North St. Vrain Creek Restoration

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at Button Rock Preserve

North St Vrain Creek
North St Vrain Creek before phase 1
North St Vrain Creek Spillway
Water being released from Button Rock Dam


Button Rock Preserve is an approximately 3,000 acre property owned by the City of Longmont on North St. Vrain Creek about 7 miles west of Lyons. The Preserve is maintained by the City of Longmont as a protected watershed that provides the majority of the drinking water for Longmont and Lyons. The Preserve contains approximately 4 miles of North St. Vrain Creek and two reservoirs: Ralph Price Reservoir (Button Rock) and Longmont Reservoir.

The September 2013 flooding drastically altered North St. Vrain through Button Rock Preserve. The City of Longmont has worked to restore the North St. Vrain to a natural and resilient river that provides clean drinking water, excellent fishing opportunities, wildlife habitat, and other valuable ecosystem services.

The final phase of this project will be to complete creekside planting in spring 2018.

Restoration Projects

The restoration of North St. Vrain Creek was completed in two phases.

Button Rock Preserve Restoration Map

View a larger PDF of the map showing the restoration areas >

Phase 1 - Completed

The Phase 1 project encompassed in-channel and riparian plant community restoration along 1,750 feet of the creek below Longmont Dam in the entrance to Button Rock Preserve. This phase of the restoration was managed by Boulder County. Learn more about Phase 1 work on Boulder County's project web page >

Phase 2 - Completion in Spring 2018

Phase 2 of the restoration work took place in the 1.3-mile stretch between Longmont Reservoir and the Button Rock Dam spillway in Button Rock Preserve. The City of Longmont managed the Phase 2 project work. This project included two areas of in-channel restoration work and an extensive riparian ecosystem replanting effort.

Button Rock accessible fishing pier The construction of a fishing pier that is accessible to wheelchair users, among others, also was included in this phase.

Phase 2 work will be complete after replanting work in spring 2018 to restore the riparian plant community that was lost during the September 2013 flood.


The restoration work on North St. Vrain Creek in Button Rock Preserve was jointly managed by Boulder County and the City of Longmont.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife awarded $84,000 toward the project as part of its "Fishing is Fun" program. Read a news release from CPW about the award >

The St. Vrain Anglers chapter of Trout Unlimited provided a $30,000 cash match grant for the project, which was used to help Longmont qualify for the CPW grant.

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