreational resources and open space activities.
  • Identify opportunities for enhancement to balance and optimize multiple resource priorities.
  • Consider input from public stakeholders and agency partners.
  • Inform future budget allocations and annual funding requests.


Carolyn Holmberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm is a multi-faceted open space that encompasses a wide variety of resource activities including agriculture and water resources, wildlife, plant ecology, trails and recreation, education and outreach, cultural and historic preservation.

Purchased beginning in 1980, it is located along Highway 287 and Dillon Road and encompasses approximately 1,130 acres. The property borders the City and County of Broomfield to the south and City of Lafayette to the northwest. The previous management plan was adopted in 2002. Key features include:

  • An active producing farm with irrigated and dryland cropland and rangeland.
  • Leases for agricultural operation and Birds of Prey Foundation rehabilitation center.
  • Over three miles of public trails including the Rock Creek Regional Trail and the Stearns Lake Trailhead with access to fishing and picnic facilities.
  • Visited by over 70,000 recreationalists in 2018.
  • Locally designated cultural landscape with seven prehistoric and 18 historic sites.
  • Three designated Critical Wildlife Habitat areas, a 40-acre prairie dog preserve, and an additional 158-acre Habitat Conservation Area for prairie dogs.
  • Two riparian creek corridors, 25+ acres of wetlands, and 64+ acres of significant natural communities include native short-grass prairie.
  • Four operating oil and gas wells.
  • Peopl at Carolyn Holmberg Preserve
  • Corn field at Carolyn Holmberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm
  • Cows at Carolyn Holmberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm
  • Sign at Carolyn Holmberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm
  • Trail at Carolyn Holmberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm
  • Prairie dog at Carolyn Holmberg Preserve
  • Pumpkins at Carolyn Holmberg Preserve
  • Stearns Lake at Carolyn Holmberg Preserve

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Parks & Open Space

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5201 St. Vrain Rd.
Longmont, CO 80503
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