The Rocky Mountain Arsenal – a 27-square-mile property located in Adams County, Colorado, about eight miles northeast of downtown Denver – has undergone a stunning transformation from a Superfund site (or hazardous waste site) into the nation’s premier urban wildlife refuge. Two remarkable funding opportunities came from the settlement. Following a natural resource damage settlement in 2008 with the U.S. Army and Shell Oil, Colorado's Natural Resource Trustees are in the process of allocating $27.4 million to natural resources restoration projects.

The Natural Resource Damages (NRD) Consent Decree established the Northeast Greenway Corridor (NGC) Advisory Committee consisting of Adams County, Aurora, Brighton, Commerce City, Denver, Thornton and the Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership. The Consent Decrees established a Foundation Fund to be used to fund projects selected by the NGC Advisory Committee, and a Recovery Fund to be used to fund projects proposed by any Interested Party that meets project criteria.

The Advisory Committee solicited project proposals, developed a recommended plan, and submitted it to submit to the State Natural Resource Trustees on July 31, 2012. It was unanimously approved. Click here for the final Northeast Greenway Corridor Restoration Plan. The presentation can also be viewed here.With additional matching funds, investments in the Northeast Greenway Corridor from the Foundation Fund projects were over $41,000,000.

The Trustees invited the community at large to submit proposals for Recovery Fund projects in 2012 as part of the Northeast Greenway Corridor Master Plan. Proposals that met the initial Screening and Evaluation Criteria in 2012 were asked to add more detail to their proposals in 2014. Between February and July 2014, the RMA Recovery Fund Working Group—comprised of representatives of local jurisdictions and nonprofit organizations will work together to develop consensus recommendations to deliver to the Colorado Natural Resources Trustees for utilizing the Recovery Fund. More information is available here.