An ambitious community organizing effort led to protection of a 50-acre urban wetland, now owned by the growing city of Aurora, Colorado, southeast of Denver. Close to residential neighborhoods and two schools, the wetland offers school children a well-stocked laboratory for environmental education. Recently, with the help of Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, students planned and planted a garden to attract butterflies to the area. The land also helps control flooding during heavy rains. Surrounding the wetland are sloping stands of cottonwood and prairie. In 1995 TPL negotiated the purchase from a local developer. The Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund, which distributes a portion of state lottery funds for open space protection, provided a major grant.
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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3 million acres and completed more than 5,200 park and conservation projects.