Markel and Wottge Open Space Plan

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View the Approved Final Plans and Open Space Plan Report

Please view all Documents under "Documents" Tab on the right of this page.


Project Background

The City and County of Broomfield is developing a new plan for the Markel and Wottge Open Spaces. This project is an exciting opportunity for Broomfield residents to participate in upgrading the vision for these open spaces. The goal of this project is to evaluate existing natural and cultural resources for both properties, and identify opportunities for public access and site improvements to preserve, restore, and activate the open spaces for public use while maintaining its natural beauty and wildlife habitat.

Site History

There are two separate sites being examined in the plan: the Wottge and Markel Open Spaces.

Wottge Open Space

Watch a video about the Wottge Open Space

Bernhard “Ben” Wottge moved to Colorado from Germany with his family when he was eight years old. The Wottge's purchased the land in 1955 and began farming, planting alfalfa hay, barley, and corn. After a period of drought, they bought cows and added a dairy to their farmstead. The property included a farmhouse, two bin granaries, and a dairy barn among other buildings.

Ben and his four siblings decided to sell part of the property after their parents passed away. He heard of the Broomfield Open Space and Trails Department buying a different property at the time and felt that preserving the Wottge land as open space would be a wonderful idea. Ben and his wife, Pam, continue to live on five acres of the farm planting grass hay. The remaining land is the Wottge Open Space and is planted with winter wheat.

Broomfield Open Space and Trails purchased this land in 2003 to maintain views of the mountains as well as preserve a piece of land that connects Broomfield to its agricultural history. The property has several large cottonwood trees that have been home to a great horned owl nest in past years. The expansive field provides habitat for a number of bird and small mammal species as well as a migration corridor for wildlife.

*The City and County of Broomfield have completed a soil restoration project on the northeast corner of the Wottge Open Space site, near the entrance across from Spyglass Dr. This restoration included soil testing, the removal of 3,476 cubic yards of poor-quality soil, rocks, and debris, and the import of high-quality topsoil and compost. Please know that this work was not part of the Wottge Open Space Plan and has been planned for some time.

Wottge Aerial Current Condition (below)


Markel Open Space

Watch a video about the Markel Open Space

Dr. Bill Markel and his wife Jean moved to Broomfield in 1958 after Dr. Markel left the Army Medical Corps. Broomfield was then described as a “brand new community,” and it turned out to be exactly what they were looking for. The Markels purchased their current property, and what is now open space, in 1968. Bill and Jean enjoyed the property for many years with their four children and the approximately fifty exchange students they hosted over several decades. When they decided to sell part of their original property, they contacted the Broomfield Open Space and Trails Department as a potential buyer so the land would remain as open space.

The City and County of Broomfield purchased the property in 2008. The Open Space has a pond that was built by the Markels shortly after they acquired the property. The pond is lined with tall cottonwoods providing shade and beautiful colors in the fall. Community Ditch also winds through the property. The Markels are happy that people will continue to enjoy the property for years to come the way they and their children did.

*At this time, the City and County of Broomfield does not own Parcel 4 located at 13781 Fox Ridge Drive. This 6-acre parcel is located in the northeast corner of the Markel site map. Even though the area is not owned by Broomfield, the area is being evaluated from a planning perspective to determine how the area could be combined with the larger Markel site in the future.

Markel Aerial Current Condition (below)


View the Approved Final Plans and Open Space Plan Report

Please view all Documents under "Documents" Tab on the right of this page.


Project Background

The City and County of Broomfield is developing a new plan for the Markel and Wottge Open Spaces. This project is an exciting opportunity for Broomfield residents to participate in upgrading the vision for these open spaces. The goal of this project is to evaluate existing natural and cultural resources for both properties, and identify opportunities for public access and site improvements to preserve, restore, and activate the open spaces for public use while maintaining its natural beauty and wildlife habitat.

Site History

There are two separate sites being examined in the plan: the Wottge and Markel Open Spaces.

Wottge Open Space

Watch a video about the Wottge Open Space

Bernhard “Ben” Wottge moved to Colorado from Germany with his family when he was eight years old. The Wottge's purchased the land in 1955 and began farming, planting alfalfa hay, barley, and corn. After a period of drought, they bought cows and added a dairy to their farmstead. The property included a farmhouse, two bin granaries, and a dairy barn among other buildings.

