With gorgeous sweeping views, plentiful wildlife and beautiful wildflowers and vegetation, the land along Founders Parkway at Crowfoot Valley Road is truly a treasure. A new land donation is helping the Town keep its commitment to preserving open space – and helping the public explore an untold story of the community.
Town Council recently accepted the land donation from the Estate of Robert F. Metzler. Metzler was a former Superintendent for the Douglas County School District, and an internationally recognized educator, cattle rancher, developer and philanthropist. His family was among the first settlers who helped establish Castle Rock. The gift consists of approximately 60 acres of property, including a homestead. The agreement was finalized this week and is among the largest land donations the Town has ever received.
As part of the agreement, the Metzler estate has donated a conservation easement, which limits the uses of the property going forward and preserves the natural state of the land. Douglas Land Conservancy, a local nonprofit focused on land conservation in Douglas County, holds the conservation easement and will help ensure the property, including a four-acre tract containing the homestead and ranch buildings, are managed appropriately.
An 11-acre tract, which could allow for an educational or community building, was also part of the donation. The area will be managed as open space until future needs are determined by the Town and funding is available. This area will also contain a parking lot that will provide the community access to a network of soft-surface trails that will be constructed.
“This is an extraordinary gift to our community,” said Mayor Jason Gray. “The Metzler family helped shape our community. Their legacy will live on with their generous land donation that will be preserved open space for residents to enjoy for generations to come.”
The property was originally zoned for single-family homes. By accepting this donation, the Town has committed to a first phase of improvements, which includes 2.5 miles of soft-surface trails and parking spaces. A majority of the property will remain designated open space.
The Town has also committed to installing informative plaques on the property to provide additional information about the Metzler family and property. About $1.6 million has been allocated for these improvements, which are planned in the coming years.
Stay tuned for updates at CRgov.com/MetzlerOpenSpace.