co_utevalleygateway_05212013_003.jpgBenitez says that Coloradans, regardless of their politics, tend to understand the need for nature in their communities. "Everybody wants to protect that trail system up the hill from town, for themselves and for their kids."Photo credit: Darcy Kiefel

The Trust for Public Land is protecting the places that make Colorado a great place to live, work, and play. Whether building a city playground or preserving a family ranch, we're working to ensure the promise of livable communities for generations to come.

Local offices

1410 Grant Street, Suite D210 | Denver, Colorado  80203
Phone: (303) 837-1414 | Email Address: [email protected]

Colorado projects

Highlighted Projects:

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The Trust for Public Land is committed to preserving and creating parks, natural areas, and trails in our urban communities, particularly in Denver and along the Front Range.

Fisher's Peak

Fisher’s Peak, southeast of Trinidad, Colorado, commands a presence at 9,633 feet, rising prominently from the rolling ranchlands that surround it. Visitors today can’t access the peak from Colorado. Instead, intrepid hikers must drive 30 miles to New Mexico’s Sugarite State Park and make a long, arduous hike to reach the peak.

Scattered across 30 miles of river bottom from Gunnison to the doorstep of Gothic, the lands owned by Trampe Ranch are some of the most familiar, productive, beautiful, and scientifically significant in the Gunnison Valley.

Projects (sorted alphabetically):


The 17-Mile House, a historic stagecoach stop in rapidly growing Arapahoe County was zoned for commercial development until The Trust for Public Land helped the county acquire the site and historic buildings in 2001.

Applewood golf course, Golden, CO

Since 1961, the Applewood Golf Course in Golden, Colorado has provided community members and area golf enthusiasts with a picturesque course nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. In late 2016, The Trust for Public Land purchased the property, ensuring the protection of 146 acres of urban open space from residential development.

Bridal Veil Falls

We have done several projects in the Kentucky Placer, a narrow but critical piece of previously unprotected property between the town of Telluride and its glorious back country, running from Bear Creek Preserve to the famed Bridal Veil Falls along the south side of the valley.

Buckley Air Force Base buffer, Aurora, CO

The newly acquired 124-acre Buckley Buffer-Jewel Avenue property is the first in a series of conservation efforts designed to buffer Buckley Air Force Base (Buckley AFB) from encroaching development and create a protected corridor for parks, trails, and wildlife habitat.

Cascade Cottages, Estes Park, CO

In 2016, The Trust for Public Land protected the last piece of privately-held commercial property within Rocky Mountain National Park. Just down valley from the park’s entrance station on Fall River Road, the Cascade Cottages offered a rustic retreat for seven decades of park visitors.


The Catamount Ranch near Colorado Springs had been a YMCA camp for decades, but eventually was put up for sale. Competing with numerous development proposals, The Trust for Public Land saved the great majority of the ranch for public access in 1996.

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In late 2009, The Trust for Public Land helped permanently protect a high mountain meadow in Chaffee County through conservation easement on this family-owned ranch.


Located just east of Crested Butte, Cold Spring Ranch has operated in Gunnison County since the 1870s.

Photo of a woman running on a trail

The Trust for Public Land’s Colorado Community Trails Program (CCTP) is a new, innovative initiative aiming to foster a more connected, healthier, and economically thriving Colorado. Whether commuting to a nearby recreation destination, traveling to a neighboring community, or just enjoying the freedom of a close-to-home trail, trails promote healthier, connected communities. In partnership with Colorado communities, we will secure corridors and build trails that enhance connectivity and mobility, expand recreational access, and improve quality of life for all Coloradoans.

Colorado greenbelts, South Table Mountain

Since 1981, The Trust for Public Land has protected nearly 10,000 acres of Colorado greenbelts—land that provides a buffer between open space and development or helps define a community's growth boundary.

For many people, Colorado is synonymous with beauty, and despite its growth, the state continues to offer many wild landscapes that people treasure for self-renewal and enjoyment. Both residents and visitors come to these places to hike, bike, camp, hunt, fish, and view wildlife.


