PLAN Jeffco is excited to announce a series of events to celebrate the beauty of Jefferson County Open Space parks—
We invite you to join us – become a sponsor today!
PLAN Jeffco will be hosting the first plein air (outdoor) painting event to be held in Jeffco's Open Space parks—In Plein Sight. Scheduled for September & October 2016, events will open with an art exhibit at the Jefferson County Administration & Courts building on September 19, and will include a week of painting outdoors in 4 Open Space Parks and along the Clear Creek Trail in Golden into Clear Creek Canyon from October 4th – 8th. Twenty to thirty artists from all over the United States will be painting from dawn to dusk at various locations in the parks and the public is encouraged to come out to watch and to buy. The event will conclude at the Golden Community Center where the art created during the week will be displayed and available for purchase on October 8 & 9. There will be an invitation only VIP Reception on October 8.
Event Details »
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Artists - call for entry (deadline: April 1, 2016) »
Need more info? Call John Litz at
* PLAN Jeffco is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization; all contributions to PLAN Jeffco are tax-deductible. Proceeds from your sponsorship of "In Plein Sight" will help PLAN Jeffco continue its successful efforts to conserve our open space lands.
News: Front Page
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News: Features & Opinions
JCOS Staff Recommends Expansion of Coal Creek Canyon Open Space Park
JCOS Staff recommends the purchase of the Indigena LLC property and the Laramie Ridge, LLC property for a total purchase price of $6,750,000. The acquisition of these properties will expand the Coal Creek Canyon Open Space Park by roughly 1,076 acres. ... read more »
SB-206 Signed Into Law: Greater Incentives for Conservation in Colorado
June 5, 2015
This morning, Governor Hickenlooper signed Colorado Senate Bill 15-206 into law, providing greater financial return to landowners who wish to protect their land and water with a conservation easement.
Effective January 1, 2015, the bill increases the amount of the individual conservation easement tax credit in Colorado to 75% of the first $100,000 of the fair market value of the easement, and 50% of the fair market value above ... learn more »
Westerners Care About Conservation
The Results Are In!
by Michelle Poolet
Feb. 28, 2015
The most recent Conservation in the West poll, conducted by the Western Resource Advocates, shows that westerners really care about clean air, clean water, and access to their open spaces. Arizona Loves Its Water: Arizona may be a desert state, but the polls show the Arizonans care deeply about water. 89% of people in Arizona say that the low levels of water in rivers is a serious problem ... read more »
Leaving Only Footsteps? Think Again!
by Michelle Poolet
Feb. 24, 2015
So you think you’re only leaving footsteps when you’re out in the wild? Think again after reading this opinion article in the February 13, 2015 New York Times by Christopher Solomon. Solomon discusses and quotes much of the data that Dr. Sarah Reed presented at PLAN Jeffco’s November 2013 conference. The title of Drs. Reed and Sarah Thomas' presentation at our conference was "Balancing Recreational Access and Conservation Objectives in Open Space Programs." The focus of ... read more »
Stampeding Black Elephants
by Michelle Poolet
Dec. 29, 2014
Did you realize that PLAN Jeffco and Jefferson County Open Space are an integral part of a world wide effort to deal with massive environmental problems such as global warming, climate change, deforestation, mass extinction and water pollution? Well, we didn’t either until we read Tom Friedman’s op-ed piece in the New York Times Sunday Review Section on November 23, 2014 entitled "Stampeding Black Elephants." ... read more »
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Peaks to Plains Trail - Construction Update
June 1, 2015
In January 2014, construction began on the Clear Creek segment of the Peaks to Plains Trail, which runs alongside US 6 through Clear Creek and Jefferson counties. To date, the project is approximately 52 percent complete. A map of the construction zone is on the reverse side. Once completed, the project will provide new and expanded recreational opportunities for the cycling, hiking, angling, kayaking, climbing and prospecting communities, as well as other outdoor enthusiasts. With the most recent revisions to the trail design, the ... read more »
Apex Park Fully Reopens
All trails open to the public following
flood recovery efforts
Tim Sandsmark, Lookout Region Supervisor
Apex Park fully reopened on Monday, Nov. 24 for the first time since the devastating floods of September 2013. Jeffco Open Space staff installed several bridges and abutments last week on lower Apex Trail, which was the only remaining area closed. To maximize efficiency ... read more »
"Living and Playing in Coyote Country"
Mary Ann Bonnel
Visitor Services Supervisor, Jefferson County Open Space
& Co-Principal Investigator, Denver Metro Area Coyote Study
Join the conversation—learn how to send your coyote comments or questions!
"Trails through Time: A Geologist’s Guide to Jefferson County Open Space Parks"
by Jack Reed
Open Space Involvement
2014 Open Space Master Plan
Action Item Completed!
The Jefferson County 2014 Open Space Master Plan, which was approved on January 9, was adopted by the Board of County Commissioners on March 18, 2014. After an 18 month process, the 2014 Master Plan was released on the Jefferson County website on April 18th. PLAN Jeffco is quite pleased with the final draft and feels that it is a very strong document: ... read the April 22, 2014 Update »
"Open Space Local Grants"
On February 11, the Board of County Commissioners approved the 2014 Local Grants as recommended by the Open Space Advisory Committee. Funds for the grants come from the County share of Lottery proceeds and Open Space Sales Tax Funds. Non-profits, recreation districts, and cities are eligible to apply for grants. Grants from the lottery proceeds must be used on publicly owned lands. Approximately $1.2 million are available for these annual grants. ... read this & other News Articles »
PLAN Jeffco Conference Presentations:
More information about the 2013 Jeffco Open Space Conservation Conference:
The Next 40 Years: Jeffco Open Space Conservation
by Michelle Poolet & Vicky Gits
To honor the conception of the open space program as well as 40+ years of service as a watchdog and supporter, PLAN Jeffco gathered together prominent experts to present their findings on a wide variety of conservation issues. About 180 people attended the half-day event, which took place November 16, 2013 at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.
Nine speakers took the podium to address various subjects, from a five-year master plan to tracking mountain lions. Presenters also discussed climate change, state demographics, recreation trends, biodiversity, animal habitat, the economy and the impact of access to nature on public health. ... read what they had to say »
More Open Space News
Synergy: Partners for Parks by the Denver Mountain Parks Foundation
Did you know that Jeffco Open Space (JCOS) and Denver Mountain Parks (DMP) share more than their interest in land protection in central Jeffco?
This year, as the DMP system celebrates its centennial and JCOS parks its 40th anniversary, seems a great time to explore the common ground. Despite the differences in ... read more & view a slideshow of photos by John Fielder »
The History of Jeffco Open Space
Open Space Documents
Read the original 1972 Open Space Resolution authored by PLAN Jeffco over 40 years ago that established a ½ cent open space tax and resulted in the formation of the Jefferson County Open Space Program.
For four decades, this tax has funded the award winning Jefferson County Open Space Program and has also provided open space funds to cities and recreational districts. The Resolution provided for funds to be used only for open space purposes. It also established the Open Space Advisory Committee (OSAC) which oversees the Program and makes recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners (BCC).
... read this & other Open Space Documents »