The Colorado Open Space Alliance is organized exclusively as a Colorado-based, regional organization of publicly funded local government open space programs, working 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

Land Conservation Organizations

  • Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts (CCLT)
    A not-for-profit organization with a mission to promote and support land conservation excellence in Colorado through leadership, advocacy, education and outreach.
  • Colorado Open Lands
    Colorado Open Lands is one of Colorado’s largest non-profit land conservation organizations. They are committed to protecting land and water forever.
  • Colorado Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA)
    A non-profit education and advocacy organization whose members are dedicated to maintaining and improving our quality of life through parks, recreation and leisure opportunities.
  • Conservation Resource Center (CRC)
    A nonprofit land conservation organization, establishing the Tax Credit Exchange which created a market to transfer conservation easement tax credits.
  • Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO)
    The GOCO Amendment to the state constitution dedicates a portion of state lottery proceeds to projects that preserve, protect, and enhance Colorado’s wildlife, parks, rivers, trails, and open spaces.
  • Land Trust Alliance (LTA)
    Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance represents more than 1,000 member land trusts supported by more than five million members. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and operates several regional offices.
  • Nature Conservancy
    To preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.
  • Plains Conservation Center
    PRESERVING native prairie of eastern Colorado, EDUCATING about its natural and cultural history, NURTURING conservation & environmental ethics.
  • Restore The Rockies
    Founded in 1992, The Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project (SREP) is a non-profit conservation biology organization working to protect and restore large, continuous networks of land in the Southern Rockies ecoregion of Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico. SREP realizes this vision for a healthy ecoregion by connecting networks of people in order to connect networks of land.
  • The Roaring Fork Conservancy
    Founded in November of 1996 as an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring people to explore, value, and protect the Roaring Fork Watershed.
  • The Trust for Public Land (TPL)
    Is a national, nonprofit, land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, community gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come.
  • Trails and Open Space Coalition
    Is committed to preserving open space and parks and creating a network of trails, bikeways and greenways for the Pikes Peak region.
  • Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC)
    Represents a giant step forward in helping people get involved in caring for Colorado’s public lands. This web-based, statewide volunteer information clearinghouse, coupled with a multi-year volunteer recruitment campaign, will dramatically increase the number of volunteers available to assist our state’s natural resources conservation community.
  • The Wilderness Land Trust
    Acquires private lands (in holdings) in current and potential Wilderness Areas from willing sellers and to transfer them to public ownership, so that all generations of Americans will enjoy an enduring resource of wilderness.

Steering Committee

First Name Last Name Title Organization Email Phone
Rick Bachand Environmental Program Manager City of Fort Collins rbachand@fcgov.com 970.416.2183
Rob Burdine Open Space Superintendent City of Lafayette rob.burdine@cityoflafayette.com 303.661.1310
Bevin Carithers Ranger Supervisor Boulder County bcarithers@bouldercounty.org 303.678.6210
Alex Castino Program Officer Great Outdoors Colorado acastino@goco.org 303.226.4522
Lisa Dierauf Community Outreach Coordinator City of Boulder dieraufl@bouldercolorado.gov 303.550.1320
Steve Gibson Red Mountain Ranger Distric Manager Larimer County sgibson@larimer.org 970.214.8819
Anne Murphy Open Space & Trails Manager Town of Breckenridge annem@townofbreckenridge.com 970.547.3155
Tina Nielsen Special Projects Manager Boulder County tnielsen@bouldercounty.org 303.678.6279
Kristan Pritz Director of Open Space and Trails City of Broomfield kpritz@ci.broomfield.co.us 303.438.6335
Matt Robbins Community Connections Manager Jefferson County mrobbins@co.jefferson.co.us 303.271.5902
Josh Tenneson Grants & Acquisitions Manager Arapahoe County jtenneson@arapahoegov.com 720.874.6723
Lindsey Utter Planning and Outreach Manager Pitkin County lindsey.utter@pitkincounty.com 970.920.5224
Colin Waters Community Relations Specialist Colorado Lottery colin.waters@state.co.us 303.759.6830
Dan Wolford Land Program Administrator City of Longmont dan.wolford@longmontcolorado.gov 303.774.4691

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.