Support Our Work

Support Our Work


Welcome, Friend of Open Space! Your generous financial contribution demonstrates your dedication to conservation of undeveloped, outdoor recreation, and wildlife habitat lands in La Plata and neighboring counties, the water rights that have historically supported productivity of those lands, and the derived benefits that are so quintessential to your Colorado way of life. 

La Plata Open Space Conservancy is a private, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization (EIN #84-1204273).  Donations made to LPOSC enable us to carry out our mission to permanently conserve lands of value to your Colorado way of life.  As a Friend of Open Space contributor, you will not only help provide financial support that is integral to LPOSC’s successful fulfillment of its mission, you will be the first to know of our successes and the multiple events we hold throughout the year to celebrate those successes.  Through such celebratory events you will gain a deeper connection to the lands and water we conserve.  Perhaps just as important, you will also gain a deeper connection to others in the community who, like you, deeply appreciate how conserving lands and water for ranching, recreation, scenic, wildlife habitat, or historical purposes help to also conserve your Colorado way of life.


Bequests & Planned Giving

A bequest is a provision in the landowner’s will or revocable trust that instructs the estate’s executor to convey land or other assets to LPOSC.

Through this approach, a landowner or donor can conserve important lands by donating a conservation easement, their property, or financial support to LPOSC through their will.

Your cherished lands and open space places contribute to a life of fulfillment, happiness, and memories. Protecting your land and your memories for future generations, or making a monetary contribution in support of land protection, can be accomplished through planned giving.

Bequests and planned giving prepare a future gift to La Plata Open Space Conservancy. If you are interested in this approach and have questions for us, please contact us at

A bequest can be made by naming La Plata Open Space Conservancy as a charitable beneficiary either in your existing will (by adding an update, called a codicil) or when establishing a new will. Suggested Language: “I give, devise and bequeath to La Plata Open Space Conservancy, of Durango, Colorado, assets having a value equal to __% of my gross estate to be used for its general charitable purposes.” You can also name La Plata Open Space Conservancy as a beneficiary of your retirement plan. IRA, 401k, 403b’s are popular and effective saving vehicles. If you name LPOSC as a beneficiary in the event of premature death, none of the asset is subject to tax.

If you are considering a gift of land, please call Patrick Barker, Executive Director at (970) 259-3415 to discuss your interest and goals, so we can match it with our conservation strategy. All conversations are without obligation and confidential. If your land has significant conservation values, and no heir is available to protect your land; or if you own highly appreciated property, or have substantial real estate holdings which may result in high capital gains or estate tax burdens, a donation of land to La Plata Open Space Conservancy may be an attractive option. All rights to the land are transferred to La Plata Open Space Conservancy, resulting in an income tax deduction for the full appraised value of the land, reduced estate taxes, and reduction of property taxes.

Transferring a gift of stock is easy to do, and is tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. Your gift amount is based on the current market of value of the stock when you donate it. A gift of appreciated securities is a great way to avoid capital gains taxes, receive an income tax deduction, and support land and water conservation.

If you enjoy the freedom a second home offers, you may be looking to reduce your estate for tax planning purposes. You can make a generous gift of your home to La Plata Open Space Conservancy with the caveat that you retain the right to lifetime use and enjoyment. You will receive income tax benefits in the year of the gift.

Creating a charitable remainder trust can provide a substantial deduction on your income taxes and a reduction in estate taxes. These trusts are often created with properties (real estate or stock), which have a large capital gain. The donor creates the trust and receives back income of at least 5% for life or a term of years, and no capital gains taxes are paid. At the end of the life term or term of years, the property is distributed to La Plata Open Space Conservancy for its conservation work.

Naming La Plata Open Space Conservancy as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy is an easy way to make a sizable gift you may not have thought possible. When you irrevocably sign over ownership of your policy to LPOSC, you will receive an immediate charitable deduction (usually very close to the policy’s cash value).

If you donate a conservation easement, you can still live on and manage your land. The taxable value of your existing land within the estate is significantly reduced, in many cases allowing agricultural or recreational land to remain in the family without significant tax consequences.

La Plata Open Space Conservancy accepts gifts of real estate. Whether you have land to donate for its environmental or conservation value, or land that we can sell or trade to raise funds to preserve critical open space, it is all valuable to LPOSC. This is a gift than can be given during life or bequeathed to LPOSC in order to reduce the value of your estate.

By using the charitable lead trust estate tool, you may provide valuable income to La Plata Open Space Conservancy now, while holding onto the assets you prefer to gift to your heirs. This is a great way to help LPOSC maintain day-to-day operations and to see the benefits of your gift during your lifetime, while preserving the trust property for your heirs. With this tool, you can transfer assets, such as cash, stocks and artwork, to a trust for a set term of years. Each year, payments are made from the trust to La Plata Open Space Conservancy. It is called a lead trust because the charity (the Land Trust) is entitled to the lead (or first) interest in the trust asset, and the noncharitable beneficiary (your heir) receives the remainder (or second-in-line) interest. Once the trust’s term expires, what is left goes to your heirs. Handling assets in this way can shelter the assets’ appreciation from estate taxes.


We host events throughout the year, including three major fundraisers. Your attendance and participation helps raise operational funding for land conservation.

Join us during our annual events for opportunities to meet land owners, hear their stories from the land, learn about protecting land, and simply enjoy yourself in the name of Open Space.


Our organization accomplishes its mission of protecting open space, recreational parks, wildlife habitat, working family farms and ranches, and historical/archaeological resources because of the hard, dedicated work of our volunteers. With a volunteer Board of Directors, one-full time and one part-time paid staff member, the support of community members volunteering to assist with office operations, membership programs, community events, fundraising and field work is priceless!

Interested in protecting open space in your community? Your volunteer time is welcome at La Plata Open Space Conservancy!

Giveback Programs

Amazon Smile & City Market Giveback Programs

Feeling the pinch of rising costs this season? If funds are tight, consider these alternative ways of supporting open space – at no cost to you!

In our region of the Southwest, people define “quality of life” by the health of our watersheds, the abundance of family farms and working ranches, unlimited recreational opportunities, scenic vistas, and wide open spaces. We raise our children with an intrinsic respect for nature, a connection to local food sources, and a love of outdoor pursuits. We believe this to be fundamental to our health and well-being.