The City of Boulder welcomes your feedback. Use our Inquire Boulder customer service tool to tell us what’s on your mind.

  • OSMP Trails & Recreation
  • OSMP Visitor Info
  • OSMP Get Involved
  • OSMP Nature & Restoration
  • OSMP - About
  • OSMP Kids & Families
  • OSMP Plans & Reports
  • OSMP en Español

Wonderland Lake Integrated Site Project

Project Area

The Wonderland Lake Integrated Site Project (ISP) area includes the Wonderland Lake Loop Trail (on OSMP lands) and area that encircles Wonderland Lake, and the Wonderland Lake Trailhead, with associated Foothills Nature Center. Map of the Wonderland Lake ISP project area pdf

This ISP does not include the trail improvements identified in the North Trail Study Area (TSA) pdf for the foothills west and north of the lake. 

Thank you for the constructive and valuable feedback! 

Community engagement for this ISP began in the fall of 2018 when OSMP sought feedback on a set of preliminary alternatives (actions) intended to implement the North Trail Study Area (TSA) Plan goals along with ways to improve nature education opportunities in the area and update operational buildings at the trailhead housing the city’s Junior Ranger Program.

OSMP recognizes the ISP community engagement process undertaken in the fall was inadequate and focused on a too-narrow range of on-the-ground alternatives which resulted in community concern and angst. Based on the community feedback several decisions were made:

  • OSMP set aside the preliminary alternatives that were designed last fall.
  • A pier and a boardwalk will no longer be considered as means to achieve North TSA Plan goals for the area.
  • OSMP has made a commitment to the community that any future design or identification of any actions will not occur until OSMP has robustly engaged the community and has incorporated input received. 
  • OSMP will not initiate or implement any associated changes or actions with this ISP in 2019, however regular maintenance, small trail sustainability projects and existing educational activities pdf will continue. 

Additional information, including the feedback received, can be found below under Past Design & Public Engagement Process (Oct. 2018 – Feb. 2019)

Next Steps

Community Engagement Window #1

This first engagement window will be an opportunity for you and other community members to share ideas for the area. Join us this June at a community meeting! 

Please note this is the SAME meeting being held twice at different times/locations. Meeting Information:

  • Friday, June 21, 2-4:00 p.m. North Boulder Recreation Center, Bison Room (3170 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80304)
  • Tuesday, June 25, 5:30-7:30 p.m. OSMP Hub (2520 55th St., Boulder, CO 80301)

The meetings will begin with short presentations from OSMP staff to share information on the history of Wonderland Lake, an overview of the 2019 planning process and community engagement opportunities, and goals of the ISP. Following the presentations, will be an opportunity for you to share your ideas related to desired on-the ground actions for the area. 

Can’t attend? A concurrent online opportunity will also be available to share your ideas. 

Overall Process

This comprehensive community engagement effort will honor what has already been heard from the community, aim to strengthen relationships with the community, and build a shared understanding of OSMP Charter purposes and goals for the area. The process aims to result in alignment on a set of actions for the area that: 

  • best protect the ecological and scenic integrity of the Wonderland Lake area;
  • improve visitor’s enjoyment;
  • help youth connect with nature;
  • advance goals from approved plans or confirm that existing conditions are in alignment with and meet the goals of approved plans; and 
  • improve the Foothills Nature Center for Junior Ranger, education, and nature programs.

With broad community involvement in discussing ways goals from approved plans can be met and evaluating new ideas, staff is confident that we can find alignment with the community on actions for the Wonderland Lake ISP that fit the character of the Wonderland Lake area.

Through this process the name-change application, submitted by a community group, for the lake area to be re-named a “wildlife sanctuary” will also be considered. 

The following graphic outlines the community engagement. There will be three "engagement windows" - which are specific timeframes where the department seeks public input - that will build on the previous one. More information on the upcoming Community Engagements will be provided closer to each engagement window.

Graphic showing public process steps for Wonderland Lake ISP


















Stay in touch

Submit a comment on the Wonderland Lake ISP

Want to hear the latest updates about this project, along with other large community projects Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) is working on? Sign up for Field Notes, our community e-newsletter!

Past Design & Public Engagement Process (Oct. 2018 – Feb. 2019) 

Engagement began in late October 2018 to discuss several sets of preliminary alternatives for the area. OSMP heard from many community voices expressing concerns about the alternatives presented, resulting in staff scheduling a listening session on Jan. 15, 2019 to further hear community concerns, hopes, and ideas for the area. The public engagements conducted are listed below along with the associated comments received, the preliminary alternatives, and other relevant information:

Date Public Engagement Comments Received
Oct. 27 Trail-side engagement to discuss concepts Community Input pdf
Nov. 14 Public meeting to reveal preliminary alternatives Community Input pdf
Nov. 15-Dec. 4 Online questionnaire on preliminary alternatives Questionnaire Results pdf
Dec. 18 Schoolchildren engagement Schoolchildren Input pdf
Dec. 19 On site meeting with local neighbor leaders to discuss concerns over preliminary alternatives, specifically the fishing pier and boardwalk. N/A
Jan. 15 Community listening session Meeting Comments pdf
FAQ pdf

Record of Public Comments from Email and City Webforms 11/30/2018 – 1/22/2019 pdf
Keep Wonderland Lake Wild Petition Comments pdf

Project Paused

February Council Memo pdf

Watch the Jan. 15 Community Meeting

Preliminary Alternatives pdf (these have been set aside and are no longer being considered)

What we’ve heard

The abundant, constructive, and valuable community input OSMP received fell under four major topic areas with significant overlap between topics. The below summary represents a very high level summary; not all ideas/comments are specifically reflected.

  • Access and Crowding:
    • Adding educational and/or recreational amenities will make an already heavily-used area too crowded. Crowds bring trash, traffic, noise pollution, crime risks, and parking difficulties to the area.
    • Certain components of this project will increase equitable access to the area for groups like children, those with disabilities, immigrants, members of low-income communities, and the wider public.
  • Ecosystems and Wildlife:
    • Wonderland Lake is one of few places in Boulder designed to protect wildlife and should remain such a place.
    • Wildlife could suffer negative impacts from new infrastructure and increased use.
  • Infrastructure:
    • Adding more infrastructure features (e.g., a pier, a bird blind, a boardwalk, etc.) could harm wildlife and reduce the natural quality of the area. There were comments made supporting OSMP’s decision (announced at the January 15 meeting) to drop the pier and boardwalk from consideration.
    • New infrastructure at Wonderland Lake would change the way visitors interact with nature and wildlife at Wonderland Lake, which could have damaging impacts.
  • No Need for Change:
    • Wonderland Lake is already meeting the needs of the community.
    • Wonderland Lake is a beautiful and tranquil place that should be left alone.