In the early 1970’s a Friends of Barr Lake organization was formed to raise funds to purchase land around Barr Lake to form a new state park. After Barr Lake State Park opened in 1977 the Friends organization became inactive. Funds to support the Friends mission to support the park continued to be obtained through sales of clothing and other items in the Nature Center. The funds were kept separate and maintained in a bank account maintained by the State Friends organization.
In 2010, the Park Store was created due to reorganization of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The Friends wear and other items were absorbed with other items sold in the Park Store with funds no longer going to Friends.
Michelle Seubert, Barr Lake State Park Manager, asked several volunteers if they were interested in forming a Friends of Barr Lake State Park organization. The volunteers met in mid-2010, researched Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents and other references. The new Friends of Barr Lake State Park organization was formed with a six (6) member Board of Directors – President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and two (2) at-large-members. The mission of the newly formed Friends of Barr Lake State Park was to support the Park through education, recreation, and conservation. The Friends funds were still maintained in the bank account managed by the State.
In August 2014, Friends of Barr Lake became an IRS recognized independent 501(c)3, tax exempt organization. With this designation, Friends of Barr Lake withdrew all their funds from the State account and opened their own bank account at a local Bank in Brighton. Friends of Barr Lake State Park is now an independent Friends group within the Colorado State Parks Friends structure.