Hyland Ponds Open Space
Southwest corner of 100th Avenue/Sheridan Boulevard.
Two tranquil ponds are the heart of this beautiful open space property which preserves over 630 feet of land along Sheridan Boulevard as well as 790 feet along Westminster Boulevard. The upper pond is 1.9 acres and lower pond is 3.1 acres. The Hyland Ponds Open Space totals 83.9 acres which extends north to 104th Avenue.
Gravel trails encircle the lower pond and hug the edge of the north pond providing excellent access for nature study, photography and fishing. Most of the open space is grassland. However, a healthy riparian area including cottonwood and willow trees abut the lakes and South Hylands Creek which flows into and out of the ponds to the north.
A row of cottonwood trees follows an abandoned irrigation canal north of the northern pond. A small grove of cottonwood trees provides visual interest to the west side of the ponds.
Several recently planted junipers and piñon pines augment the pines, Siberian-elms, junipers and lilacs which are remnants of the farm house that was located near the southwest corner of 100th Avenue/Sheridan Boulevard. Look hard to see the sidewalk to the house site which leads up to an overgrown privet hedge.
A large boulder between two lakes tells the story of the agricultural settlement of this property. The plaque on the boulder reads as follows:
“Louis Brauch Reservoirs I and II”. In 1931, Louis A Brauch and his family constructed the first of these two state-approved reservoirs or ponds. At that time, farmers built ponds to catch spring water and rainfall to irrigate their crop and to water their livestock. Building a dam to catch and store water in a reservoir rather than allowing it to run downstream to another person’s land required approvals from the State Engineer and from Colorado Water Court.
Using their own farm equipment, the Brauch’s dug the lake beds and built up the dams. The Louis Brauch family farmed in this area (then known as Semper Gardens) from 1913 to 1946. When Mr. Brauch sold this land, he reserved for his family the right to fish and otherwise enjoy the pond areas. The city of Westminster purchased these properties in 1987, 1990 and 1995 so that you can continue ton enjoy Louis Brauch’s ponds.”
The ponds are wildlife magnets, particularly for birds. White egrets, great blue herons, ducks, and geese, and white pelicans frequent the area. To access this open space, park along 100th Avenue, west of Sheridan Boulevard.
Photos above: Courtesy Mike Smith
Learn more about the history of these ponds.
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