We’re working with the Army National Guard Directorate to address risks to the public from munitions and explosives of concern (MEC) associated with past military training at the former Camp George West Artillery Range (FCGWAR) on the north and east side of William F Hayden Park on Green Mountain in Lakewood, CO.
Cleanup at the site is being conducted by the Army National Guard under its Non-Department of Defense Owned Non-Operational Defense Site program, a nationwide program designed to identify former training areas where the Guard used munitions in training exercises. The Army National Guard has developed a plan for cleanup and providing public education to protect users.
We and the Army National Guard are working closely with Lakewood and other authorities to ensure close coordination in the cleanup and educational effort. Educational efforts will continue to provide the public with information about munitions safety issues and actions individuals can take to protect themselves while in the park. This work is ongoing.
Site History and Background
Historic Camp George West (CGW), approximately two (2) miles north of the FCGWAR, was established in 1903 by the Colorado Army National Guard (COARNG). It was used for a variety of training, including small arms and artillery training. Green Mountain was leased from the Hayden family periodically between 1903 and 1939 and used as a live fire artillery impact area. The type of artillery fired at Green Mountain by the COARNG at that time was the 75-millimeter (mm) towed “French 75s.” Both 75mm shrapnel shells and high explosive (HE) projectiles were used, as evidenced by the type of munitions debris (MD) encountered during prior investigations. The precise locations of firing points are unknown.
MEC and MD were previously discovered within and in the immediate vicinity of the FCGWAR MRS by members of the public and City employees. In 2010, a nearby resident found 75mm projectile MD on the north side of Green Mountain in William F. Hayden Green Mountain Park. This discovery was reported to the CDPHE. Follow up fieldwork conducted after the 2010 find was completed in 2011 (CH2M Hill, 2012). Field crews found five (5) additional expended M48 75mm projectiles [MD] on the northern face of Green Mountain. In 2012, a City of Lakewood employee found a 75mm shrapnel shell [MEC] south of the MRS and south of previous investigations at Green Mountain [off-trail].
The Army National Guard signed a Record of Decision selecting the final remedy for cleanup of munitions at the 466-acre munitions response site within William F. Hayden Park in June 2020. The cleanup will include surface and subsurface removal of munitions in accessible portions of the site using advanced geophysical classification systems, and implementation of institutional controls including an environmental use restriction, public education awareness program, and construction support.
The Army National Guard in conjunction with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, and local stakeholders are working to implement the cleanup of munitions within Hayden Park. The cleanup effort is currently in the planning phase, including implementation of the environmental use restriction with City of Lakewood, along with the development of a Land Use Controls Implementation Plan, and a work plan (Munitions Response Quality Assurance Project Plan [MR-QAPP]) for the munitions surface and subsurface removal activities.
The munitions cleanup work will take several years to complete, but access to Hayden Park is expected to remain open as much as possible during the cleanup. The Army National Guard will work with city, county, park officials, and the public to minimize the impact on residents and park users.
Relevant munitions cleanup plans and other documents can be found under Important Documents.
The Army National Guard developed a Community Relations Plan to support the cleanup at the FCGWAR. The CRP identifies community involvement activities to be conducted during munitions removal activities and how the public can become involved in that process. The CRP is an update to the Revised Final Community Relations Plan (URS, 2014) and the Community Involvement Plan Addendum, Neighborhood Investigations Communications and Outreach Actions Plan (URS, 2016).
The CRP and project fact sheets are available below.
- FCGWAR Community Relations Plan (2023). [draft in progress]
- Fact Sheet: Planning for Munitions Cleanup (Summer 2023). [draft in progress]
- Fact Sheet: Neighborhood Investigation Results (Summer 2022).
Munitions Cleanup at William F Hayden Park on Green Mountain.
- Munitions Response-Quality Assurance Project Plan (MR-QAPP). [draft in progress]
- Land Use Controls Implementation Plan (LUCIP). [draft in progress]
- FCGWAR Record of Decision (ROD).
Munitions may include live munitions fired during training that didn’t fire as designed or training and practice munitions, both of which remain hazardous. We work directly with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Army National Guard at different sites to determine what, if any, risks might be posed to the public and the appropriate mitigation measures.
Military munitions used in training exercises at FCGWAR during World War I and World War II sometimes failed to function as intended. Often referred to as "duds," "bombs," "dummy rounds" or other terms, these items today are defined as "unexploded ordnance" (UXO) or munitions and explosives of concern (MEC) because of their potential for exploding when improperly handled.
- Training and practice munitions may also be hazardous.
- These munitions can contain a type of spotting charge that simulates explosive impact.
- The spotting charge can vary from a few grains of black powder to several pounds of high explosive.
- Never assume that "training" or "practice" means a munition item is safe to touch.
- Even the least sensitive items may explode if exposed to careless and improper handling.
- It’s important to remember that military munitions were designed to destroy military supplies and equipment, and to kill or maim people.
- Regardless of their age, munition items retain their hazardous and dangerous nature.
- Leave the handling of munitions to trained experts who can assess the item and make the area safe.
These items come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be disposed of safely only by trained Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) professionals. Over the years, users of the Green Mountain recreational area may have encountered items that they may not have recognized as military munitions or munitions-related debris. Until the area can be further evaluated to ensure public safety, we and the Army National Guard want to provide the public with an understanding of the potential presence of these items and the appropriate actions to take if they encounter something suspicious.
Know the three R’s of munitions safety
- Recognizing when you may have encountered a munition is key to reducing the risk of injury or death.
- If you encounter or suspect you’ve encountered a munition, consider it extremely dangerous.
- Munitions are sometimes hard to see and identify. They may resemble:
- A pointed pipe.
- A soda can.
- A baseball.
- A muffler.
- Other metal objects.
- They may be:
- Visible on the surface.
- Exposed by erosion or fires.
- They may look new or old, be complete or in parts, be found alone or in groups.
- Any suspect items should be considered dangerous, regardless of size or apparent age.
- If you encounter or suspect you’ve encountered a munition, don’t touch, move or disturb it.
- Immediately and carefully leave the area, following the same path on which you entered.
- If you can, mark the general area — not the munition — in some manner (e.g., with a hat, piece of cloth, or tying a piece of plastic to a bush or tree branch).
- Call 911 immediately.
- Notify local law enforcement of what you saw and where you saw it.
- If you or someone you know may have collected munitions-related items as souvenirs, please notify law enforcement immediately so trained professionals can remove the items safely.