Greeley’s Newest Natural Area

Missile Site Park, the Natural Area and Trails are all Closed for the Winter

The temporary trails at the new natural area are actually old service roads and get extremely muddy in wet conditions. The trails will be impassable by foot or bike until the ground dries out next spring. Closing the natural area for the winter also allows wildlife a much-needed respite during the difficult cold months. Animals like deer, turkeys and coyotes are awake, active and expending energy all winter long. Giving them space to rest allows them to use their energy reserves to stay warm and find food and shelter. We appreciate your help taking care of our wild neighbors!

Exciting work is planned for this property in 2024! Stay tuned and look for more information when we re-open in the spring (date TBD).

Overview

Along with the Trust for Public Land (TPL) and Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), the City of Greeley (City) has conserved Greeley’s newest natural area. This land not only doubles the city’s acreage of open space, it continues the City’s steady pursuit of community vitality through local conservation and equitable access to nature.

Initially dubbed the Shurview property, the site will be renamed by the community as part of the public engagement process. The acquisition of nearly 1,000 acres represents one of the last large parcels of land suited for open space in western Greeley. The property includes over a third of a mile of shoreline and bluffs that overlook the Cache la Poudre River and gives 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 an important habitat for the area’s wildlife. Photo of Shurview Spring River Corridor

Project partners are kicking off a community visioning process in October 2022 and asking residents to share their vision for the regional outdoor recreation destination.

Greeley residents and outdoor enthusiasts in the NoCO region will soon get to experience Greeley’s newest natural area. Register for the project on Speak Up Greeley (speakupgreeley.com/newest-natural-area) to share your vision for this property, find out about opportunities to visit and stay informed as the project moves forward.

Finding the Funding

Together, partners TPL, City of Greeley, and GOCO secured $7.75 million of the $8.5 million purchase price. This enabled TPL to purchase the property for $8.5 million, utilizing a $1.25 million grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a $1.25 million GOCO grant, its own internal financing, and $3 million from Greeley now, with an additional $2 million to follow in the next two years.

Photo of a bald eagle in flight
Pace Clyncke, Pace-Photography.com

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.

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 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).

About Trust for Public Land

Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 3 million acres of public land, created more than 5,000 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $84 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected more than 9 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit tpl.org.

About Great Outdoors Colorado

Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers, and open spaces. GOCO’s independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created when voters approved a Constitutional Amendment in 1992, GOCO has since funded more than 5,500 projects in urban and rural areas in all of Colorado’s 64 counties without any tax dollar support. Visit GOCO.org for more information.

Ecology

Photo of a Western Meadowlark
Pace Clyncke, Pace-Photography.com

The property was primarily used for sheep grazing and hay production but has begun to revert back to natural condition since 2005 after the Windsor tornado hit the property and agricultural production stopped because of the debris in the farm fields. The property supports habitat for a wide variety of plants and animals. Additionally, it is an important link along the Cache la Poudre River’s urban wildlife corridor providing shelter, food, and water for deer, songbirds, game birds, and small mammals. In particular, the numerous arroyos that dissect the uplands harbor many songbirds as well as mule and white-tail deer. The property supports at least two prairie dog colonies, that in turn provide food for several raptor species.

Ecological assessment provided by Colorado Natural Heritage Program

Trail Map

Contact Us

Natural Areas and Trails Office

321 N 16th Ave
Greeley, CO 80631

Monday - Friday
7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

970-350-9205 tel
trails@greeleygov.com