Westminster Hills Open Space Acquisition Finalized

The City of Westminster (Westminster), working in partnership with the Trust for Public Land (TPL), Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) and Jefferson County Open Space has succeeded in purchasing 25 acres of open space north of Standley Lake Regional Park. “The City of Westminster is delighted to complete the purchase of this 25-acre parcel-considered a top priority acquisition by the City’s Open Space Advisory Board” said Heather Cronenberg, Westminster’s Open Space Coordinator.

“Acquiring this parcel will help protect wildlife habitat, specifically for the bald eagles that nest nearby in Standley Lake Regional Park. We are excited to add this property to the larger Westminster Hills Open Space site.”Working together, Westminster and TPL secured a $771,000 lottery grant from GOCO to purchase the property, as well as a grant from the Rocky Flats Natural Resource Damage Fund (NRD) and open space funds from Westminster.

“Thanks to the generous support we received from GOCO and the NRD Trustees, we were able to leverage Westminster’s open space funds to purchase this fantastic property,” says Hillary Merritt, TPL Project Manager. “This addition to the Westminster Open Space system is a great amenity for the citizens of the City and Jefferson County.”

The City of Westminster will incorporate the 25-acre parcel into the Westminster Hills Open Space site—a 1,000-acre recreational area with trails and an off-leash dog park—thereby preventing the land from ever being developed. Jefferson County will hold a conservation easement designed to protect the natural, scenic, and recreation values of the property. The parcel, located at the northeast corner of Alkire Street and 100th Avenue, is among the last remaining private properties within the Westminster Hills Open Space area; the City began purchasing property in the area for open space in 1988. The Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge and the Great Western Open Space in Broomfield are located within a mile of this latest protected parcel. These areas, when combined with the 2,200-acre Standley Lake Regional Park, create a contiguous swath of more than 10,000 acres of protected land in the region.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come.

Westminster Open Space (Westminster) has been preserving open spaces throughout the city since 1985, when voters first approved a sales tax specifically earmarked to acquire and maintain open space. The city has protected more than 2,950 acres in all parts of Westminster. These vital open space areas preserve essential view corridors in the city, enhance recreational opportunities for residents through a series of interconnected trails, and sustain a rich variety of plants and wildlife.

Jefferson County Open Space has been protecting properties since 1972, when the citizens of Jefferson County, Colorado believed so strongly in the need to preserve open space that they voted to tax themselves one-half of one percent on sales to fund planning, acquiring, maintaining and preserving open space properties. The mission of Jefferson County Open Space is to preserve open space lands and natural and cultural resources, and to provide for quality park and recreational experiences.

Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) is the result of a citizens’ initiative passed by voters in 1992. As the recipient of approximately half of Colorado Lottery proceeds—$56.4 million in Fiscal Year 2010—GOCO awards grants to local governments and land trusts, and makes investments through the Colorado Division of Wildlife and Colorado State Parks. Since 1994, more than 3,400 projects in all 64 counties have benefited from GOCO grants—Jefferson County projects have received $26.5 million in GOCO grants.