The Colorado Open Space Alliance is a Colorado-based non-profit under the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center. As a regional organization of publicly funded local government open space programs, we work cooperatively to share information, create public awareness, and foster partnerships needed to protect and preserve the special places of Colorado.

COSA strives to achieve its purpose by

  • Sharing Information - Provide networking, information, skills and resource sharing, training, mentoring, technical assistance, clearinghouse activities and communication among publicly funded open space programs.
  • Creating Public Awareness - Promote land conservation benefits and program successes.
  • Fostering Partnerships - Create and nurture partnerships to assist in program implementation, fundraising and large-scale projects among open space programs, landowners, land trusts, conservation and land use organizations, and other government programs.

Open Space Programs

Steering Committee

Interested in becoming a COSA Steering Committee Member? Learn More

First Name Last Name Title Organization Email Phone
Jennifer Almstead Fund Development & Projects Specialist Larimer County Department of Natural Resources jalmstead@larimer.org 970-619-4569
Jennifer Anderson Education, Partnership and Volunteer Manager Colorado Parks and Wildlife jennifer.m.anderson@state.co.us 303-512-0920
Daniel Bewley Public Outreach Manager Colorado Lottery daniel.bewley@state.co.us 303-759-6830
Sandy Bottoms Grants & Acquisitions Administrator Arapahoe County Open Spaces sbottoms@arapahoegov.com 720-874-6734
Bevin Carithers Ranger Supervisor Boulder County bcarithers@bouldercounty.org 303-678-6210
Alex Castino Open Space Program Manager Great Outdoors Colorado acastino@goco.org 303-226-4517
Julia Feder Environmental Program Manager City of Fort Collins Natural Areas jfeder@fcgov.com 970-221-6213
Julie Lehman Horticulture and Open Space Manager City and County of Denver Julie.Lehman@denvergov.org 720-865-0792
Anne Lowe Open Space & Trails Manager Town of Breckenridge annel@townofbreckenridge.com 970-547-3155
Melinda Markin Ranger-Naturalist City of Boulder markinm@bouldercolorado.gov 303-441-3440
Tina Nielsen Special Projects Manager Boulder County tnielsen@bouldercounty.org 303-678-6279
Matt Robbins Community Connections Manager Jefferson County mrobbins@co.jefferson.co.us 303-271-5902
Justin Scharton Superintendent City of Greeley justin.scharton@Greeleygov.com 970-350-9412
Drew Sprafke Park Supervisor City of Lakewood andspr@lakewood.org 303-697-6154
Peter Suneson Outreach & Education Specialist Eagle County Open Space peter.suneson@eaglecounty.us 970-328-8637
Josh Tenneson Deputy Director Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) jtenneson@goco.org 303-226-4525

A Project of the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center

COSA is a project of the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center (CNDC).

From COSA’s inception in 2000 up until 2016, COSA’s finances were held by Larimer County. This model has worked very well but as the annual conference has grown we started to explore options for a business model that would serve COSA into the future. The Steering Committee researched a number of options, including forming our own 501(c)3, and merging with a like-minded organization such as the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts (CCLT) and the Colorado Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA). CCLT, CPRA, and other organizations host an annual conference and provide services that apply to aspects of the work we do as open space programs, but none of them are a perfect fit for the range of services under the open space umbrella. Ultimately we landed on the fiscal sponsor model, in which the sponsor provides the operational framework and back-of-house support while allowing us to focus on the work we do—mainly, putting on our annual conference.

CNDC is a 501(c)3 formed in 1999 by a group of community and foundation leaders to provide support to the nonprofit sector. The fiscal sponsor model provides projects with the legal framework to operate without having to form their own 501(c)3. CNDC charges a 10% fee on revenues in return for the services it provides.

KGNU's Dot Org

COSA was recently featured on Dot Org, KGNU's weekly look at local nonprofits.

Listen to the interview

A Care for Colorado Coalition Partner

Care for Colorado Coalition