Benedict Park is a primary connector within a central greenbelt through Snowmass Village, Colorado. This public space demonstrates a sustainable wetland design with expanded emergent wetlands and riverine environments that integrate the needs of various users with conservation methods that protect this important ecosystem. Unwanted undergrowth was removed to reclaim existing channelized stream courses and to establish a healthy, diverse wetland environment. Site disturbance was kept to a minimum, and the introduction of native plants and porous pathways now boost infiltration rates and enhance water purification while mitigating the small areas of construction. As a feeder to the larger riparian corridor, these wetlands act as a sponge and extract heavy metals and pollutants from the stream prior to its joining with the central spine of Brush Creek. Excellent water quality is imperative in the tributaries that feed the creek in order to support its valuable habitat, both human and wildlife. With more than ninety percent of animals in Colorado making use of riparian areas, and with this park’s site as a link between adjacent sanctuaries, this wetland is a critical component of the habitat network.
The park not only functions integrally with the resort’s overarching stormwater and habitat management policy, it also provides key north-to-south pedestrian connections linking the upper Snowmass Village Mall to the new Base Village. Bluegreen incorporates Benedict Park in the town’s Art Walk Master Plan by including a system of paths, view corridors and stream branches that allow places to receive art. Landforms, demonstration gardens, education projects and integrated signage all further enhance the project.