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Platte River Commons

Visit the Crown Jewel of Casper

Once upon a time, there was an oil refinery near the North Platte River just west of downtown Casper that played a major role in the world’s economy. When it closed in 1991, the site was contaminated with nearly a century’s worth of oil spillage, sludge and buried pipeline. BP-Amoco (British Petroleum having merged with Amoco, the former owner of the site) partnered with the Department of Environmental Quality and the City of Casper to clean up the property. Today it stands as a shining example of how recreational development and the ecosystem can work hand in hand. Contaminated soils were removed, engineered wetlands and ponds were installed to remove iron and other contaminants, and over 2,000 trees were planted to return balance to the area. Now known as the Platte River Commons, the site features the Three Crowns Golf Course, Gegi’s Bistro, the Whitewater Kayak Park, and biking and walking paths throughout the property. Interpretive signage explains how rehabilitation occurred, but the single best way to appreciate the transformation is to stand beneath the crystal-blue sky, inhale the clean Wyoming air and view the immaculate golf course, the families of ducks wandering through the natural vegetation, the abundance of trees and the river slowly meandering by.

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