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City of Durango News Flash

Posted on: August 17, 2023

Land Donation at Oxbow Preserve Complete, Public Process will Focus on Management of the Property

land donation 1

Durango, CO:  The City of Durango has completed the land donation process resulting in accepting nearly 50 acres of Animas River greenway adjacent to Oxbow Preserve. 

This generous donation from Bill and Maddy Waters is over 16 years in the making.

The City and the Waters family have a long history of negotiating the potential of the City acquiring this property. Community prioritization of land preservation ranks the Animas River greenway north of town as the area of highest importance for open space preservation. The Waters family recognizes this and graciously donated the land in support of permanently preserving the land as parks and open space for the benefit of the Durango community and wildlife. 

The City will begin a public process to determine best management practices for the property. Until this process is complete, the property remains closed to public access. 

“It has been an amazing privilege and honor to work closely with the Waters family through this process,” said city of Durango Natural Resources Manager Amy Schwarzbach. “The Waters family is devoted to protecting wildlife habitat and graciously donated this land, knowing our community’s passion for enhancing the Durango quality of life through our parks and open space program.”

The Waters’ donation is made in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A memorial commemorating this donation will be placed on the property prior to opening access to the public.

Like Oxbow Park and Preserve, this property hosts unique riparian habitat and river corridor. The process of planning future management of the property will take this into account, as well as the adjacency to Oxbow Preserve and its management practices.

Updates on the public process will be available at Questions may be directed to the Parks and Recreation Department at or by calling (970) 375-7321. For more information on the city's open-space efforts go to the city's web page

Do you have a comment, question or suggestion regarding this topic or others? Check out our "Connect and Engage" webpage and let us know!
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City of Durango logoMedia Contact
Tom Sluis
Public Information Officer 
Phone: (970) 375-5090


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