Protecting the land while fostering community engagement and public access
Since 1981, Colorado West Land Trust has conserved more than 131,000 acres across a six-county region (Mesa, Delta, Montrose, Ouray, Gunnison and San Miguel). This acreage includes public open space, as well as more than 16 miles of river frontage and riparian corridors, 116,360 acres of elk range, almost 12,000 acres of prime farmland and some of Colorado’s finest fruit-growing lands. In addition to conserving the lands of western Colorado, this nonprofit enriches lives by providing opportunities for outdoor recreation and strengthening the connection communities have to the great outdoors.
“Colorado West Land Trust’s superpower lies in its ability to protect landscapes and simultaneously expand public access for outdoor recreation, safeguarding our connection to the land for generations to come,” said Libby Collins, a project manager with the nonprofit.
Through collaboration and financial support, Alpine Bank has helped Colorado West Land Trust with this mission. Collins says Alpine Bank shows a shared commitment to preserving the environment for the present-day community and future generations. The bank has also helped them encourage people of all ages and diverse backgrounds to pursue outdoor experiences near their homes. The nonprofit strives to “create public open space proximate to diverse neighborhoods to ensure access to the outdoors for people who struggle with transportation.”
The nonprofit recently acquired and conserved more than 200 acres along Monument Corridor, the gateway to Colorado National Monument and the ever-popular Lunch Loop trail system, to expand public access to trails and preserve the native habitat. In partnership with the City of Grand Junction, Colorado West Land Trust is constructing a 3.5-mile paved trail along this corridor to connect people of all ages and abilities to the spectacular natural landscapes that are close to home for so many residents.
Colorado West Land Trust partners with other community organizations to engage volunteers in restoring native vegetation along this paved trail and becoming stewards of public lands. This collaborative, community-driven approach highlights this nonprofit’s commitment to not only conserving landscapes but also deepening the connections to the outdoors that inspire so many to call Colorado home. Find more information at www.cowestlandtrust.org.
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