Creekside Experience is a tucked-away gem of a park where all-natural play features, including a treehouse, boulders, logs and a water play area, invite kids and their families to be active and connect with nature.

Cuatro Vientos/Four Winds Park, Denver

Green space is in short supply in Denver's Westwood neighborhood. In fact, Curatro Vientos—or Four Winds—is the first new park in the area in more than 30 years.


In 2001 the National Park Service asked The Trust for Public Land to help preserve the 57 acres for the Curecanti National Recreation Area adjacent to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

Dunn Ranch

In October 2005, The Trust for Public Land helped the owners of Dunn Ranch place a conservation easement over the property, which protects the land from development and ensures that the ranch's water will continue to be used for agricultural purposes.

Photo a woman running in the woods

Between October 2017 and March 2018, The Trust for Public Land, Blackfoot Challenge, and Civic Canopy worked with the community of Lincoln, Montana, to bring community leaders and residents together to set a solid foundation for collaboration. The Partnership guided a process called Envision Lincoln that was designed to build on Lincoln’s existing efforts and accomplishments and invite all residents to participate and share their perspectives. Envision Lincoln developed an overarching vision to guide a collaborative effort that will help attract families to Lincoln and retain them, spur economic opportunities, and keep what makes Lincoln a special place to live.

Fisher's Peak

Fisher’s Peak, southeast of Trinidad, Colorado, commands a presence at 9,633 feet, rising prominently from the rolling ranchlands that surround it. Visitors today can’t access the peak from Colorado. Instead, intrepid hikers must drive 30 miles to New Mexico’s Sugarite State Park and make a long, arduous hike to reach the peak.

Butch Clark at the cabin in Fossil Creek, Colorado

Located just ten miles northeast of Gunnison, Fossil Ridge is completely surrounded by the Gunnison National Forest. Butch and Judy Clark purchased 960 acres here in the 1970s and have always allowed the community to use their property for hiking, hunting, cattle grazing, camping, and cross-country skiing.

This Greenprint identifies critical assets across the county and helps guide land conservation efforts to protect these working ranches and farms, clean rivers, scenic views, and places for recreation.

Fishing in the Arkansas River, Colorado

Sale and development of the ranch would have compromised recreational access to the river as well as water quality. To prevent this, The Trust for Public Land worked to protect the ranch with a conservation easement that will safeguard the corridor’s rural character and scenic views.


In 2000, this critical strip of land nestled between two designated wilderness areas near Aspen and Crested Butte was in jeopardy from development. Concerned about the threat to the area’s natural beauty and its importance for biological research, community leaders turned to The Trust for Public Land for help.

Photo of Hill Ranch with mountains in the background

The Trust for Public Land and Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust have permanently protected over 5,000 acres of working ranch land, known as the Hill Family Ranches, in Saguache County, Colorado.

Hutchinson Ranch, Colorado

A sixth generation ranching family chooses a modern solutuion to keep their livelihood alive.

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Virtually empty of people just a few years ago, the South Platte River Valley north of downtown Denver is projected to have 20,000 residents by 2035, nearly 20 times its current population.

View from the San Juan mountains

TPL’s protection in August 2011 of 225 acres of high-country mining claims in the San Juan Mountains, speaks to the area’s rich past and uncertain future.

Photo of kids in a playground

The Trust for Public Land worked closely with the City of Aurora, the Hoffman Youth Community Center, and families and youth in the neighborhood to redesign and completely transform Jewell Park into asset for both the Hoffman Center programs and the surrounding community.


Community efforts led to protection of Jewell Wetlands, now owned by the growing city of Aurora, Colorado, southeast of Denver.

Kochevar Open Space, Colorado

In June 2010, The Trust for Public Land purchased a large section of land on the edge of Crested Butte that had been owned by the local family since 1905. The conservation transaction was the largest in the town's history.

