Our Mission

The Friends of Colorado State Parks will lead local Friends groups across the state and individual citizens who care for their parks, ensuring that recreation and open space remain available to everyone in Colorado by:

Engaging the Community of everyday people using the State Parks, connecting citizens to the State’s most precious resource, inspiring stewardship of the land, and guiding people to fall in love with nature.

Building a Community of Friends Groups through camaraderie, sharing best practices, offering trainings, fostering a welcoming environment to a diversity of members, and consistently networking online and at our annual rendezvous.

Continually Advocating with stakeholders for the CPW mission, for open space protection, and for stewardship of our State Parks.

Providing Resources and Best Practices for Friends groups, including educational resources, marketing and media materials, templates for organizational documents, strategic planning models, recruitment and fundraising tools, and accounting support.

Using Colorado's SHIFT Principles, we make decisions guided by this agreement with dozens of other stewardship, recreation, and conservation organizations in Colorado.

Fostering a Financially Sustainable Organization with diverse funding sources (grants, events, donations, & sponsors), credible and accountable fiscal practices, and by offering tools for local Friends groups to do the same.


Colorado’s state parks are more popular than ever, welcoming 12 million annual visitors to 42 parks.

Even in the face of budget shortfalls forcing reductions in the number of full-time and seasonal workers and the programs and services they deliver, Coloradans continue their love affair with Parks.

Volunteers are eager to give time and resources to ensuring Colorado’s natural and cultural heritage will endure. Park managers understand this, recognize it as an opportunity, and have found ways to engage support from park visitors and their surrounding communities.

The merger of Colorado State Parks and the Division of Wildlife led to a re-examination of public outreach programs, and among the priorities of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Information and Education Branch is the recruitment and retention of volunteers, including the formalization and organization of the statewide Friends of Colorado State Parks. 

Our Partners

Friends of Colorado State Parks is guided by a volunteer board of directors. This team is focused on growing our organization and assisting the local Friends programs in the areas outlined in Resources.

  • Executive Director, Matt Gray

  • Board President, Matt Martinez

  • Board Vice President, Kim Burke

  • Board Secretary, Erin Vogel

  • Board Treasurer Gary Buffington

  • Grants and Fundraising, Terry Gimbel

  • Grants and Fundraising, Hillary King

  • Past-President & Founder, Tom Easley

  • Past-Vice President, Faye Koeltzow

  • Board Member, Alex Collopy

  • Board Member, Kelli Cameron

Several members of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife team work in partnership with the Friends board:

  • Fletcher Jacobs, Statewide Volunteer Coordinator

  • Dan Zimmerer, Statewide Partnership Coordinator

  • Gary Thorson, Assistant Director for Information and Education

Friends of Colorado State Parks is grateful for the endorsement and support of key leaders, including:

  • Bob Randall, Executive Director – Department of Natural Resources

  • Bob Broscheid, Director - Colorado Parks and Wildlife

  • Jeff Shoemaker, Director – Colorado State Parks Foundation