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Ah, fall in Colorado. A golden hour that lasts all season, when the sun illuminates the trees and grasses as they turn their autumnal colors of gems and gold, reminding us just how precious this landscape is to us all.
Maybe nature knows just how busy this time of year can be for us all. Children are back to school with fall events one after another. We grown-ups have our own schedules to juggle with demands from work, life, and pending holidays beginning to pile like fallen leaves on the ground. Yet, in the midst of it all, the land beckons us to pause and take note of this passing of time, tempting us away from our screens and schedules with crisp air that invigorates the body and a cacophony of color that inspires the soul.
Whether you take a walk in a local open space, capture family photos set against iconic backdrops, or journey into Southern Colorado’s high country, I hope you take time to connect with the land this fall and appreciate the show that nature generously offers this time of year.
As you bask in the brilliance of the season, take a moment to consider what it might be like if the open spaces and natural places that embody fall for you and your loved ones were no longer there. Gone, consumed by other priorities for our growing communities.
What is lost when we lose our connection with the land?
Frankly, this is a future that I can’t imagine, but I know is possible.
Over the past five years, southern Colorado has witnessed an extraordinary population growth, exceeding 10% annually, as more individuals are drawn to the area's unparalleled natural beauty and way of life. Our open spaces and public parks offer a rich tapestry of natural wonders and recreational havens for people who like to hike, bike, and everything in between.
But these outdoor treasures don’t happen on their own. Unless we make the choice to prioritize open lands and protect the places we love, there is no guarantee that they will be there in the future to share their brilliance with us.
Since 1977, Palmer Land Conservancy has been working with our southern Colorado communities to ensure that everything we love about the Colorado good life — including opportunities to connect to and enjoy the land — can be enjoyed by everyone now, and for future generations.
Thanks to Palmer, places like the Ute Valley Open Space, Bear Creek Regional Park, Section 16 Open Space, the Pineries Open Space, and many more public parks and open spaces will always be available for you and me to enjoy each fall. Even my favorite leaf-peeping drive up US-24 is protected by Palmer through the decades-long Pikes Peak Conservation Corridor project.
Palmer has the expertise, relationships, and trust needed to tackle Colorado’s most pressing water and land conservation challenges. I trust the Palmer team to listen to our community and lead efforts to protect Colorado’s land and water for the benefit of us all.
Why? Because Palmer has a history of partnering with the community to set strategic priorities and accomplish ambitious goals. Red Rocks Canyon Open Space, Stratton Open Space, the Paint Mines Interpretive Park, and numerous other natural areas began as visions by community members that were realized through the collaborative efforts and enduring partnerships championed by Palmer.
Our community is the driving force behind Palmer’s 2022 - 2027 Strategic Plan that resulted from listening sessions conducted with community members like you and me all over southern Colorado.
As a result, Palmer has dedicated an initiative to protect five new parks and open spaces in southern Colorado within the next five years and is also actively progressing towards the realization of Ring the Peak, the first-ever multi-use trail to encircle Pikes Peak.
Palmer can make our vision for Colorado happen. But not without our help.
To compete with the growing pressures threatening our beloved landscapes in the future, and meet the conservation challenges of today:
First, we can make a generous gift of membership that reflects our love of and commitment to protecting the places we love. Second, we can share Palmer’s mission with our neighbors to help grow the number of people who understand that our quality of life is inextricably tied to the land.
Together we can help ensure that Colorado will always be defined by our connection to the land.
To share the Palmer mission with our neighbors, download virtual stickers to share by email or social media.
I hope you will join me and my family by taking a moment in the coming weeks and make a commitment to double down on protecting it forever by joining Palmer.
See you on the trail!
Donor Member - Land Lover
P.S. - Want to connect with Palmer? Join us for one of the following! Visit the Palmer events webpage to learn more: