Natural Resources - Gates Family Foundation


Colorado’s iconic mountain ranges, farms and ranchlands, public lands, rivers, and open spaces are an undeniable part of our shared identity as Coloradans. We live in a state where three in four residents consider themselves conservationists, and 87% understand that Colorado’s open lands and outdoor lifestyle give the state an economic advantage.

Yet the forces of climate change, population growth, and urbanization are producing unprecedented conditions that threaten Colorado’s quality of life and economic stability. Gates Family Foundation works collaboratively with a cross-section of partners, fellow funders, and grantees to conserve Colorado’s unique landscapes, waterways, and agricultural heritage in ways that allow both natural and human systems to thrive. We believe that collaboration, innovation, and non-traditional partnerships are the key to balanced management of limited resources. Additionally, we are committed to closing the gap that exists for Indigenous and people of color in conservation decision-making, organizational leadership, and access to the outdoors.


Strategic Grants

Foundation staff work closely with a diverse group of partners to initiate and support projects that advance the strategic priorities and goals listed above. See our strategic grantmaking in natural resources here. If you think your project or organization might be a fit for our Natural Resources program, we encourage you to contact a team member below. READ MORE

Capital Grants

Two times a year, we accept applications for our capital grants program. Natural resources projects that qualify include land conservation across Colorado; projects that acquire, construct, and improve parks, greenways, and trail systems; and public recreation facilities, outdoor spaces, and community gardens. See a list of our recent grants here. READ MORE

Impact Investments

We put the Foundation’s endowment dollars to work through mission-aligned investments in natural resources and conservation. Examples include projects that generate a market rate of return for restoration of ranch properties in Colorado and nearby states, and sustainably harvested timberlands across the U.S. READ MORE


Our natural resources team brings an array of experiences and talents to work with our partners and grantees. From strategic planning and partnership development, to deep knowledge of water and land conservation issues statewide and nationally, our team is here to help our partners thrive.