Community effort to protect Buckley AFB from encroachment lauded by Arapahoe County

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Buckley Air Force Base

AURORA | Arapahoe County handed an annual stewardship award to the City of Aurora, Buckley Air Force Base and other groups for a decade-long mission buying land for conservation around the base and its iconic “Buckley Balls.” 

The county congratulated the groups Monday for receiving the 2020 Stewardship Award. Last year, a slew of organizations including the base, city government, Great Outdoors Colorado and The Trust for Public Land sealed the last of nine real estate deals setting aside 700 acres bordering Buckley for conservation and recreation trails. The project required nine deals totaling $22 million in local, state and federal funds. 

The newly-protected piece of high plains prairie is populated with deer, antelope and cottonwoods — not homes or businesses — shoring up a buffer from the base’s loud and high-tech operations. 

Part of Buckley’s operations include sensing missile launches around the globe and providing tarmac for Air Force and National Guard operations. 

The “green necklace” around Buckley will link Signature Park to the forthcoming Triple Creek Greenway. That trail will connect to Aurora’s vast walk and bike trail corridors stretching to Denver and Centennial.

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