Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch and the City of Loveland Water Treatment Plant

Project Description

The Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch is a historic site that currently hosts a working ranch, as well as the Heart-J Center for Experiential Learning, a hands-on learning organization working to engage local youth and community members in history, arts, leadership, agriculture, and environmental conservation. The 2013 flood resulted in loss of the Ranch’s main lodge and several cabins, severe impacts to infrastructure and operations, and significant damage to several county roads at the mouth of the Big Thompson canyon. The purpose of the restoration activities conducted at the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch and the City of Loveland Water Treatment Plant, located just downstream, was to implement several techniques at a small scale, and use the project as a demonstration site to showcase the diverse suite of methods utilized in a project that aimed to address multiple river improvement and flood recovery objectives.

Fun Fact

This was BTWC’s first flood recovery project and we remain close partners with Sylvan Dale and the Heart-J Center! David Jessup, one of the Ranch owners, was previously BTWC’s Board President and remains on the Advisory Committee. BTWC also completed a forestry project to reduce wildfire risk and increase forest health on Sylvan Dale lands in the canyon and we continue to look for opportunities to partner with Heart-J Center on educational watershed activities and events!

Project Photos

Moodie Before

During Flood

The 2013 flood completely inundated portions of Sylvan Dale Ranch devastating their infrastructure and the river system
Moodie after construction

Sylvan Dale Today

Native vegetation has established along the project site which is a popular flyfishing location for guests of the Ranch
Moodie bridge today

Sylvan Dale Today

In addition to working to reconnect the river with its floodplain, aquatic habitat features, like pools and riffles, were engineered to ensure the river provides a diversity of habitat for aquatic life
Sylvan Dale

Project Accomplishments

Project length: 3,300 linear feet

1,150 linear feet of bioengineered streambanks

9 in-stream structures

400 willow and cottonwood live stakes

0.6 acres seeded

Our Project Partners

  • ERC & Tezak Heavy Equipment
  • Colorado Department of Local Affairs