The Metro District parks and open space staff provides a number of seasonal community services.
Trail and Sidewalk Snow Removal Q&A
Colorado is known for its beautiful snow scenes and Highlands Ranch is no exception. When it snows, our community’s service providers work in tandem to ensure our citizen’s access to roads, trails and sidewalks as soon as possible. Please click here for information on snow removal responsibilities.
Sidewalk Snow Removal
Snow removal is the responsibility of the property owner adjacent to the sidewalk. The Metro District plows snow from sidewalks on major roadways where we own or manage the adjacent property. Douglas County plows snow on streets in Highlands Ranch. Clearing snow around community mailboxes is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner. Also, please remember to clear access to fire hydrants on your street.
Who Clears Snow in Highlands Ranch?
The Metro District’s Parks and Open Space staff plows snow from 150 miles of trails and sidewalks along major roads. Crews from Douglas County’s Public Works Department plow snow on our streets.
What are the Snow Plowing Policies?
The Metro District’s snow removal policy is shown below. If you have questions or comments, please e-mail the Metro District at the link provided at the bottom of this page. Or you may call the Metro District at 303-791-2710.
To learn about Douglas County’s snow removal policy, click here.
How does the Snow Plowing Service Benefit Our Community?
By plowing these routes, the Metro District is committed to providing safe access for residents. This service reduces gravel on sidewalks and also reduces sweeping requirements. It is important to the Metro District to provide this sidewalk and trail snow plowing service in a cost-effective manner. As a result, the Metro District has an assortment of light duty equipment capable of removing moderate amounts of snow. This equipment has limited capabilities and may require more time to remove snow after heavy snowfall.
Metro District’s Snow Plowing Guidelines
The Metro District has established these guidelines to provide a safe and enjoyable experience while minimizing the risk of personal injury for users of walkways and trails within our system of parks, parkways and open space. These procedures ensure and organized and effective response to snow storms.
The following are the Metro District’s plowing procedures, priorities and operating guidelines:
- Snow depth – Metro District staff will begin plowing when three inches of snow has accumulated. If there is less than three inches or site conditions are unsafe, the snow crew coordinator will determine the need to remove snow based on weather forecasts and site conditions.
- Follow-up – Follow-up will occur on consecutive days after a snowfall to ensure safe passage. Ice melt or sand will be applied as needed.
Service Areas and Priorities
Snow plowing will be provided for these facilities in the following order:
- Fire stations
- Metro District Parks, Recreation & Open Space Service Center parking lots and all access roads
- Special Districts Office Building – parking lot and entry walkways
- Northridge Park parking lots
- Arterial sidewalks and trail system
- Parking lots at all other parks
Major Snow Events
Major snow events may necessitate a change in priorities. Deep accumulating snow and unusually heavy snow can be increasingly taxing on staff and equipment, sometimes extending the amount of time it takes to clear trails and sidewalks. Fire stations and essential Metro District buildings will remain a top priority, however removal of snow on sidewalks directly adjacent to streets may be delayed due to high volumes of street-plowed snow. With safety of staff and preservation of equipment firmly in mind, sidewalks adjacent to streets will be cleared as soon as conditions permit.
Metro District sweeps 80 miles of sidewalk along major roads and some collector streets throughout the community as needed up to four times a year. This service, typically provided in December, January, February and March, is provided for safety and aesthetic purposes. Water is applied to the areas to be swept in order to reduce dust.
The Metro District decorates our community’s trees with holiday lights. Each year, the number of bulbs used in the light display increases with the growth of the many trees that our decorated. During this year’s holiday season, more than 57,000 lights decorated hundreds of trees at Highlands Ranch entrances. Lights are illuminated around Thanksgiving each year and remain on until early January.
Each year after Christmas, the Metro District and the Douglas County Parks Division offer free tree recycling drop off sites at several of our community’s parks. Trees are mulched and the mulch is reused on tree wells in parks around the community. Free mulch is also available to the public on a self-serve basis.
If you have a comment, concern, question or suggestion regarding the operation of the Highlands Ranch parks, recreation, trail or open space, please contact our Park Recreation and Open space staff at 303-791-2710.