APA National Planning Achievement Gold Award for Public Outreach, 2018

The High Line Canal is a 71-mile agricultural irrigation canal that courses through four (4) counties and nine (9) municipal jurisdictions from the Rocky Mountain foothills to the eastern plains of metropolitan Denver. Built in 1887, the 150-year old canal and its adjacent maintenance road have outlived their purpose of agricultural water delivery, as urban and suburban neighborhoods have developed along its banks. Now used primarily as a beloved recreational trail, natural area and neighborhood amenity, its owner, Denver Water, is looking to divest itself of this obsolete water delivery infrastructure and formally repurpose it for recreational use, in association with the High Line Canal Conservancy.

Matrix Design Group served as planning team public engagement facilitators and local representative for the High Line Canal Vision Plan as subconsultant to Sasaki Associates, of Watertown, MA.  The public outreach effort brought together thousands of residents along with stakeholders and community leaders from all over the Denver region to identify the desired vision for the Canal’s future.  Matrix led a series of eight (8) Strategic Input Sessions that engaged local leaders in the areas of Recreation, Education, Health and Wellness, Real Estate Development, Environment and Nature, Economic Development, Water Resources, and the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Inspire Initiative.  Matrix also conducted a series of five (5) public information sessions at County, City-wide and Neighborhood Fairs and Audubon Society events, and assisted as facilitators in a series of twelve (12) public open house events at four (4) critical milestones in the Vision Planning process.  The result is a common vision that celebrates the diversity of the Canal and the shared values of many groups of stakeholders.

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