Colorado: Winterhaven

Covering more than 800 acres on the South Platte River in Sedgwick County, DU's Winterhaven project provides habitat for waterfowl and wildlife through a robust riparian community, seasonal and permanent wetland habitats, agricultural crops and uplands. DU and its partners have restored more than 40 acres of wetlands on the property, some of which will provide seasonal wetlands for foraging migratory birds, and others, known as aquifer recharge projects, will provide winter loafing areas for waterfowl.

Winterhaven is a property owned by DU as part of its revolving land strategy. DU supports local agriculture by continuing to lease land to the farmer who leased the property prior to DU taking ownership. The farmer has transitioned to no-till farming practices and works with DU to enhance wildlife habitat. As part of the restoration project, DU has successfully partnered with non-traditional agencies and organizations to raise funds for this important conservation work. The property is protected by a conservation easement sold to Colorado Open Lands. DU will sell the property in 2013, after which it will be used as a model for the future of how DU conserves habitat in Colorado.     

This project was funded in part by a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant.

Partners: The Colorado Water Conservation Board, South Platte Water Related Activities Program, Lower South Platte Water Conservancy District, local agricultural producers, Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife North American Wetlands Conservation Council and Ducks Unlimited