Did you know that Boulder was the first city in the United States to adopt a sales tax to acquire and maintain open space?
The City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) Department invites community members to protect and enjoy Boulder area trails and natural areas during National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 24.
The department encourages visitors to help protect our shared natural areas by giving back to the lands we all love. Community members can sign up for a few remaining slots in an OSMP National Public Lands Day volunteer project to help maintain the Bluebell Mesa Trail below the iconic Boulder Flatirons. The department invites community members to sign up for future volunteer projects that will be communicated through VolunteerOSMP.org.
OSMP also encourages community members to enjoy city open space trails – including the recently repaired Royal Arch Trail and the new Anemone Hill Trail – this weekend. Visitors can plan their visits by accessing the city’s web trail and trailhead search feature, visiting the city’s interactive trail map or by downloading the Boulder Area Trails app.
The city recently published a list of some of OSMP staff’s favorite hikes, which include shady areas, trails that get the heart rate up, paths to take out-of-town guests and areas where community members experiencing disabilities can enjoy open space. The department also encourages community members to sign up for free nature and recreation programs the department provides. OSMP reminds visitors to recreate responsibly and review recommended tips before visiting Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks trails.
Boulder’s unique legacy of community-driven land stewardship
Community members in Boulder have long recognized the unique beauty of the lands surrounding them and have campaigned tirelessly to preserve some of the most diverse natural areas in the western United States. Beginning with actions to protect the Chautauqua Meadow and the Flatirons backdrop around the turn of the 20th century, the City of Boulder’s open space program has been one of innovation – including passing the nation’s first open space sales tax in 1967 – and has served as a model for other open space programs.
Boulder residents and visitors from all over the world support city open space by shopping in Boulder. Currently, sales taxes provide about 90 percent of the department’s funding.
Today, Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) maintains 154 miles of trails that connect visitors to diverse and sensitive habitats, home to 61 species of mammals, 700 species of plants and 100 species of birds. Each year, Open Space and Mountain Parks conducts more than 300 projects – including installing wildlife cameras that help OSMP monitor animal activity – to help maintain Boulder open space natural areas and to connect people to our shared lands.
Learn more about how Boulder community and OSMP are working together to help visitors – and future generations – enjoy and protect our shared public lands by accessing:
- A webpage that highlights recreation, ecosystem, agriculture and community work the department is conducting this year.
- An online map that shows ongoing projects occurring across the Open Space and Mountain Parks system.
Community members can learn more about city open space management by attending/watching Open Space of Board of Trustees meetings, which are typically held on the second Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. The OSBT provides feedback to department staff on many open space-related issues and also makes recommendations to City Council and staff on the acquisition and management of City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) lands.