Dairy Syncline Mine Trail Creek Wetlands Mitigation
December 17, 2019
San Dieguito Lagoon Wetland Restoration
March 23, 2020
Schwartzwalder Visioning
February 15, 2022
pond on the side of a road with a wooden dock
Open Space Management Plan Development & Landscape Typology Implementation
November 4, 2019

Town of Rico Long-Range Planning

Rico, CO

Great Ecology was contracted in 2020 by a confidential client to prepare a planning document that encapsulates a long-range vision for potential recreation and habitat restoration opportunities within and near the Town of Rico, CO. Great Ecology’s role included data gathering, site analysis, program definition, field reconnaissance, and onsite meetings, culminating in the development of the Town of Rico, Colorado Land Use Study & Conceptual Plan. To support implementation and expansion of the 2020 long-range vision, Great Ecology returned to Rico in 2023 to conduct ecological site assessments on properties surrounding the Town. Our interdisciplinary team developed a comprehensive evaluation and prioritization matrix to guide strategic development in alignment with the 2020 conceptual plan. As of 2024, Great Ecology continues to advise strategic planning, design, and ecological decisions for this project.

Developing Rico's Long Range Plan

First Steps
Great Ecology delineated a conceptual design study area to identify restoration opportunities and challenges.
We selected a number of disturbed and under-utilized areas as prime targets for restoration or enhancement opportunities.
Initial opportunities included trail creation and connection, park development and improvement, and habitat restoration.
Community Engagement
Great Ecology met with project stakeholders, town staff, and community members to identify future land use opportunities that hold potential for revenue generation and/or community enrichment. 
Some of these include: 
  • Trails
  • Campgrounds
  • Bike Park
  • Improved Hot Springs
  • Solar Field
  • River Access
  • Nature Play Features
  • Outdoor Classroom/Amphitheater


Real Estate Development
In addition to potential recreational and ecological improvements, the study evaluated opportunities for light development including public, residential, and commercial building construction.
Light development provides additional opportunities for desired improvements such as solar energy generation, park development, and trail connectivity.
Great Ecology's final report identified one residential development opportunity, for which we developed two conceptual multi-family residential plans that added community-desired elements and either avoided impact to, or mitigated for, nearby wetlands.
Final Conceptual Land Use Plan
Great Ecology's final report identified 13 potential locations for land use improvements including recreational amenities, trails, light development, and municipal facilities.


Site Photos