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Weld County Platteway Master Plan

Completed in 2013, The Greenway Team, Inc. prepared a comprehensive master plan for the reach of the South Platte River in Weld County, CO between the communities of Platteville and Milliken–ultimately connecting to Evans and Greeley. The plan addresses river corridor resource conservation, recreation including: river access, trails and canoeing; and preservation of a way of life including working agricultural landscapes. Riverviewpan

Mt. Vernon Creek Concept

A new park and green “spine” for Old Town Morrison, CO following Mt. Vernon Creek from the Bear Creek Confluence to the Hogback. This plan envisions a new linear creek-area park and outdoor gathering place along the length of Mt. Vernon Creek in the heart of  town. The park will feature paved walking/bicycle trails—connecting to the Bear Creek Greenway and Dakota Hogback Trail systems. It will offer walkways, overlooks, outdoor dining areas and architectural features. The creek itself will be a focal point with small rock drops to create water action and sounds.

The new park will eventually feature a continuous pedestrian walkway along the banks of the Creek from the Bear Creek Confluence to Highway 93. A small pedestrian bridge upstream of the Town Alley will facilitate a pleasant loop walk along the Creek. The plan also envisions a small deck overlooking the Creek on the north side of Bear Creek Avenue complementing the completed deck/gazebo area on the south side of the street. Flagstone patios will line the creek along the tops of the existing walls on both sides for the creek from Bear Creek Avenue to the alley. The patios will accommodate tables for outdoor dining as well as passage for pedestrians and cyclists along the length the creek through Town.

In addition to repairing the existing stone walls, the patios, pathways and overlooks improvements include an improved crossing of Bear Creek Avenue, sculptural gateways, hand railings, interpretive displays and other trim features. Future opportunities may exist for public/private partnerships that may go beyond what is currently contemplated.

View The Concept Plan Drawing

View the Plan Report

Town To Lakes Trail Plan


Identify and define a feasible alignment for a continuous, multi-use (10’-wide), pedestrian and bicycle trail that connects the existing trail along the San Juan River, near downtown, to Pagosa Lakes—roughly following the Hwy 160 Corridor. Prepare a master plan for the trail that includes suggested trail cross sections, specific alignment, cost estimates and phasing priorities suitable for applying for grants and support to future preparation of construction plans.

Please click on a link below to download a PDF for review.

Final Master Plan Document

Final Plan Graphic


Comments? Please email

Arapahoe County Open Space Plan

Completed in April 2010, the Arapahoe County Open Space Master Plan lays out a comprehensive framework for the future of the landscape of Arapahoe County, CO including parks, greenways, trails, and bicycle/pedestrian systems for the cities, towns and rural lands of a major metropolitan area south and east of Denver. The project included a detailed scientific survey of trends and desires and an extensive public/stakeholder engagement process. It provides specific direction for the success of the program going forward.  This was the first master plan for the Arapahoe County Open Space Program and crucial to the future of the effort as the open space tax comes up for voter renewal in 2013. The master plan promotes filling the gaps and connectivity in the populated western portion of the County, sets a direction of open space, parks and trails in the developing central section of the County, and set standards and strategies for cooperative ranch and agricultural preservation–working with willing property owners–and land conservation in the mostly rural eastern region. The Greenway Team worked on this project in partnership with Chuck Flink (Greenways, Inc.) and Marty Zeller (Conservation Partners, Inc.)

In addition to playing a key role in the Arapahoe County Open Space Plan, the Greenway Team has prepared, or participated in, large scape open space and green infrastructure plans for Las Vegas, NV, Jefferson County, CO, Archeleta County, CO, Colorado Springs, CO, and Commerce City, CO.

View the Open Space Plan Summary

Little Dry Creek Resource Study

Click to download the Spring 2010 Reconnaissance Investigation presentation

Our goal for this project is to protect and enhance the Little Dry Creek Corridor as it winds through Cherry Hills Village. We address conservation of vegetation and wildlife resources and will work toward flood hazard and erosion reduction. By exploring, where appropriate, opportunities for recreation, we can build on possible interconnected pathways and other low impact enjoyment to protect the sense of solace and serenity the corridor offers.

Littleton Community Trail

The Greenway Team is working with the City of Littleton to create a quality multi-use trail link and greenway access corridor linking Slaughterhouse Gulch Park and the Buck Community Center to the neighborhoods of Littleton and to the trail networks in the South Suburban Metro Area.

Key elements include a crushed gravel hike/bike path from W. Prentice Street to Littleton Boulevard, a tree canopy level pedestrian span across the gulch, linkage to the neighborhood and  connections to Big Dry Creek and Mary Carter Greenway. We aim to promote riparian and historic canal resource stewardship and explore the continuation of the trail via City Ditch Corridor to Lee Gulch.

