Funded ProjectsOpen Space Heals the Spirit

January 18, 2021

In the midst of a heartbreaking year filled with loss and civil unrest, the work of the Crested Butte Land Trust served as a bright spot for the people in the Gunnison Valley. As former Executive Director Noel Durant put it, open space matters. “It is your place to find clarity and experience the humanity in others that breaks down barriers. Open space welcomes all.”

Not only did the Land Trust’s conservation efforts give people a socially distanced outlet to enjoy green spaces, stay active, and take a break from the hard realities of 2020, the nonprofit stepped up to meet the needs of the community at a time when food insecurity is at a critical level in the Valley. Partnering with a local nonprofit, the Mountain Roots Food Project, food was planted on the Land Trust’s conserved property for the first time, “creating a wonderful marriage of conserved open space and local food that supports those who need it most.” Dubbed “Glacier Community Farm,” more than 200 pounds of food was produced during the short growing season, all of which went directly to food programs like free neighborhood markets, home-box delivery, and farm-to-school programs.

The Land Trust celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, having protected 6,000 acres of land surrounding Crested Butte. Some of the local attractions protected by the Land Trust’s conservation efforts include the Lower Loop, Lupine Trail, Gunsight Bridge, Long Lake, and Paradise Divide. The Foundation has a longstanding tradition of supporting the Land Trust in Chris’ memory to honor his love of Crested Butte and desire to preserve the environment’s natural beauty for generations to come.

“A passion for land conservation is a widely shared community value and the Crested Butte Land Trust is honored to be an ambassador for open lands, clean water, fresh air, thriving wildlife, world class trails, and a productive agricultural economy,” Executive Director Jake Jones said.

To support the Crested Butte Land Trust mission, the Chris Mikesell Foundation awarded a grant of $3,000 in 2020. Learn more about their conservation efforts on their website.

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