The 1% for Open Space program wants to inform the community who we are and how we operate. As an organization who works exclusively to preserve open space, we are the oldest, most established, and most successful 1% for Open Space collection programs in the country.
1% for Open Space is an independent, separate 501c3 organization and has been in existence since 2000. While the initial organization was created by the Crested Butte Land Trust in 1997, the program only served three years under that designation. For the past ten years, we have worked as our own non-profit organization with our own board of directors.
Our mission is simple: 1% for Open Space supports and funds open space projects in the Gunnison Valley. As such, any organization working to permanently preserve open space in the Gunnison Valley may apply to use for funds.
Everyone who wishes to receive money to protect a parcel of land must send a formal proposal to 1% for Open Space requesting funds. This proposal includes a description of the property; the budget for acquiring the property (and the portion 1% money will occupy); environmental, cultural and recreational values; how the project will benefit the public and how it fits into the philosophy of the 1% for Open Space program; a general time frame for funding the project; and plans for the use of the property (trailhead protection, research lands, right to sell homesite on the property).
Each proposal must be approved through a majority vote of the board of directors. We have a seven member board comprised specifically to include business owners who participate in the program. Our members are: Pete Nichols, President (Bacchanale); Glo Cunningham, Vice-President (Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum), Karen Janssen, Secretary/Treasurer and Crested Butte Land Trust Liaison (Munchkin’s Music); Heli Mae Peterson (Donitas), Kori Caskey (Clear Rivers Skin Care and Waxing), Leah Whiting (Pioneer Guest Cabins) and Beverly Griffith. We have one employee and non-voting member, Molly Murfee, who serves as the Director of the program.
We help organizations buy land to permanently preserve it for future generations to recreate, view and enjoy. We have a grant review process to fund any request to purchase land. Organizations only receive money from 1% for Open Space by going through this grant review process. We only grant money to purchase land, and to offset supporting costs (such as appraisals, title fees, etc). We do not grant funds for operational costs, fundraisers, reclamation projects, or the building of improvements such as trails. We do not write blank checks to any organization. All funding is given through this proposal and voting process.
Since our inception we have given $1,259,446.53 and preserved 4,244 acres of land. This money has been given to the following organizations: the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, the Gunnison Ranchland Conservation Legacy, the Trust for Public Lands and the Crested Butte Land Trust.
The 1% for Open Space program is a voluntary 1% donation on top of products and services in participating businesses. There is no limit to what kind of business can participate. We maintain about 70 participating businesses in the program. They include restaurants, retail shops, doctors, realtors, contractors, lodges, bed and breakfasts, an acupuncturist, farmers, attorneys, newspapers, property management companies, a video store, art galleries, guiding companies, animal hospitals, a Nordic center, an aesthetician, a museum and an electric company.
1% for Open Space, through the donations arising from the customers of businesses, has helped preserve the Lower Loop, Woods Walk and the Rec Path. 1% for Open Space funds have helped preserve portions of Kebler Pass, Washington Gulch, the Rozman Ranch, the Niccoli Ranch, the Mill Creek Ranch, the Tomichi Creek Ranch, the Taramarcaz Ranch, the Razor Creek Ranch, Paradise Divide, Schofield, Yule Creek, Crystal Peak, the Gunsight Bridge, Gothic Meadows, the Lazy F Bar Ranch and the winter trailhead of the Slate River Valley.
If you have any questions about this program, please feel free to speak with any board member or call the 1% for Open Space office at 349-1775.
The 1% for Open Space Board of Directors and
Molly Murfee, Executive Director