LaRue Ranch, Upper Arkansas River Valley, Colorado

The Trust for Public Land worked with the LaRue family to secure funding to purchase a conservation easement for this 186 acre ranch in the Upper Arkansas River Valley. Conserving this land will preserve the scenic viewshed, wildlife habitat, ensure water quality, and help maintain the rural ranching economy.


In December 2012, The Trust for Public Land bought the 1,038-acre ranch from the Marrs family, one of best sites in the world to study the K-T boundary—the sedimentary layer below which  evidence of dinosaurs can be found.

Photo of Maverick Ranch and the Arkansas River

Encompassing a mile-long scenic stretch of the lower Arkansas River, 204-acre Maverick Ranch offers premier opportunities for public fishing, boating, nature study, and outdoor exploration. The Trust for Public Land–in partnership with the Central Colorado Conservancy and the San Isabel Land Protection Trust–is working to forever protect this spectacular property.

Dairy cows

Adams County, northeast of burgeoning Denver, had been struggling to maintain farms and open space in the path of growth. In 1999, The Trust for Public Land helped county residents mount and pass a voter initiative that created a dedicated sales tax for the protection of open space.

Built in 1868, Mestizo-Curtis Park is the oldest in Denver. Its nine acres of tree-lined paths hold great potential, but the park lacks the amenities it needs to serve as a quality gathering and play space for this dense and diverse neighborhood.


Middle Bijou Creek Ranch, located just south of Deer Trail and 40 miles east of Denver, occupies an important role in a growing network of public and privately conserved agricultural and wildlife properties that serves to protect the western heritage of Arapahoe and Elbert counties.

Flattop Mountain

Tucked away in the beautiful backcountry of southwestern Colorado, Mitchell Lakes and Flattop Mountain boast native grass meadows, seasonal ponds and wetlands, and dense conifer forests.

Montbello Open Space Park and Environmental Learning Center

We have been working with Denver nonprofit Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) to transform 5 acres in the city's Montbello neighborhood into a restored natural area with native gardens, educational kiosks, walking trails, and interactive nature play spaces.

A place where families can grow fresh food, children can play safely, and neighbors can gather.

We're working to help renovate two parks in North Aurora, Colorado, that serve a growing population of families and children.

A woman looks out over North Floyd Hill

This land provides a unique opportunity to create a new trailhead and public access to more than 12,000 acres of Clear Creak County and Jefferson County open space. New trails for mountain biking and hiking will connect to an existing trail system that is currently inaccessible from I-70. Protected from development, this land will continue to provide recreation opportunities to people throughout the Denver metro area for years to come.

Ophir Valley, Colorado

Ringed by 13,000-foot peaks, the Ophir Valley is one of the San Juan mountains' hidden gems. The Trust for Public Land protected more than 1,200 acres here, virtually all of the private land remaining in this still-pristine valley.


The Ouray Ice Park may be the only park in the world devoted exclusively to the sport of ice climbing. Located in the Uncompahgre River gorge just a ten-minute walk from the historic mountain town, the ice park allows climbers to test their skills in a controlled ice-climbing environment.

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The Trust for Public Land is committed to preserving and creating parks, natural areas, and trails in our urban communities, particularly in Denver and along the Front Range.

Rio Grande Healthy Living Park

We worked with local partners to protect for the creation of the Rio Grande Healthy Living Park to include a six-mile trail system and 16 acres for community farming.


The Trust for Public Land is proud to have played a part in the creation of the country's 548th National Wildlife Refuge, by working with two landowners to purchase the mineral rights underlying 460 acres of tallgrass prairie.

Roxborough State Park

In the mid-1980s, The Trust for Public Land purchased 748 acres in Douglas County that had been targeted for development, protecting the land as an addition to Roxborough State Park.

Saguache Ranch, CO

Central Colorado's Saguache Creek corridor has a rich history: once home to prehistoric peoples, it was also an important transportation route for the Ute Indians.

Sawtooth Mountain Ranch, Colorado

Sawtooth Mountain Ranch is now part of more than 18,000 acres conserved by The Trust for Public Land along the San Juan Skyway, one of 31 designated scenic All-American Roads.

