Former Colorado Astronaut Donates His 40-Acre Property to Become Part of Rocky Mountain National Park

By Shawn Patrick on September 19, 2022
Photo by Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Rocky Mountain National Park just grew by 40-acres thanks to a donation by a former astronaut and his family. Former astronaut Vance Brand grew up in Longmont, Colorado, and the experiences he had climbing, hiking and camping in the Rocky Mountain National Park during his youth led him to purchase land along the park’s eastern boundary in the 1960s.

Over the years, Brand and his family have enjoyed the property and out of an appreciation for its natural beauty they’ve kept it as is. A couple of years ago, the Brand family decided they wanted their property to become a permanent part of the park and after an act of congress, that wish became a reality.

At a recent ceremony celebrating the donation, Brand spoke of his appreciation for leaders like Teddy Roosevelt who had the foresight to establish the national park system and of the stewards who are ensuring the parks are maintained today. And then he added, “My family and I sincerely hope that this donation to the national park will keep the land in its natural state for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future generations of Americans.”

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