On July 29, 2004, the kick-off meeting took place forming a Friends group dedicated to supporting Larimer County's parks and open spaces. In November 2004, the Friends of Larimer County Parks and Open Lands (LCPOL) became a certified non-profit corporation (501c3) in Colorado.
From its inception, the Friends of LCPOL has supported educational outreach programs, land acquisitions, improvements of trails, habitats, and recreational opportunities throughout Larimer County. LCPOL partners with private individuals, companies and/or other organizations to provide monetary support for the over 55,000 acres of open spaces, rivers, wildlife habitats, and natural areas that the county has secured over the past 26 years with a ¼ cent sales tax residents have elected.
Fundraising is an extremely important role for LCPOL. Back in 2007, when Agilent Technologies offered the former Hewlett Park for sale, LCPOL had to quickly raise funds to prevent a portion of what is now Hermit Park Open Space from being sold for development. LCPOL successfully raised over $130,000 in just a matter of 6 months! LCPOL also worked as partners with the Town of Estes Park, Estes Valley Land Trust, Great Outdoors Colorado, and hosted fundraising auctions to help purchase Hermit Park Open Space in its entirety.
Recently, LCPOL has helped fund the new Sky View Campground at Carter Lake and the Pinewood Reservoir campground upgrades. These have been needed and are very popular. Additional projects funded include Horsetooth Mountain Open Space campground relocation as well as trail work at Hermit Park, Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, and the greatly anticipated Poudre River Trail slated to be completed in 2024. Several educational needs led us to help fund safety videos, raptor monitoring equipment, and virtual educational programming. We have sponsored kiosks, signage, and assisted with a visitor study and its publication.
Friends of LCPOL also serves as a vital partner for numerous grant applications by providing matching dollars and letters of support. LCPOL serves Larimer County's Department of Natural Resources as an engaged, community voice for these treasured open spaces and parks. All individual gifts and donations are directed back to Larimer County parks and open spaces.
With your financial support, these critical projects can continue to provide essential experiences to visitors.