a Division of the Parks & Recreation Department
500 E. Third Street, Suite 200
Loveland, CO  80537

Phone:(970) 962-2726 or (970) 962-2725


The Open Lands/Natural Areas Program has preserved over 5,000 acres of open space in and around Loveland.  In 1995, the citizens of Larimer County approved the 1/4-cent Help Preserve Open Space sales tax to protect open space, natural areas, wildlife habitat, regional parks and trails. In 2014, voters overwhelmingly supported the extension of the tax until 2043.  Loveland receives a portion of these funds, as well as a dedicated Open Lands Capital Expansion Fee (CEF), for the acquisition, development and management of open space in and around Loveland.


Open Lands programs, events and volunteer opportunities are now available on Offero:    News Release

River's Edge Natural Area flush restrooms and drinking fountain are closed/turned off for the season (vault restrooms are open during regular hours 6am-10:30pm, but may be closed during extreme cold weather)


Annual Waterway Cleanup

THANK YOU to more than 30 Waterway Cleanup volunteers who spent a beautiful Saturday morning helping to remove 50 cubic yards of debris to improve and beautify open space in the Big Thompson River corridor! 

Great job everyone!  We couldn't have done it without our awesome volunteers!  

Project Outdoors Loveland - GOCO Inspire Project

Thank you to everyone who participated in the planning process to help identify and prioritize Places, Programs, and Pathways to connect Loveland youth and families to the outdoors!  Read the GOCO Inspire Planning Report here.  See the Project Outdoors web page for more info. 

High Plains Environmental Center Guided Bird Walk Results

To celebrate the grand opening of the New High Plains Environmental Center on May 13, Open Lands volunteer Denise led a guided bird walk at Equalizer Lake.  30 species of birds were spotted along the trail.  Check out the Equalizer Lake Birding Hotsport on  

Volunteer Trail Project at River's Edge

open lands

THANK YOU to AmeriCorps United Way and Loveland Open Lands volunteers for helping build Dragonfly Pond Trail at River's Edge Natural Area on Earth Day.  

Awesome work everyone!  


Big Thompson River Trail Guided Bird Walk Results

On a beautiful spring morning, Saturday March 25, twelve cheery participants enjoyed a guided 

bird walk led by Open Lands Volunteer Denise Bretting.  26 species of birds were spotted along the Big Thompson River trail from Fairgrounds Park to River's Edge Natural Area, including a number of early spring migrants such as wood ducks, mergansers, and pelicans, as well as resident species such as meadowlarks, song sparrows and red-winged blackbirds.    Check out the Big Thompson River Bike Trail Birding Hotspot on  

Project Outdoors: Plug in to Nature in Loveland

A big THANK YOU to everyone who attended the Project Outdoors Loveland open house and provided valuable input about ways to connect youth and families to the outdoors!  More info about Project Outdoors.    

Big Thompson River and River's Edge Natural Area Guided Bird Walk Results

Although the weather was chilly, 35 species of birds were observed during the December 3 bird walk guided by Open Lands Volunteer Denise Bretting.  A wide variety of waterfowl species were identified in the River's Edge ponds, along with sparrows, juncos, finches and others in riparian and upland areas.  View results for this visit to the River's Edge Birding Hotspot on HERE.  

River's Edge Natural Area Guided Bird Walk Results

Participants enjoyed a beautiful morning at River's Edge on November 5 with Open Lands Volunteer & President of Foothills Audubon, Irene Fortune.  Nearly 20 enthusiastic observers spotted many birds along the way, including three species of sparrows, several raptors, woodpeckers, finches, chickadees, and numerous others. View results for this visit to the River's Edge Birding Hotspot on  HERE.  

To be added to the email list for future guided bird walks, contact Michele Van Hare, Environmental Education Coordinator, at or call (970) 962-2643.

Waterway Cleanup Event a resounding success!  