Ben and his four siblings decided to sell part of the property after their parents passed away. He heard of the Broomfield Open Space and Trails Department buying a different property at the time and felt that preserving the Wottge land as open space would be a wonderful idea. Ben and his wife, Pam, continue to live on five acres of the farm planting grass hay. The remaining land is the Wottge Open Space and is planted with winter wheat.

Broomfield Open Space and Trails purchased this land in 2003 to maintain views of the mountains as well as preserve a piece of land that connects Broomfield to its agricultural history. The property has several large cottonwood trees that have been home to a great horned owl nest in past years. The expansive field provides habitat for a number of bird and small mammal species as well as a migration corridor for wildlife.

*The City and County of Broomfield have completed a soil restoration project on the northeast corner of the Wottge Open Space site, near the entrance across from Spyglass Dr. This restoration included soil testing, the removal of 3,476 cubic yards of poor-quality soil, rocks, and debris, and the import of high-quality topsoil and compost. Please know that this work was not part of the Wottge Open Space Plan and has been planned for some time.

Wottge Aerial Current Condition (below)


Markel Open Space

Watch a video about the Markel Open Space

Dr. Bill Markel and his wife Jean moved to Broomfield in 1958 after Dr. Markel left the Army Medical Corps. Broomfield was then described as a “brand new community,” and it turned out to be exactly what they were looking for. The Markels purchased their current property, and what is now open space, in 1968. Bill and Jean enjoyed the property for many years with their four children and the approximately fifty exchange students they hosted over several decades. When they decided to sell part of their original property, they contacted the Broomfield Open Space and Trails Department as a potential buyer so the land would remain as open space.

The City and County of Broomfield purchased the property in 2008. The Open Space has a pond that was built by the Markels shortly after they acquired the property. The pond is lined with tall cottonwoods providing shade and beautiful colors in the fall. Community Ditch also winds through the property. The Markels are happy that people will continue to enjoy the property for years to come the way they and their children did.

*At this time, the City and County of Broomfield does not own Parcel 4 located at 13781 Fox Ridge Drive. This 6-acre parcel is located in the northeast corner of the Markel site map. Even though the area is not owned by Broomfield, the area is being evaluated from a planning perspective to determine how the area could be combined with the larger Markel site in the future.

Markel Aerial Current Condition (below)


The Markel and Wottge Open Space Plans were approved on December 13, 2023. If you have any remaining questions, please email OpenSpace@Broomfield.org. Thank you!
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    Mr. Thompson, Thank you for overseeing the continuation of acquiring, developing, and protecting our Open Spaces here in Broomfield. Caring for the land, wildlife, and wellbeing of the (present and future) residents of Broomfield is vital and much appreciated. Upon retirement, my husband and I moved here from St. Joseph, MO in 2012. We are very active and appreciate the many trails, lakes, and wildlife areas preserved for the community to enjoy. These enrich our lives and increase the desirability of living within this community. I agree with our dear friend, Ellie McKinley, let's shoot for at least 40% of city/county land to be devoted to Open Space.

    Cindy Pickerel asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for your comment. We are so glad to hear that you are enjoying Broomfield's Open Spaces and Trails! 

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    Where exactly are these properties. I have of both these streets but don’t know where they are

    Carolyn Sims asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The Wottge property is located at the Southwest corner of the intersection of Dillon Road and Sheridan Boulevard and the Markel Property is located at the Northeast corner of the intersection of Aspen Street and 136th Avenue. You can find a location map of these properties by scrolling on this Broomfield Voice page to the lower right hand corner of the page to "Project Location". You can click this location map to enlarge it.  

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    My apologies for multiple posts, I figured multiple posts would be easier for questions to not get lost. In regards to Markel, the final plan on the south east side shows the gravel path running basically right next to the concrete path that is already there. Will the City be maintaining both paths that are feet from each other? Has a cost-analysis been done on what this will cost? If so, can you share any of that data. It seems very silly to have 2 paths running right next to each other.

