Porch Library 2014: Casey Cruikshank consults Kaufman's Field Guide to Birds of North America. By the end of the day, Casey added a half dozen new birds to the Buffalo Peaks Ranch Bird List (the handy chalkboard posted on the main house's front wall).  photo by Kalen Landow

Porch Library 2014: Casey Cruikshank consults Kaufman’s Field Guide to Birds of North America. By the end of the day, Casey added a half dozen new birds to the Buffalo Peaks Ranch Bird List (the handy chalkboard posted on the main house’s front wall). photo by Kalen Landow

IMAGINE a network of land-study centers stretching from the Headwaters of South Park to the metro-Denver plains. Each site will be united by the common purpose of connecting people to nature and the land, but each site will have something unique to share:

South Park’s Buffalo Peaks Ranch will offer a 32,000+ natural history library, along with residential living quarters for anyone who would like to experience the quiet and inspiration of a book-lined historic ranch, set on the banks of the South Platte River, and surrounded on all sides by a high mountain landscape, with some peaks rising to over 14,000 feet.

The Rocky Mountain Land Library has been called one of Colorado’s most treasured collections of books…and its new home at Buffalo Peaks Ranch couldn’t be more fitting. According to the Los Angeles Times, Buffalo Peaks Ranch is a beautiful spot of land, and the perfect home for a library dedicated to the conservation and appreciation of the land.Huffington Post, March 9, 2012

The Waterton Canyon Kids & Educators Library. Now in its sixth season, our 3,000 volume Waterton Canyon Library is a fun and inspirational resource for kids, families, and teachers — often used by many of our partners such as Thorne Nature Experience, Denver Water, Audubon Society of Greater Denver, and the Denver Botanic Gardens. As with our Buffalo Peaks Ranch site, the Waterton Canyon Library is also located on the banks of the South Platte River, right where the foothills give way to the plains.

A New Urban Center for the Land Librarycoming soon! In 2012, with many more books to share, the Land Library began its search for an inner-city Denver site to house two complementary libraries:

I. A second Kids Nature Library — yes, we have many more kids books in storage!

II. A Urban Homestead Learning Center, featuring books and programs on nature-in-the-city, sustainability, edible landscapes, urban farms and gardens, beekeeping, raising chickens, and much, much more.

Bird, bee, bug, beast and botany books are abundant enough to populate their own sections. The Rocky Mountains are well-represented, but then so is every range on the planet. “I had to actually see the books to believe it,” said John Calderazzo, a Colorado State University English professor and nature writer, “It’s the best nature library I know of anywhere.”Denver Post, February 20, 2012

The remarkable learning landscapes of the American West will provide hope for generations to come. We’ll need to tap into this precious resource if we hope to thrive in the future, while living lighter on the land. The need for places of quiet thought, creativity, and active community involvement will only grow as our population increases. Now is the time to build a network of place-based learning centers in service to land and community.

Please joins us and help the Headwaters to Plains Network grow!

For more information on the Rocky Mountain Land Library, please contact jeff@landlibrary.org, 2550 W. 39th Avenue, Denver, CO 80211 (office location), 303-321-3574

Jeff Lee, Director

Board of Directors

SueEllen Campbell
Greg Danielson
Ann Marie Martin
Dan Mitchell
Christine Parker

Gene Reetz
Eileen Roscina Richardson
Ben Sherrill
Stephen Shoup
Mark Wren
Advisory Board
John Calderazzo
Matthew Cowles
Peter Decker
Karen Hardesty
Richard L. Knight
Tina Jayroe
James Jeffrey
Page Lambert
Jeffrey A. Lockwood
Char Miller
Matt & Patty Miller
Eric Paddock
Laura Pritchett
Susan J. Tweit
George F. Thompson

Tom Wylie

University of Colorado's School of Architecture graduate students beginning their design work at Buffalo Peaks Ranch.

University of Colorado’s School of Architecture graduate students beginning their design work at Buffalo Peaks Ranch.

44 thoughts on “About

  1. BRAVO! Your project is like a dream come true. After roaming the country for a year after he left the midwest in the 1980s my dad settled in Denver. He’s passed away now but he left a legacy of love for the state of Colorado and the West to his two daughters and his five grandchildren. All three of my kids went to the University of Colorado in Boulder. My husband and I will likely retire in Colorado. I hope one day to be able to work and play at your fantastic library and ranch. BTW I read about you in today’s front page article of the New York Times.

