Best Private Wildlife Sanctuary (2004)

Karin Heine property , Wheat Ridge

This one's for the birds. That's who Wheat Ridge resident and nature-lover Karen Heine had in mind (along with the foxes, squirrels and occasional deer wandering through) as she worked to create a woodland paradise on undeveloped land she purchased expressly for that purpose. Located off 44th Avenue between Parfet and Oak streets, the vacant parcel of land was a trash heap when Heine first bought it; now, after adding hundreds of plants, an irrigation system, sheltering rocks, bird feeders, Girl Scout-built bluebird houses and even a water hole, it's a tiny northwest-metro treasure where Heine conducts tours for schoolchildren. The pice de résistance? Last spring, Heine worked to have the plot designated a Wheat Ridge conservation zone, thereby ensuring its existence for years to come.


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