    Liz asked 7 months ago

    Thank you for your question. Also, it is not a problem to send us separate questions. The soft surface material for trails has been requested by the community throughout the public engagement of this project. The loop trail on Markel was presented at the February 16, 2023 Open House and was supported by the responses at the Open House. As you noted the concrete trail does already exist and is a well-used school connection. The soft surface trail was added in response to the community desire for a soft surface looped trail on this project. The soft surface looped trail is approximately 33 feet from the concrete trail and provides a different recreational trail experience. The concrete trail provides direct access to the school. The Parks Division staff plans to continue the maintenance for the concrete trail as it has in the past. The new crusher fines trail will also be maintained by Parks Division staff and the cost is part of the standard maintenance program for trails. The cost for this additional section of new crusher fines trail on the east side of the project is approximately $53 annually

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    I am not able to respond to your answer directly in the thread where I asked the question but I am not looking for the summary of the results of the survey that the City put together. I would like the complete responses from the survey without any edits. Is this available for residents to view? =================== There was an initial survey done for this project (I believe around December 2022?) Are you able to post all the survey results on this page? If not, how can we get a copy of the results? Liz asked about 21 hours ago Thank you for your question. Yes, the initial survey results were presented at the December 8 2022 Open Space and Trails Advisory Committee Meeting and they were posted on this website on the same day. They can be found on this page on the right side under "Documents", titled "Data from Initial Survey". You can also find all other documents and survey results associated with the public outreach conducted for this project listed under Documents.

    Liz asked 7 months ago

    Thank you for your follow-up question to the question submitted and responded to on 9/15/23. The initial survey for the Markel and Wottge project asked 7 questions. Questions 1-6 were simple multiple choice questions and question 7 was an open ended question. 

    Here is a link to the raw questions 1-6 data as requested.  Note that these responses have been coded (categorized for the purposes of analysis) by the analysis software and that codification key can be found on the second tab of the linked spreadsheet. This analysis was a simple tally and was completed by the analysis software and verified by CCOB staff. 

    The open-ended responses to question 7 were also posted to this project’s Broomfield Voice website page under “Documents” on December 8, 2022 and here is also a link to that raw data. These open-ended responses are the raw, unedited responses, with only personal identifiers removed for the purpose of retaining anonymity of the respondents.

    Please let us know if you have any additional questions and if we can provide any additional information. 

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    There was an initial survey done for this project (I believe around December 2022?) Are you able to post all the survey results on this page? If not, how can we get a copy of the results?

    Liz asked 7 months ago

    Thank you for your question. Yes, the initial survey results were presented at the December 8 2022 Open Space and Trails Advisory Committee Meeting and they were posted on this website on the same day. They can be found on this page on the right side under "Documents", titled "Data from Initial Survey". You can also find all other documents and survey results associated with the public outreach conducted for this project listed under Documents.  

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    The two shade structures to the East of Markel were not included in what was presented initially or at the Open Space Committee meeting on June 22. Can you please provide the date that you added these 2 additional structures to the Markel plan? It seems things keep getting added to these open spaces after public input and it's really unfair. Both of these parcels are Open Space and purchased with Open Space tax dollars. The initial survey from residents overwhelming stated that they were like to have minimal impact to preserve the land and wildlife (yes, no wildlife have dens in the fields like stated in the open space meeting) but there is wildlife that visits this property regularly. Adding two shade structures in the middle of the field in addition to the walking trails is a sure way to make sure wildlife is removed from the area. This is not what Open Space was presented as when Broomfield put it on the ballot to tax residents for Open Space.

    Liz asked 7 months ago

    Thank you for your comment. Please see our response to a similar question asked on this page on  Aug. 3. These plans were presented at the Draft Final Plans Presentation on July 29 and posted on this page on August 1st. The planning process has been iterative and previous public meetings noted a need for shade as well as environmental education opportunities, particularly for youth. The west pavilion will be used for nature education and will be similar to the shade pavilion at Tom Frost Reservoir at the Broomfield County Commons Open Space. In response to these concerns, we have removed the east pavilion and now just have a bench with an interpretive sign.  

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    I attended one of the sessions-in-parks and voice my safety concern of no on-site parking at either location. While it is convenient that both locations have large parking lots on the opposite side of a perimeter street, expecting vehicle visitors to walk across Aspen and Sheridan is the City accepting serious injuries and fatalities. Sheridan is a pedestrian unfriendly 4 lane speedway; when the Dillon development is occupied, Aspen will become equally busy and dangerous. The reality of these two open space areas is the norm will not be hoards of vehicles descending upon them. For Wattage which already has a vehicle driveway entry, how about a 10-12 vehicle gravel lot surrounded by a split rail fence (to prevent overflow vehicles from expanding the parking area)? Something similar for Markel. I agree that large paved parking lots would be out of place for these "open space" properties, but small rustic lots would be a major safety feature for typical vehicle user loads.

