Greeley's New Natural Area Open!
Want to share your ideas about the future of this property? Visit Speak Up Greeley to complete the survey!
A portion of the property is now open to visitors! The natural area offers approximately three miles of existing service roads to explore on foot or by bike. Motorized vehicles of any kind are prohibited. Please note that we've decided not to allow dogs as we gather data on existing wildlife and assess the potential impact on our furry friends. Service animals are permitted.
Please keep reading for information to plan your visit to the new natural area.
Pace Clyncke, Pace-Photography.com
From Greeley, travel west on 10th St. Turn right on Highway 257 Spur (follow signs for Missile Site Park). Continue left on Highway 257 Spur. Turn right on Missile Park Rd (there is a small sign for Missile Site Park). Continue straight, the road will dead end in the parking lot. The traffic pattern has been updated, so follow all posted signage.
The traffic pattern and parking lot has been updated, please follow all posted signage. There are about 20 parking spaces in the main lot, with about four spaces available in an overflow lot along Missile Park Rd. For your safety, do not park on the road when the lot is full.
The new natural area will be open daily, from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. Gates at the intersection of Highway 257 Spur and Missile Park Rd will open and close at these designated times.
Walking and biking are permitted on the temporary trails. Please respect all private property boundaries and areas closed to the public.
Dogs are not allowed at the new natural area, please leave pets at home. Service animals are permitted.
Muddy trail conditions, construction and other hazards may close the trails temporarily. Always check COTREX (trails.colorado.gov) for updated information about conditions and closures. The natural area will close for a portion of the winter season to protect winter range for wildlife.
Work On Site
OXY/Kerr McGee has a water line running from the river to an off-site drilling location. Workers will be accessing the site daily to refuel generators and maintain the water lines and pumps. Watch for trucks on the trails and respect all posted signage. This work will be on-going through the end of 2023.
Missile Site Park
Missile Site Park has several picnic shelters. The park is open for day use, no overnight parking or camping. The RV dump is open. The traffic pattern has changed, follow all posted signage.
A port-a-let is available at the parking lot near the trailhead.
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.
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.
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.
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