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Much of our Parks for People-Denver program focuses on the South Platte River, where land that used to be taken up by industrial development is being offered for sale.

South Table Mountain

South Table Mountain is an oasis of solitude within a sea of development. A volcanic mesa rising above the western Denver metro area, it provides a welcome refuge for people and wildlife.

Photo of Steel Ranch in Colorado

Located along the Collegiate Peaks Scenic & Historic Byway at the intersection of U.S. Highway 285 and U.S. Highway 24 just outside the Town of Buena Vista, the 186-acre Steel Ranch has been in ranching since the late 19th Century and has been passed down through several generations. With its substantial water rights and over a half mile of frontage on the Arkansas River, the Steel Ranch plays an important role in the agricultural, ecological and scenic heritage of the Upper Arkansas Valley, which has been documented by nationally renowned nature photographer John Fielder.

Photo of painted tires along a fence

The Westwood Via Verde is a project of Cool Connected Westwood (CCW), a coalition of partners dedicated to working collaboratively with Westwood residents to realize community-prioritized changes to the places where people live, work, and play in Westwood. The Westwood Via Verde is the vision of the community and represents a transformational neighborhood scale project that will result in a vibrant and connected system of multi-benefit green infrastructure to improve water quality, increase tree canopy, and support community empowerment and job creation.

Scattered across 30 miles of river bottom from Gunnison to the doorstep of Gothic, the lands owned by Trampe Ranch are some of the most familiar, productive, beautiful, and scientifically significant in the Gunnison Valley.

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The Triple Creek Greenway Corridor will add 14 miles of interconnected open space and trails between the existing Sand Creek Regional Greenway and the thousands of acres of public land surrounding the Aurora Reservoir.

Ute Valley Park, CO

From heart-pumping singletrack to peaceful mountain views, Ute Valley offers outdoor escape in easy reach. Not many folks know that half of this popular patch of wilderness is privately owned  and at risk of development.

The Ward Trust property in Loveland, CO

Experiencing nature close to home just got easier for residents of Loveland, Colorado with the protection of 78 acres of prime wildlife habitat, agricultural lands, and wetlands adjacent to the Morey Wildlife Reserve.

Kettle Ranch, Colorado

This spectacular valley in south-central Colorado is one of the last remaining places where ranching is still the main way of life. Since 2000, we have spearheaded an ambitious and collaborative program to preserve the beauty and way of life in the Wet Mountain Valley.

Willow Bay

Willow Bay is a 174-acre property in Adams County, Colorado, defined by a picturesque 110-acre lake at the northern terminus of the South Platte River Trail. Now, after a public planning process, that open space will include access to fishing, swimming, and non-motorized boating, further connecting urban residents to the nearby natural world.

Photo of Wilson Creek Ranch

In 2017, The Trust for Public Land acquired a conservation easement on the 14,000-acre Wilson Creek Ranch in Agate, Colorado, building on a partnership with the Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust that has preserved over 20,000-acres of working agricultural land on Colorado's eastern plains. Funding for the transaction was provided by the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund and the Natural Resources Conservation Service's Regional Conservation Partnership Program.

Wilson Peak, Colorado

Wilson Peak, near Telluride in southwest Colorado, is a member of an exclusive and celebrated club, the Colorado 14-ers—the 54 mountains in that state that top 14,000 feet. It is also one of several Fourteeners where access has been frustrated by private ownership of key hiking access.

Working farms and ranches

The Trust for Public Land works closely with local non-profits and government agencies to help farmers and ranchers in Colorado maintain ownership of, and continue working, their lands.

Zuni Park Fitness Zone, Denver

The Trust for Public Land recently installed durable outdoor workout equipment in Zuni Park through our Fitness Zone® program. We recruited students from the School of Physical Therapy at Regis University to craft circuit workout trainings and reach out to neighborhood residents of all ages and fitness levels to welcome them to the new facility.