View the Master Plan Report

Denver Platte River/Mary Carter Greenway

Mary Carter Trail-2-90The team planned, raised funds, and worked with numerous public agencies, corporate partners and volunteers in design and development of the Platte River Greenway. This $15 million, 18-mile corridor follows the Sough Platte River throught he center of Denver to Chatfield State Park in nearby Littleton. In addition to a state-of-art multi-use trail, the greenway offers rest areas, interpretive sites, a nature center and boating facilities. Along with the recreational improvements, the effort included major revegetation and renovation of an abused river corridor engaging over 3000 volunteers. The $1 Million Discovery Pavilion forms the southern terminus of the Greenway at its juncture with the 45-mile High Line Canal Trail and the 400-mile Colorado Trail.
Winner, American Planning Association National Award

Wolf River Greenway Development

Robert Searns and Bill Neumann were retained by a partnership of The City of Memphis, The Hyde Family Foundations and The Wolf River Conservancy to help plan and develop a major greenway and trail corridor along the Wolf River through Metropolitan Memphis. They have been assisting in evaluating trail designs, advising on public process and community involvement, advising on effective partnering strategies and project governance among the public-sector and non-profit partners, and drafting greenway and trail design guidelines. They led master planning for significant project elements including a new entry park, trail and canoe recreation facility that will be a hub of the greenway corridor.

Croke Reservoir

The Croke Reservoir project was an exercise in realizing potential. As cities become landlocked, the need to look for recreational opportunities within the framework of existing resources becomes more important. This could easily have been a project to stabilize a shoreline. But the City, design team and the community itself came together to capitalize on an underappreciated area by fulfilling the promise of a true urban amenity. 

As part of an intense renovation project to improve the fishery and wildlife conditions, the design team drained the reservoir, removed sediment from the lake bottom and stabilized the eastern shoreline to ensure the stability of eastbound Huron Street. This was accomplished by reestablishing the shoreline 50 to 100 feet west utilizing a rock retaining wall system. The shoreline was then sculpted and terraced to provide a variety of amenities including connections to the existing trail system, an overlook node with custom trellis structure and water feature, a fishing node with ADA accessibility and a combination of ornamental and native landscaping.

By drawing back the curtain of overgrown and degraded vegetation that concealed the reservoir from view, designing active and passive connections along the path, and improving aquatic and terrestrial wildlife habitat, Croke Reservoir was successfully reintroduced as an integral part of Northglenn’s Parks and Open Space system.

American Society of Landscape Architects, Colorado Chapter 2009 Merit Award

Anchorage Trail

The Greenway Team prepared a greenway master plan for this one mile scenic corridor which runs through a hardwood forest in the heart of Anchorage, Kentucky. The plan (created for John Schnatter, founder of Papa John’s Pizza) provides an important link between the city’s newest town center, schools, businesses, neighborhoods and the “Tom” Sawyer State Park to the west. The trail addresses the needs of multiple users including bicyclists, pedestrians and equestrians. The project includes a 300’ span pedestrian bridge with stone pillars, natural trails, an amphitheater, a fishing pier, a wetland boardwalk, gateway features and an interpretive wayfinding display throughout. The team was also responsible for preparing construction plans for this project.

American Trails 2008 National Award

Las Vegas Open Space & Trail Planning

Robert Searns (working with Chuck Flink and Jack Zunino) has been planning open space and trails for the City of Las Vegas, NV and the Greater Las Vegas Metro Area. He is a co-author of the Northwest Las Vegas and Southern Nevada Open Space Master Plans. The planning process involved visioning and working with multiples jurisdictional planning staffs, elected officials, area agencies and stakeholders as well as the general public. As part of the process, Searns initiated the Vias Verde Las Vegas Concept—a vision for an interconnected ring of trails, protected vistas and landscapes encircling the Greater Las Vegas Metro area. The concept includes a network of corridors and trails linking Las Vegas neighborhoods to the Vias Verde.

Searns has worked with the City of Las Vegas to develop the Paseo Las Vegas—an interconnected walkway, fitness and bicycle-friendly corridor that ties together major parks, cultural venues, and activity centers. The Paseo Las Vegas will link the Las Vegas Springs Preserve to Las Vegas Wash and, ultimately the Clark County Wetlands Park passing through Downtown, the emerging Las Vegas Arts District, the Stratosphere Tower, the Strip and other important and iconic locales in Las Vegas. For more information and to view plans, please visit

Big Dry Creek Trail and Greenway

Robert Searns was lead planner and author of the Big Dry Creek Greenway Master Plan. The plan envisioned a continuous trail and conservation corridor along 3.5 miles of Big Dry Creek linking the Platte River (Mary Carter Greenway) to the High Line Canal Trail. Big Dry Creek is a “back yard” stream running through neighborhoods, parks and industrial areas. The project includes a paved multi-use trail, creek bank restoration, open space acquisition and youth/student revegetation projects. In addition to writing the master plan, services included right-of-way acquisition, grant writing (over $ 4 million raised), construction coordination and organizing youth/volunteer events. Trail was completed and opened to public in May 2009.