More than 40 volunteers helped removed debris and trash from the Big Thompson River at Oxbow Natural Area during the Annual Waterway Cleanup on Oct. 8.  

At least 60 cubic yards of debris were taken out of the river corridor, including a trailer that had been wedged under a bridge abutment since the 2013 flood.  A sincere THANK YOU goes out to all of the hard working volunteers, including kids, adults, and members of the Big Thompson 4-Wheelers Club!  

To be added to the email list for future Open Lands stewardship projects, please email us HERE.  

Draft concept plans for Sunset Vista now available online

Sunset Vista Natural Area was the subject of a public meeting on Wednesday, July 20. Concept plans for trails and other public amenities at the 87-acre natural area were presented for public review and comment during the open house-style meeting. The draft concept plans are now available on the Sunset Vista web page. Comments were accepted until August 8, 2016.

Morey Wildlife Reserve guided bird walk results

Natural Area Volunteer Cheri led a guided bird walk on Saturday, June 11 with 14 participants who discovered a total of 41 bird species at Morey Wildlife Reserve. See the results for this "Birding Hotspot" on www.ebird.orgHERE.

Volunteer trail building project at Morey Wildlife Reserve a great success!

On Saturday, June 4, a group of dedicated Loveland volunteers celebrated National Trails Day® with a trail-building event at Morey Wildlife Reserve. Volunteers helped complete 1/4-mile of natural-surface walking trail by removing vegetation from the trail alignment, placing "crusher fines" (crushed granite) on the trail, and then spreading, raking, leveling and tamping the material in place. Thank you volunteers!

Volunteers plant 1,700 milkweed for monarch butterfly habitat at River's Edge Natural Area

More than 65 area volunteers braved blustery weather on Saturday, May 7 to plant 1,700 native milkweed plants along the shores of Sandpiper and Bass Pond at River's Edge. The project was sponsored by the Loveland Initiative for Monarch Butterflies (LIMB) and Audubon Rockies. Read more HERE. Thank you volunteers!

Namaqua Skyline Selected as New Name for West Loveland Property

The name chosen for Loveland's newest open space is Namaqua Skyline Natural Area. More than 120 unique names were suggested by over 60 individuals during the submission period that ended January 4.  Please click HERE for more information about Namaqua Skyline and the name selection process. Thank you to everyone who submitted names!

Big Thompson Greenway Natural Areas Named

The Open Lands Advisory Commission selected names for 4 Big Thompson Greenway properties at their September 2015 commission meeting. The names were chosen from more than 130 names suggested by the public. The site at 1135 Rossum Drive will be called the Oxbow Natural Area for its location along a U-shaped bend in the river. The Recreation Trail natural area between Taft and Wilson Ave. was named Cottonwood Run Natural Area, blended from the adjacent Cottonwood Subdivision and a submitted name, River Run Natural Area. The property at 990 S. Lincoln Ave. will be called King's Crossing Natural Area, based on the nearby intersection historically known as "King's Corner" at US 287 and CO 402.  The site at 1010 S. St. Louis Ave. was named Old St. Louis Natural Area, for its location at the original settlement site of Loveland known as "St. Louis."

For more information about each of these natural areas, click HERE

Trail-Building Project at Mariana Butte

The City is partnering with C.A.T.S. (Colorado Addicted Trail-builders Society) to create a more sustainable trail system at Mariana Butte.  For more information about the Mariana Butte Trail project, click HERE

Open Lands and Natural Areas Sites

Click HERE or on the link below for a list of Natural Areas and Open Lands to visit.

Open Lands Sites

City Ordinance for the
Parks & Recreation Department Rules & Regulations

City Code Chapter 12.40 Section 12.40.010:
"Rules & Regulations. The parks and recreation department shall have the authority to establish and enforce such rules and regulations as it deems necessary pertaining to the operation of all parks and recreational facilities owned or operated by the city."
(Ord. 3572 ~ 1, 1989)
Our Lands Our Future Regional Study Link
(970) 962-2643

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