They are called the RatPak but instead of entertainment, the group of teenagers from the Roxborough neighborhood is focused on the environment. More …
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They are called the RatPak but instead of entertainment, the
group of teenagers from the Roxborough neighborhood is focused on
More than 20 members of the RatPak recently gathered at Sterling
Ranch to plant more than 70 Pinon Pine trees on site as one of the
first steps in a community effort to create a water-wise and
sustainable community. The planting of the pines also signified the
RatPak’s honoring of the Armed Forces.
Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards, Colorado’s Adjutant General,
recognized the RatPak by presenting each teen with a Military
Challenge Coin. The coins, also called Commander’s Coins, are
awarded by high-ranking military officers in recognition of
Sterling Ranch principals presented a donation to the Colorado
National Guard Foundation.
“We are pleased that the kids in this community are as
passionate about preserving and enhancing the natural beauty of
this land,” said Sterling Ranch Owner Diane Smethills.
“We welcome the efforts of our neighbors of all ages as they
find ways to work with us to improve the property.”
The area will be a test site to determine the types of
water-wise vegetation most likely to thrive in the proposed
community’s 1,100 acres of open space. You can see the RatPak’s
efforts by looking west from the Safeway.
“The idea is to bring pride to the Roxborough community by
creating this group,” said founding RatPak parent Barbara Chase.
“Kids this age are going to commune one way or the other. Through
projects like the tree planting, we’re providing something that
everyone can feel a part of and take pride in, because we all live
Sterling Ranch principals have spent more than seven years
meeting with water, conservation, and infrastructure experts, along
with local residents and Douglas County planning members. One of
the leading objectives is to respect the natural environment and
enhance it when possible, while effectively planning for the
county’s projected growth demands.
Sterling Ranch’s development plan, calls for more than one third
of the land to remain open space and be landscaped in a water-wise
manner that preserves and enhances the natural beauty of the
property. A key piece of that includes replacing natural growth
lost to overgrazing and other impacts. Sterling Ranch, which
intends to be the first 21st Century water-wise land plan in this
part of the country, also recently planted more than 300 acres of
water-tolerant native grasses on another section of the site.
As it’s built over the next few decades, Sterling Ranch is
expected to create more than 4,000 new jobs and contribute
approximately $11 million in sales and property taxes annually.
Plans also call for Sterling Ranch to eventually be home to several
schools, including a new high school.
Sterling Ranch LLC donated $500 to the RatPak and the local
Safeway store donated a $200 gift card to the group. Additionally,
in honor of Armed Services Day, the Sterling Ranch partners donated
to the Colorado Freedom Memorial fund, which is dedicated to
creating a monument to honor the more than 6,000 Coloradans lost to
The RatPak formed in 2006 by parents seeking to provide a sense
of community and worthwhile after school activities for students
bused out of the neighborhood for school each day.
“RatPak members decide together which community and recreational
activities they’ll participate in,” said founding parent Barbara
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