It’s happening all around us. A fabulous town like Castle Rock is very attractive to new residents, and the development boom shows no signs of slowing. You needn’t have been here very long to have witnessed the new houses spreading up and over the wooded hills, marking a landscape that was once only concerned with the quiet pleasance of nature. Have you ever thought about exactly who or what entity fights to promote, preserve and protect the natural open spaces that we enjoy with our families? Have you ever considered how the land for these protected open spaces is maintained and who pays for that year after year?

The Douglas Land Conservancy does all of this and more, protecting an average of 727 acres every year from being destroyed or developed. This non-partisan, non-profit organization located in Downtown Castle Rock originated in 1987 as a land trust committed to conserving the natural habitat and open spaces in Douglas County. Recognizing the need to support the adjoining counties of Jefferson and Elbert, the DLC now includes these counties in its ongoing efforts to protect the natural open spaces that can be lost to development. Thirty-three years later the Douglas Land Conservancy is still going strong, having now secured conservation easements on over 24,000 acres of open land, 11,102 acres of which are open to the public to enjoy. Just this year in 2020 alone, the DLC will welcome 4,600 additional acres of land by way of several new conservation easements.

Having already spent 20 years as a prime protector of the public lands for the Douglas Land Conservancy, Executive Director Patti Hostetler works quietly behind the scenes with Director of Outreach Amy Graziano on their portions of a forever project that they’ll eventually pass off to the next keepers of the lands. “Forever” is the operative word. There will always be a future and a need for people to ensure that these lands remain viable and open for the enjoyment of every generation after us. And because the DLC is entirely funded on donations, a series of educational opportunities and events is always on the roster, including guided hikes, the DLC Nature Book Club, the Nature Note Card Contest and events like the JA Ranch Sunset BBQ, the Oak Leaf Benefit and the amazing Plein Air Art Event.

Colorado Gives Day is December 8, 2020, so make sure you remember to think of Douglas Land Conservancy when you donate this year. Visit to donate directly, discover fun future events for the family and learn why protecting our natural open lands is so vital.

Protecting the Natural Character of Douglas County and Neighboring Lands

Douglas Land Conservancy is a Non-Profit Member of the CRCO | Local Business Alliance

Website: Douglas Land Conservancy

Article Written By: Jennifer Hollingsworth