Rocky Mountain Land Library hits fundraising goal for ambitious expansion

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo
Cattle graze at Buffalo Peaks Ranch. (Larry Glass/Rocky Mountain Land Library)

Cattle graze at Buffalo Peaks Ranch. (Larry Glass/Rocky Mountain Land Library)

The Rocky Mountain Land Library, a project that envisions a series of bases for reading, study and creativity along the South Platte River, has hit a milestone in its biggest project yet, and the group will celebrate this Friday.

RMLL as of Wednesday, April 5, has met its $125,000 fundraising goal toward the renovation of part of the Buffalo Peaks Ranch, a 60-acre site in South Park. The group has attracted nearly 900 backers as of publication, and now hopes to hit 1,000 or more. (The Kickstarter will remain open through Friday.)

The project will deliver a structure with two bedrooms, a kitchen, a classroom and a library to hold part of the organization’s collection of more than 35,000 books, focused on the West’s land, history and people. The group may also add the restoration of a caravan, construction of a hillside barbecue oven and installation of a composting toilet with funds beyond the original goal.

Eventually, founders Jeff Lee and Ann Martin want to renovate a total of six structures on the ranch, which they lease from the city of Aurora.

The Cook House in its original state early summer 2015. (Marilyn Hunt/Rocky Mountain Land Library)

The Cook House in its original state, early summer 2015. (Marilyn Hunt/Rocky Mountain Land Library)

As Julie Turkewitz put it for the New York Times:

The Buffalo Peaks site is dotted by six sturdy buildings and nestled amid spectacular peaks. The couple envisions a visitors’ center in the main house, a library in the hayloft, watercolorists on the porch, Boy Scouts by the bristlecone pines, culinary students in the kitchen and policy makers in the yard, hashing out deals over water rights.

Downstream, in Denver’s Curtis Park, the group is restoring the Puritan Pie Factory as a “multi-use, Urban Homesteading Library and learning center,” it says. At Waterton Canyon, they’ve put 3,000 books in a historic water treatment facility.

This Friday, RMLL will host a happy hour from 5 to 10 p.m. at the BookBar, 4280 Tennyson St.

Volumes of the Rocky Mountain Land Library. (Courtesy Michael Ciaglo/RMLL)

Volumes of the Rocky Mountain Land Library. (Courtesy Michael Ciaglo/RMLL)