Colorado Is Creating a New State Park and It Needs Your Help

A new online portal allows residents to nominate their next protected lands

colorado nature
Know a place in Colorado that would make a great state park? They're taking nominations.
Holly Mandarich/Unsplash

Fun fact: Over 65% of the state of Colorado is under federal ownership. The state is a public lands king, with more that 10 millions acres of forest. People forget, though, that a pretty big chunk of that outdoor goodness — from the mountains and streams to all those spruce-firs, lodgepole pines and aspens — is featured in state parks, too. Colorado boasts 42 state parks, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife is always looking to grow that number.

According to local reports, the search for #43 is well underway. And this time around, in an effort to drum up passion for conservation, while appealing to the needs of its community, the CPW is encouraging its residents to “nominate” a deserving region. The service set up an online portal where people can present a case for any worthy, unprotected area in the state. Once it secures official state park status, that area’s wildlife, resources and land would be taken care of for generations to come, while allowing for locals or visitors to swing by for recreation.

CPW is taking this initiative very seriously, and is hoping that prospective applications reflect that approach — in fact, there’s even a Future State Parks criteria that details exactly what they’re looking for. That wishlist includes characteristics like “conserves natural areas with sensitive habitats,” “provides outstanding recreation,” and “engages nearby communities.”

Ideally, Colorado wants to stick its neck out for a place that really needs it, which people can reasonably visit and interact with on a regular basis. If you know of such a place in the state, or know of someone who might, check out the online portal here.


Join America's Fastest Growing Spirits Newsletter THE SPILL. Unlock all the reviews, recipes and revelry — and get 15% off award-winning La Tierra de Acre Mezcal.