Barefoot Lakes: A Community Designed Around Wellness

Barefoot Lakes: A Community Designed Around Wellness

By: Amanda Jeter, Design Workshop



Barefoot Lakes is a 1,315-acre site in Weld County, CO that is owned by Brookfield Residential.  The rural site consists of large naturalized lakes in a reclaimed quarry and offers scenic views of the Rocky Mountains.   Design Workshop is retooling a pre-recession residential master plan by using the scenic framework of the site to create a circuit of recreational experiences that deliver on the Barefoot Lakes promise of “a casual lifestyle close to nature.”

The client asked the team to create a community that appeals to potential home buyers from various age groups while taking advantage of existing infrastructure improvements and the surrounding riparian, wetland and short-grass prairie landscape. The 350-acre parks and open space system has multiple functions and must meet the client’s stewardship goals for the site, better connect the open space assets to the entire community and screen oil and gas surface uses on the site.

During themaster planning process, the design team synthesized site analysis, client success factors, county regulations and Design Workshop Legacy Design® goals into four major performance metrics categories: wellness, fit with nature, multi-generational appeal and distinctive place-making.  Graphic logos of these four overarching categories are used in planning and presentation materials to help communicate the project goals to home builders, internal client teams and potential recreation partners.  To tell the design story to the community, the logos can be embedded in trail wayfinding and educational signage throughout the site.


The updated master plan connects the landscape experience of the lakes and river on the southern edge of the property to the larger site through a scenic parkway, a system of parks, a robust street tree canopy and a trail system along landscape screening buffers and open space corridors.  The master plan offers outstanding recreation amenities at a neighborhood, community and regional scale.  Passive and active types of recreation from swimming, fishing, gardening, hiking, soccer, volleyball, kayaking, snow shoeing and boating will all be available to future residents, creating a community that encourages recreation and wellness.




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