Nearly 1,000-Acres of Future Public Open Space on the Cache La Poudre River Purchased in Greeley 

Image by anncapictures from Pixabay

Acquisition will help create a new regional destination for outdoor recreation in Northern Colorado

Trust for Public Land (TPL), the City of Greeley, and the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) announce the successful acquisition of the 975-acre Shur View Property located along the Cache La Poudre River.

The property includes over a third of a mile of shoreline and bluffs that overlook the river and give outstanding views of the Rocky Mountains and the northern front range. It will provide expanded outdoor recreation opportunities for the City of Greeley and the northern Colorado region and serve as important habitat for the area’s wildlife.

The acquisition of the Shur View property culminates a decades-long effort for the city to acquire one of the last large parcels suited for open space in western Greeley. The acquisition doubles the city’s acres of public natural areas for the community to enjoy to over 2,000.

Greeley residents and outdoor enthusiasts in the region will soon get to experience the benefits natural areas like the Shur View property provide—outdoor recreation close to home, breathing room between communities, miles of trails to explore, and a habitat for wildlife to thrive. The Shur View property will act as a hub, with a future spur trail connecting it to the 40-mile Poudre River Trail.

This summer, project partners will kick off a community visioning process asking residents to share their vision for the regional outdoor recreation destination.

“The conservation of the Shur View property embodies the vision of a community connected to nature and delivers on our commitments made in the ‘Get ‘Outdoors Greeley’ strategic plan to conserve important lands with outdoor recreation and wildlife habitat values,” said Justin Scharton, Natural Areas & Trails superintendent. “Our goal is to provide equitable access to the outdoors for everyone in Greeley.”

Finding the funding
Together, partners TPL, City of Greeley, and GOCO secured $7.75 million of the $8.5 million purchase price, enabling TPL to purchase the property for $8.5 million, utilizing a $1.25 million GOCO grant, it’s own internal financing, and $3 million from Greeley now with an additional $2 million to follow in the next two years. The city will lease the property from TPL for the next two years while it holds the property. That allows project partners to begin working with the local community to ensure the property provides meaningful access to the outdoors and public recreation for all residents.

Critical to the project’s success, TPL negotiated and secured the purchase and worked in partnership with Greeley to secure the funding for the acquisition. The trust also provided bridge financing needed to complete the purchase before the agreement with the previous owner expired.

This initial purchase ensures the property will not be sold for development despite Weld County’s rapid growth. The purchase also gives TPL enough time to work with Greeley to raise the remaining funds for the overall purchase.

“Making sure everyone has a place to enjoy the outdoors is why everyone at Trust for Public Land works hard each day, and we look forward to continuing to work with our partners in Greeley to ensure that the Shur View Property becomes the publicly-owned recreation destination that it can and should be,” said Wade Shelton, senior project manager for Trust for Public Land. “It is an honor to work with Greeley and GOCO to make this initial purchase happen.”

Project officials expect this initial purchase to catalyze local and regional demands for public recreation. Creating and maintaining this important open space hinges on securing the balance of the needed funds. Once officials raise the remaining $750,000, TPL can convey the Shur View Property to the City of Greeley free of all debt—while ensuring that the property is permanently protected by a conservation easement held by Colorado Open Lands (COL).

“GOCO is proud of our investment in the Shur View acquisition for many reasons – because it serves as a habitat for a range of wildlife species, it provides scenic views for the Greeley community and those passing through, and it will create new outdoor recreation opportunities for Coloradans,” said GOCO Executive Director Jackie Miller. “This large parcel of land is a tremendous asset to the community’s quality of life. Congrats to our partners and the community!”

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