For more than a dozen years now, we’ve been quietly, yet steadfastly, working on a dream to acquire land around Colorado Gulch and to add it to the open space of the Hailey Greenway.

That dream is now at our fingertips, but we need you to make it a reality.co_gulch_newspaper1

A few weeks ago, we were presented with a 30-day window to purchase 150 acres of the Stevens Family Ranch at Colorado Gulch. The board and staff rallied into action.

“We knew this was an opportunity we couldn’t afford to miss,” said Scott Boettger, Executive Director. “If we didn’t make this happen, 50 years from now people would never forgive us—and we wouldn’t forgive ourselves. This is open space in the heart of Hailey, right along the river. It’s important to our community. It’s something we have to protect and open to the public, if we have the chance.”

Our first move was for our board of directors to lead the fundraising charge. In four days, they committed over one-third of the $800,000 needed for the purchase. We only have until November 30th to complete the purchase of Colorado Gulch. At that point, the land goes on the market at the appraised value of $1.1 million. We can’t miss this window, so we are activating our line of credit to complete the purchase.

We know we can count on supporters like you to help us raise the funds we need to repay the loan and expand the Greenway– forever.

Last week, the City of Hailey and the Land Trust agreed on long-term protection and management plans, which cleared the path for the Land Trust to purchase the property that runs from Heagle Park down to Colorado Gulch, so it can be opened to the public and connect it to the Hailey Greenway. The Land Trust will also restore a trail and bridges on the property and areas damaged by grazing and other practices.

“The City of Hailey is our partner in preserving and restoring the Greenway. We are all working together to make this happen,” said Keri York, the Land Trust’s director of conservation. “Our main goal is to provide public access.”

The Colorado Gulch acquisition will nearly double the size of the Hailey Greenway, which offers trails and access to the Big Wood River on the western edge of Hailey. It currently runs from Bullion Bridge to the Della View neighborhood. Home to the Bow Bridge and the Draper Wood River Preserve, the Hailey Greenway is one of the most popular places in the valley to walk with friends or dogs, to watch wildlife, to fish, and to take photographs.

Adding 150 acres at Colorado Gulch to the Greenway means that we’ll have more access to what we love about life here in the Wood River Valley. And more peace-of-mind that the open and wild places will stay open and wild forever.

It’s taken nearly 12 years of dedicated work to finally bring this project to the community. It’s community members just like you who kept us at the table all these years. Please invest in our work to preserve the heart of the valley by making a year-end gift here.

If you would like to make an investment to complete the acquisition of Colorado Gulch, please contact Lisa Huttinger, Development Manager, for details: LHuttinger@woodriverlandtrust.org, or 208.788.3947. Thank you!

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The Colorado Gulch bridge.