National Award Winning Project

Grand Canyon National Park Greenway

Robert Searns has been serving as planning and development specialist for a multi-disciplinary team invited by the National Park Service and the Grand Canyon National Park Foundation. The team included ten experts recruited nationwide to address problems of overcrowding and vehicular traffic. The challenge was to entice park visitors to leave their autos behind and use on-motorized means to experience the canyon. The team developed concepts for a multi-use, non-motorized greenway trail system along the rim. The team also formulated an implementation plan. Specifically, Searns helped develop North and South Rim greenway trail layout concepts, design principles, cross sections, proof of concept pilot project plans and budget.

Audubon Nature Center

audubon3The Audubon Center in Littleton, Colorado is at the juncture of the High Line Canal Trail, The Platte River Greenway and The Colorado Trail.  Services included raising funding for this $750,000 project. The Greenway Team and Andrews & Anderson Architects designed a master plan for a Nature Center with educational parks, trails and gardens located within Chatfield State Park. The placemaking goals of this project were to design a space that would serve for retreat, community, and celebrate nature and the arts. The Nature Center has a series of self-directed interpretive nature trails, a plaza area for performance and festivals, an outdoor stage with amphitheater and a lawn area for larger groups.

Winner Jefferson County Design Excellence Award.

Prairieways Open Space Master Plan


The Prairieways Action Plan for Commerce City, CO set the future direction of parks, greenways, trails, and bicycle/pedestrian systems in the 43-square-miles west of Denver International Airport. The project includes trails accessing the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. The team set a high quality level to parks, trails, and open space, while maintaining the quality of life for current and future residents. Total area is roughly 43 square miles north of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (National Wildlife Refuge). The master plan allows for connectivity to larger regional and metro-wide trail and open space systems.

Bear Creek Trail

Bear Creek 03The team created a Trails Master Plan for the Town of Morrison for a multiuse trail along Bear Creek adjacent to the historic downtown area. Over $2.5 million were raised to help build the trail. The master plan included detailed design for a 10’ wide accessible (ADA) trail with rest areas, overlooks, pedestrian bridges, slope stabilization and riparian restoration along the banks of Bear Creek.

The trail follows the north bank of the creek and would serve both bicyclists and pedestrians accessing local and regional parks, restaurants, shops and neighborhoods. The Morrison Trail section is the first link in the Bear Creek Canyon Trail that will eventually connect with Denver’s metro-wide greenway systems.


Sand Creek Greenway

Sand CreekFor years Sand Creek, a major drainage way running through Commerce City, was associated with heavy industrial dumping and pollution. Few knew of its historical and regional significance along with the Creek’s diverse wildlife and natural resources. The goal of the project was to transform Sand Creek into a major recreational and natural resource amenity for the people of Commerce City, as well as work with other communities along Sand Creek to create an outstanding regional asset. Since completing the master plan, the team continues to be heavily involved in the redevelopment of Sand Creek. We provided services for design, construction documentation, and construction administration for bridges, overlooks, planting and restoration projects along the greenway.

American Society of Landscape Architects, Colorado Chapter Merit Award

Blue River Trail

Blue River Trail

The Greenway Team prepared a master plan of trail improvements along the Blue River and worked extensively with the Town of Silverthorne and the community to design and implement extensions of the trail. The trail was designed to be compatible with homes, businesses, roads and the natural environment. Trail design strived to integrate the trail with the surrounding environment by using grading, landscaping and decking to avoid disturbing the native wetlands.


CSX “Greenline” Public Process

Robert Searns was retained by the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy to help facilitate the timely implementation of a rail trail conversion linking midtown Memphis to a major metropolitan park and greenway. Elements of the effort including helping plan and conduct an effective public engagement process to promote moving the project forward in an effective, community-responsive manner. The proposed trail passes through a number of diverse Memphis neighborhoods with a variety of housing types and income groups. Searns assisted and advised in the preparation materials for the public sessions, reviewed and commented on announcement and survey materials. He helped write the meeting agendas and prepared a Power Point presentation and on greenways and rail trails. Searns then led public participation sessions including: questions, answers and comments.