  2. Hello friends and fellow booksellers! We LOVE this idea! It’s such a beautiful vision. We’re going to post on our social media, hoping to help spread the word. Meanwhile, if we can support this project in a tangible way I’d love to think about that. I want to visit!
    Sending you congratulations on the great work so far, and lots of support and admiration from all of us here at City Lights Books in San Francisco.

    • Elaine — what a thrill to hear from one of the truly great bookstores in the world! Please forgive the slow reply — the NY Times wave was a mighty one — thanks to generous folks like you that shared the good news. We would LOVE to get fellow booksellers to the ranch — I hope we can stay in touch Elaine — with you and everyone at City Lights!

  3. This is one of the most endearing, amazing passion projects I have ever seen. Thank you for what you are doing!
    As an author-in-the-making, focused on the transformative power of nature, and a long time Colorado resident…it is as if you captured my heart and made it tangible.
    Until I can help financially (and beyond then), please let me know what I can do to help.

    • Erin — we’ve been slow to reply only because the NY Times article sparked such interest & support from across the country. Authors-in-the-Making are a big part of why we so want the Land Library to succeed — let’s keep in touch! (if you get this reply, could you email us at jeff@landlibrary.org ?? Not sure if I’m seeing your address right, and we’d love to get you on our update list!

  4. So excited about this wonderful project. I can’t wait to visit. Congratulations
    on following through with your vision

    Ann Ramenofsky

    • Thanks Ann! One of the GREAT things about the NY Times article-reaction is the reassuring fact that there are a lot of people (like you) who share that vision! I hope we can stay connected!

  5. Pingback: Readers Rejoice: Library to Open in South Park - GetBoulder.comGetBoulder.com

  6. What a wonderful project and in a beautiful place. You have terrific plans for all kinds of programs. Have you considered basket making as another? I have a small collection of books on basket making and basket history that I would love to donate.

  7. This dream of yours is a dream come true for me. I’m trying to write a novel based on my family’s history herding sheep in western Colorado. I am thrilled to know this resource will be available in the future and I want to get involved! How can I help?

  8. I, too, have a group of books mostly on Bent’s Fort, the Santa Fe trail, and the Pueblo Indians mostly published in the 1940’s. I would love them to go somewhere where people would be interested in them. Please let me know when you are accepting books on these subjects and how we can donate.

  9. I was thrilled to read the NY Times article and learn about this project. I’m an avid reader, and just this year I traveled to Red Cloud, NE for the Willa Cather annual conference. It was so nice to be amidst other book lovers and to gain a deeper understanding of the connection between an author and the land that inspired her. I have visited Tattered Cover, and can’t wait to visit the ranch someday. I’m inspired by what you are doing, and wish you continued success! How can I get on your e-mail list to stay in the loop?

  10. I was interested in helping with the Denver urban children’s land library. Could you tell me more about your plans? Could I email you more directly?

  11. Hi, We are moving away from Colorado and would love to donate some books to the library if you are interested. There are a dozen or so Time-Life books of the West series and other western themed books. Are you interested? We are in Conifer and could work with you about someone picking these up if possible . Thanks and good luck on a great project. Penny and Bill

    • Penny & Bill — THANKS so much for thinking of the Land Library! The books sound perfect for us, but our storage capacity has been overwhelmed lately — we are out of room as we await further renovation at the ranch. Thanks for the kind offer, but we’ll have to pass. Best to you both on your upcoming move! Jeff

  12. I have just read the Monitor article and I must write to say that I hope your project has legs. I am a fan of Ivan Doig and Kent Haruf – and now Rinker Buck’s relatively new THE OREGON TRAIL – so this venture is a brand new target on my list. Please add me to your email list because I would love to visit when you can host people close by. I haven’t found your address yet but a donation will be on the way.

  13. Rocky Mountain Land Library looks fabulous. I will contribute when I can, but would love to contribute to the project. I’m a photographer from Texas that has worked in themes related to your mission. How can I find out more?

  14. Love your concept. Plan to be in the vicinity of Buffalo Peaks Ranch late June 2017 on a cross-country trip. Is there reason for visitors to stop in? Are we welcome?

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