Park and Open Space at a City's Entrance
The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming is noted for our preservation of wild and rural places. But, we’re also involved in an exciting project near downtown Sheridan. Working with the city and the Sheridan Community Land Trust (SCLT), we helped secure more than 31 acres of additional land in the heart of a large piece of community open space at the entrance to the city. The North Gateway Project fills a gap between the existing North Park and Goose Creek – ultimately creating a 70-acre park area that includes rich wetlands, wildlife habitat and an outdoor classroom space.
This project is the result of a multi-year effort to purchase the property for the benefit of the local community.
History of the Project
The City of Sheridan first identified the property as an ideal public park and open space location in 2008. However, its prime location and zoning designation made the cost of the purchase too high for the City to seriously consider. Then, in 2014, the Conservancy introduced a new grant program that made community conservation projects a priority. The program was made possible through the LOR Foundation of Jackson. The foundation deploys its mission, vision and grant-making portfolio to improve livability for small towns in the Intermountain West.
It Takes a Village
SCLT and the Conservancy were fortunate to find two more critical partners, in addition to the LOR Foundation, in the Homer and Mildred Scott Foundation and the Foundation for Community Vitality. In addition to giving financially to the project, these foundations generously agreed to form a Limited Liability Company to purchase and secure the property. This provided the stability needed for the partners to raise the funds necessary to purchase the development rights on the land through a conservation easement.
“We are extremely proud of the North Gateway project and the benefits it will bring to Sheridan County. This project was a true collaborative effort. We never would have been able to complete this project without trusted partners like The Nature Conservancy and the City of Sheridan who shared a grand vision for this striking entry to our community,” offers Mike Evers, SCLT Board President.