    Robert Williams asked 8 months ago

     Thank you for reaching out with your concerns. I'd like to direct you to the public comments regarding this matter, which have been extensively discussed during the planning process. We truly value the feedback of our community and have worked diligently to ensure a comprehensive plan. The Wottge Plan has been designed with flexibility in mind. If in the future it becomes apparent that additional parking is necessary, there is a provision to incorporate it. Should this need arise, it will include a public process to ensure all voices are heard. For further details about our ongoing vehicular assessments, please see the note on the plan, which discusses our continued vehicle counts. These counts play a crucial role in determining whether the implementation of a vehicular light or possibly a HAWK light is needed. As for the situation on Markel, I'd like to highlight that there is available parking at the park. Additionally, we are installing a flashing crosswalk to ensure the safety of pedestrians and ease of access. Again, thank you for your engagement, and we are always here to address any further questions or concerns.

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    Can you please provide a 200 to 360 buffer or just remove the “possible connector path” on Willow Wood Dr to Wottage? All other path’s except this one has a minimum of a 200 foot buffer and the Willow Wood Ct concrete path is SO CLOSE this trail. Also what is the point of having a 20 foot wide path (10 crusher and 10 concrete) 100 to 200 yards in Wottage when it flows into 10 foot paths? The crossing on Sheridan and Sheridan/144th would benefit from speed blinking signs to remind drivers of the speed limit. Cars speed all the time on Sheridan and the increase of foot and bike traffic makes this even more dangerous. 144th and Sheridan is a notoriously dangerous and accident prone intersection.

    CH asked 8 months ago

    Thank you for your comments. We received insightful feedback at the 7.29.23 informational booths and are working on implementing these changes into the Final Plans. In response to your questions: 

    1) The possible connector trail noted on the Wottge design will not be constructed with this project. This connection may occur in the future if demand or a social trail develops. If that is the case, public outreach would occur to confirm the need for this trail prior to adding. We will just show it on the Final Plan as a dotted line in order to note this;

     2) We are adjusting the size of the crusher final trail that runs adjacent to the concrete trail in the area that you mentioned on the Wottge design. At this section of the trail, the crusher fines portion will only be 5 feet wide, making that portion of the trail 15 feet total (10-foot concrete and 5-foot crusher final trail). This is to align with our trail design standards as well as meet the community desire for a soft-surface trail; and

     3) We are working with our transportation department in the hopes of placing the speed reminder signs along Sheridan. However, any vehicular speed signage will be required to meet engineering/transportation requirements. If these standards are not met, the vehicular speed signage will not be erected.

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    After reviewing the Final Drafts, as a resident that backs up to the Markel open space, I am opposed to the two small shade structure on such a small open space. I am not sure why Markel has two structures proposed and the Wottge space only has one structure proposed on space about 3 times as large. Please remember that these spaces are surrounded by residents that like their privacy. As you know there are already shade structure in the Country Estates Park. I personally think it is overkill to put them in and would like to see them omitted from the final plan. Thank you

    stoose asked 8 months ago

    Thank you for your comment. Previous public meeting information noted a need for shade. The shade structure closest to the pond on the Markel Open Space will be used for nature education. This structure will be similar to the shade pavilion at Tom Frost Reservoir at the Broomfield County Commons Open Space. The pavilion was located here as the pond provides the habitat and experience that makes for interesting nature education, is visible, and has easy access from the Country Estates parking lot. These types of structures are used frequently by Broomfield’s volunteer Nature Program educators for outreach. The pavilion on the east side of the site is proposed to be much smaller and is intended to have approximately two picnic tables.  It is also located away from most of the residential area, except for one lot. We will remove the east pavilion and instead add a possible trellis or other shade design with a bench.

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    Hi - I would assume in both of these open spaces there will be appropriate trash can and doggie station placements maintained by the city.... correct?

    stoose asked 9 months ago

    Thank you for your comment. Yes, both properties will have trash cans and provide dog waste bags near the entrances. Placement near entrances is in alignment with our maintenance plans for Open Spaces and helps to balance the need for trash disposal while maintaining the look and feel of natural areas throughout the interior of the properties. 

Page last updated: 04 Mar 2024, 03:36 PM