Swift Ponds Story

Swift Ponds is a beautiful 240 acre property on the east side of I-25 and about a mile south of Harmony road in Fort Collins Colorado. The Swift Ponds property was purchased by Louis Swift in 1969. Louis Swift was a visionary who had a dream of turning his newly purchased property into a great fishery, sanctuary for wildlife and an educational and recreational property for the community. In the early 1970’s, while partnering with CSU, Louis Swift was introduced to a professor named Steve Flickinger. Steve Flickinger had recently finished his PhD and is an expert in aquatic biology.

For decades Mr. Swift and Dr. Flickinger worked together mining new ponds while experimenting with fish species to find the best combination to have the top fisheries around. All the while having thousands of members of the community assist, experiment, and enjoy the beautiful property that was being developed. After years of hard work and having several failures and many successes, Louis Swift and Steve Flickinger developed a property that had amazing fisheries and habitat that supported waterfowl and many other species of land animals, while simultaneously bringing thousands of community members together to enrich their lives. As Louis Swift grew older he was determined to keep his dream and Swift Ponds alive. It was time to hand over the property to the next generation. In 2007 a growing nonprofit organization called Colorado Youth Outdoors was gifted the Swift Ponds property. Colorado Youth Outdoors’ mission is to build relationships through traditional outdoor recreation. The Swift family saw it as a great fit to keep Swift Ponds thriving.

The campus now houses 12 stocked fishing ponds, a five house trap range, a half mile archery range, 50 acres of agriculture, moist soil and pollinator managed units, an outdoor pavilion and an 8500 square foot education facility.  208 acres of the property are under a conservation easement held by Colorado Open lands.  This facility is ideal for meeting our mission of building relationships through traditional outdoor recreation.  In our history, Swift ponds has hosted impactful educational programs, as well as ,corporate team building and community events, company picnics and fundraising events including our annual Scoot barn dance and Maverick horseshoe tournament, and even an occasional wedding.