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Islands in Denver

In sprawling metropolitan Denver, city and state officials are trying to restore wildlife to a nearly lifeless habitat. Washington Park's Smith Lake, in south central...
by | June 11, 2009

In sprawling metropolitan Denver, city and state officials are trying to restore wildlife to a nearly lifeless habitat. Washington Park's Smith Lake, in south central Denver, is the focus of a new pilot program where four, man-made islands have been set afloat in the hopes of attracting wildlife and improving water quality. The artificial islands, also called biohavens, are anchored to the bottom of the lake and act like wetlands by providing food and shelter for insects, birds and fish. They are made of recycled plastic bottles, foam, sod and plants, and vary in size from 36 square feet to 150 square feet. Volunteers will be responsible for keeping watch over the biohavens to make sure the plants stay healthy and that unwanted wildlife, such as geese, dogs and humans, do not trepass on the islands. Overseen by the Colorado Division of Wildlife and the Denver Parks and Recreation, it will be a year before the success of the islands can be gauged. To learn more about the project, e-mail Watchable Wildlife Coordinator Karen Hardesty at the Division of Wildlife, or Denver Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Jill McGranahan.

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