The Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) system includes more than 46,000 acres of preserved land in and around Boulder, Colorado. The very first piece of land, 80 acres at the base of Flagstaff Mountain, was purchased by the city in 1898 to be used as one in a series of Chautauqua cultural centers around the country. Since then, the Open Space program (established in 1967) has acquired over 450 separate properties.
In addition to land acquisitions, the Open Space program acquires water rights to help support agricultural operations and preserve historical water rights. Approximately 6,000 acres of open space land are irrigated with these water rights. Whenever possible, mineral rights are also acquired during the land acquisition process.