In 1990, a local resident asked the Service to acquire a small area of land in Arvada, Colorado as part of it's Refuge System. There was much community concern about a proposed residential development on 13 acres of this area.
Service biologists reviewed the area and were impressed with the remnant wildlife populations and educational potential of the site. The biologists recommended that the site and adjacent open space be included in the Regional Wetland Concept Plan and be acquired under authority of the Emergency Wetland Resource Act of 1986. By the end of 1991, Congress approved the funding required for the Service to begin acquisition and in May of 1992, Two Ponds was established as a national wildlife refuge.
Because Two Ponds NWR is located in an urban area and is surrounded by development, walking the trails at the Refuge provides a natural wildlife-dependent experience rarely found in urban areas. A variety of wildlife can be observed, including mammals, reptiles, amphibians and over 120 species of birds. The habitat found along the trails varies from wetlands and shrub lands to prairie grassland. On the higher elevations, spectacular views of the Front Range from Longs Peak in Northern Colorado south to Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs can be observed. The trails at the Refuge are part of the National Trails System, a network of scenic, historic, and recreation trails created by the National Trails System Act of 1968. These trails provide for outdoor recreation needs; promote the enjoyment, appreciation, and preservation of open-air, outdoor areas and historic resources; and encourage public access and citizen involvement.
Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge
"Lovely area, only open on a limited schedule, so check before you head by. Well worth the trip."
"This wildlife refuge is hidden inside an urban setting - and is a free and wonderful place to take your family."
“What a wonderful place to visit. Nice place to go walking."
and deliver educational, interpretive, and other visitor services programs; coordinate activities for volunteers; and conducting habitat restoration and biological and maintenance program support. Founders & Friends may also solicit and accept donations.
Founders & Friends is governed by a board of directors, comprised of individuals who are passionate about Two Ponds. Our board members include individuals who were actively involved in the preservation of Two Ponds NWR when it was threatened by development in the early 1990s. One of our board members was the very first refuge manager assigned to Two Ponds NWR. Most of our board members have had a long history of supporting the Refuge. We are a 100 percent volunteer organization.
In supporting the Refuge, our efforts are focused on developing sustainable programs that engage and develop a lasting connection to nature leading to partnerships with other community organizations interested in environmental education and conservation.
As our name implies, some of us have been supporting Two Ponds NWR (the Refuge) for over 25 years and were involved in preservation efforts that prevented the Refuge from becoming “just another housing development.” While others in our group joined the effort later on, but none the less, are just as dedicated in their support of the Refuge. Although our core group has over 130 years of supporting the Refuge, our Friends group is a relatively new organization.
Founders & Friends of Two Ponds NWR became a Colorado corporation in September 2014. Once Founders & Friends received their 501(c)(3) status from the IRS, this qualified Founders & Friends to be an official “Friends” group for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Friends groups are unique and different from other wildlife conservation partnerships because Friends are established with an organizational mission of supporting the purposes and objectives of a Service site or program with which they are affiliated. Being a Friends Group permits Founders & Friends to conduct community outreach activities; coordinate special events; develop