New Addition Doubles Size of Sunset Park (CO)

Lakewood, CO, 10/19/2006: The Trust for Public Land (TPL), recently conveyed 7 acres of land to Jefferson County and the City of Lakewood to more than double the size of Sunset Park, which will help to improve the quality of life for surrounding residents and others in the Denver metropolitan area.

“As the Denver metro area population and land values increase, it’s ever more important to set aside open space for natural areas and bike pathways now, when good opportunities arise,” said Justin Spring,” TPL Project Manager. “TPL was delighted to work with the Tolen family and the City of Lakewood to help ensure protection of this important property.”

Funding for this effort came from the City of Lakewood, Jefferson County Open Space, and Urban Drainage and Flood Control District.

“Protection of the Tolen property is very important to Lakewood, said Steve Burkholder, Mayor of Lakewood. “This property is an important addition to the city’s open space, parks, and trail system, and will contribute substantially to maintaining the high quality of life that makes Lakewood such a wonderful place to live, work, and raise families.”

The property contains important wildlife habitat along Lakewood Gulch and will be managed as open space. In addition, the property will provide an opportunity to extend a bike path that currently stops at the property’s western boundary. Once considered for a 105-unit, high density development, the protection of the Tolen property will provide numerous benefits to a growing community with limited access to parks and other natural areas.

“We are so pleased to work with the Trust for Public Land to protect this natural area,” said Alice Tolen, former property owner. “Our family is delighted to add to the legacy of parks, trails, and open space in Lakewood, particularly in memory of the late Delbert Tolen.”

“Projects like the Tolen acquisition exemplify how Jefferson County Open Space can partner with local governments, like the City of Lakewood, to achieve their parks and open space priorities,” said Ralph Schell, Director of Jefferson County Open Space. “We’re glad to have been a partner in this acquisition.”

“The Urban Drainage and Flood Control District is pleased to participate in this important open space acquisition and to have the unique opportunity to leverage our dollars to help purchase this unique property,” said Dave Lloyd, Executive Director of the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District. “This project is a prime example of how we can protect water quality, preserve floodplain and wetlands, and create additional parklands.”

TPL’s Denver Parks for People program emphasizes park creation and land conservation in communities and neighborhoods underserved by parks and open space, in places that define an urban edge or community boundary, and in places where conservation, resource, and historic values are significant regionally or nationally. TPL serves the communities living in the six-county Denver metropolitan area that includes Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties, placing a special emphasis on serving people who have little or no easy access to parks and green spaces. TPL specifically aims to create parks and protect open space to assist metro-area communities in addressing important conservation issues such as urban sprawl, encouraging smart growth, providing habitat for wildlife, and preserving water quality. Since 1981, TPL has helped to protect over 80,000 acres in Colorado.

The Trust for Public Land, a national non-profit organization, conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since, 1972, TPL has protected more than 2.0 million acres nationwide with a value of more than $4 billion. TPL depends on the support of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve our mission. For more information, visit TPL on the web at