About Our Properties
The Land Trust works from Drake and Glen Haven through Estes Park to Rocky Mountain National Park and the Wild Basin area. The smallest easement is less than an acre, the largest 1,362 acres. Most of the EVLT conservation easements are on private property with access only through permission of the landowner.
A few EVLT easements are on public lands and can be accessed, including Hermit Park Open Space and Centennial Open Space at Knoll-Willows near downtown Estes Park. Also, Mrs. Walsh’s Garden is owned by the Town of Estes Park and publicly accessible. Whether you are enjoying the view or enjoying your feet on the ground, these easements are designed for your benefit as part of the public good.
Centennial Open Space at Knoll-Willows
In 2002 the Town of Estes Park bought the mostly undeveloped tract of land between the library and the Stanley Hotel and turned it into a public open space. To protect it from future development, they placed a conservation easement on the 19.4 acres of land with EVLT.
The land can be accessed right from downtown Estes Park and contains two historic structures, the Birch Ruins and the Birch Cabin. It has approximately 3 miles of trails and is frequented by wildlife throughout the year.
Hermit Park Open Space
As early as 1998 EVLT saw the potential of securing a conservation easement on the 1,362-acre Hermit Park property, which was then owned by Hewlett-Packard Company. When the property went up for sale in 2006, EVLT supported negotiations for its purchase. Larimer County Department of Natural Resources spearheaded the acquisition of the property, with significant contributions from a variety of public and private entities. EVLT negotiated the Conservation Easement on the property, ensuring that 75% of the Hermit Park Open Space acreage will remain as publicly-accessible, undeveloped open space in perpetuity, and the remaining 25% will be managed as a public park.
Mrs. Walsh's Garden
There’s a gate across the entrance to Mrs. Walsh’s Garden, but it’s not designed to keep people away. In fact, this Estes Valley Land Trust conservation easement, located at the west end of the downtown, is one where the public is encouraged to enter, wander, and enjoy at any time. (The gate is there only to discourage deer and elk looking for a tasty nibble.)
In 1996, resident Judy Lamy bought the property and did what she and her family had always done: she started a garden. Judy dedicated this project to honor her grandmother, Mrs. Winifred Walsh. Dozens of citizens donated hours of time creating the garden and features.
EVLT’s first conservation easement was recorded in 1989. A property covering seven hillside-acres south of the Big Thompson River, across from the downtown Riverwalk on East Elkhorn Avenue, was zoned for 14 residential units. EVLT arranged to purchase the riverside property in cooperation with the Town of Estes Park and Estes Park Urban Renewal Authority (EPURA). The Land Trust contributed $10,000 and deeded its interest to the Town and EPURA in exchange for the conservation easement on the parcel.
One of the largest conservation easements in the Estes Valley originated in the 1990s. The 1,168-acre Meadowdale Ranch, just outside Estes Park on Highway 36, had the potential of being subdivided into thirty-six 35-acre ranchettes. EVLT spearheaded negotiations, a huge local petition campaign, and a highly successful capital campaign that led to finalization of the Conservation Easement and permanent protection of the highly visible land in 1995.