Logan Simpson’s “Our Lands – Our Future” Study Wins APA and NACP Award
The American Planning Association County Planning Division and its sister organization, the National Association of County Planners has bestowed the Award of Excellence to Logan Simpson’s “ Our Lands – Our Future Recreation & Conservation Choices for Northern Colorado” conservation study in the Grass Roots Initiative category.
For the first time in Colorado, all of the local governments in a county engaged in a comprehensive study on land conservation and nature-based recreation to evaluate successes, potential improvements, and existing gaps. The regional conservation study used extensive public outreach, an interactive GIS website, and dedicated engagement by nine partner agencies to produce a plan that shapes the vision of open space conservation in Larimer County.
Logan Simpson’s landscape architecture and planning team provided the public involvement framework and analysis, coordination, and report for this unique regional conservation study. Working with project partners, four broad goals were developed: Conserve working farms and ranches; Create regionally-significant recreation opportunities; Protect natural resource and wildlife areas; and Enhance urban settings with open space and trail systems.
This is the first time that all of Larimer County’s municipalities joined together to develop effective tools to manage diminishing open space resources. Over 4,200 citizens provided feedback on key choices: Which types of land and recreation should be provided? Where? What emphasis should be given to each type of open space? How should open space tax dollars be allocated? How should public funds be obtained for continued land conservation and recreation? The level and quality of partnerships in Colorado is unprecedented in this area, and the Our Lands – Our Future report capitalizes on those relationships.
The combined county-wide and jurisdictional-specific needs assessment, opportunity maps, financial models, and citizen priorities in Our Lands – Our Future will help conservation partners and public land managers ensure that investments are strategic, cost-effective, and representative of community values. In updating their respective master plans, local governments will save land managers time and effort by using this study as a starting point.
Read the final report here.