The Coalition: A coalition comprised of the Cities of Colorado Springs and Fountain, Colorado Springs Utilities, and School District 11 has received a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant to support brownfield revitalization focused on the Shooks Run and Fountain Creek Corridors.
Strategy: The program will utilize $600,000 in EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant funding to inventory and prioritize brownfield sites for revitalization, assess existing site conditions, and plan for future cleanup and reuse of priority sites throughout the project focus area.
Outcomes: Program investments will result in the future revitalization of vacant and underutilized (“brownfield”) properties throughout the focus area to provide benefits to the community, including environmental restoration, job creation, increased property values, and reduced health risks.
- Educate and engage with Coalition communities to promote public participation and input on priority redevelopment areas and sites;
- Protect public health and the environment;
- Remove redevelopment barriers by addressing previously unknown site conditions and moving sites toward shovel ready status;
- Focus the use of grant funds on priority sites that will attract investors and become a catalyst for new employment opportunities and a sustainable job base;
- Promote infillDevelopment of vacant land within previously built areas. These areas are already served by public infrastructures, such as transportation and utilities. Parks and open space are also considered infill, since they are permanent uses for vacant parcels. development that maximizes the use of existing land, infrastructure and utilities;
- Invest in sites that will generate public and private revenue;
- Help neighborhoods thrive by supporting transformation of blighted sites.
In 2015, the City of Colorado Springs embarked on Envision Shooks Run - a community-driven plan to breathe new life into the Corridor. The 4-mile Shooks Run Corridor is planned as the final segment of the landmark 10-mile Legacy Loop Greenway that rings downtown Colorado Springs, connecting a regional web of creeks and trails. The Loop’s transformational potential is evident in the vibrant parks, neighborhoods, and up-and-coming economies along its completed sections. However, brownfields blight the Shooks Run Corridor, isolating it from downtown Colorado Springs and impacting the surrounding neighborhoods.
The Fountain Creek Corridor located in the City of Fountain, downstream of Shooks Run, is also a focus area for the grant-funded efforts. The City of Fountain plans to prioritize brownfield revitalization in the US Highway 85 (US85) Urban Renewal Area (URA), which consists of the Gateway Improvement and the Olde Town sub-districts. This grant effort will work in tandem with prior studies and revitalization efforts of today. The 83-acre Fountain Creek Bank site is also a high redevelopment priority because it is an underutilized commercial area located between Fountain Creek, US85, and Fountain Creek Regional Park. The Creek Bank sites are characterized by decades of mixed-material manufacturing use, heavy fleet and automotive repair operations, and haphazard outdoor storage.
To realize the goals of both corridors, the Colorado Springs-Fountain Coalition Brownfield Initiative is being funded by a $600,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields Assessment Grant awarded to the City of Colorado Springs. The Program is managed by the City of Colorado Springs and Coalition partners with support from a Brownfield Advisory Committee and an environmental consulting team. The grant will fund environmental site assessments and other cleanup/reuse preparation and planning activities at publicly and privately-owned brownfield sites over a three-year period (through September 2022).
The EPA defines brownfields as “real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential [i.e. perceived] presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.” Environmental impacts from historic industrial operations and commercial activities have resulted in vacant and underutilized brownfield properties throughout the focus area. Brownfields may include derelict industrial sites, former auto-related businesses, former lumber mill sites, sites once used for agricultural purposes, and other vacant and underutilized commercial and industrial properties. The Coalition will work with interested property owners to assess environmental liabilities and develop cleanup/reuse plans to catalyze the redevelopment of brownfield sites.
Site Qualification and Selection
The Coalition is seeking candidate sites to participate in this new program! Sites with a need for environmental assessment and/or cleanup or re-use planning, and where revitalization supports broader community goals, will be prioritized for consideration by the Coalition.
Please use this site nomination form to submit a site for consideration. If you have questions about the process or site eligibility criteria, contact:
- City of Colorado Springs
- (719) 385-5465
- City of Fountain
- (719) 322-2056
Grant Project Documents
More information about the Colorado Springs-Fountain Coalition Brownfields Assessment Grant Program, and about EPA’s Brownfields Assessment Grants is contained in the documents and links below.