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June 2024

Cache & Cocktails Event Summary

By Capture the Cache, Events, News, Uncategorized

On Thursday, June 20, the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area hosted Cache & Cocktails, an evening dedicated to art, culture, and community. The event was held from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Windsong Estate Event Center in Severance, CO.

Capture the Cache photo contest winners and participants were recognized during a celebratory evening of signature cocktails, hors d’oeuvers, and camaraderie. Cache NHA emeritus inductees were also honored for their service to the heritage area. A gallery of images were on display in a silent auction, available for purchase. There were gift baskets correlated to our photo contest categories (History Along the River Corridor, Outdoor Community Culture, and In Motion) auctioned off too. Thank you to the local businesses who supported the silent auction: Visit Fort Collins, Poudre Pet & Feed, Silver Grill, Old Firehouse Books, and Blue Credit Union.

Plein air artists, Kim Stenson and Laura Young, from the Thompson Valley Art League took to the outdoor patio for their incredible watercolor painting demonstration. They were joined by photo contest participant, Nicholas Fischer. All three paintings were auctioned off at the end of the night.

“It was lovely to meet other creative, nature-minded folks,” said Young. “What a cool event.”

Capture the Cache Winners

The annual Capture the Cache photo contest celebrates the natural beauty, culture, and heritage of the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area. Winning images offer a snapshot of what makes the heritage area unique and important. View the full 2024 participant gallery here.

Grand Prize Winner | By John Bartholow

History Along the River Corridor

Outdoor Community Culture

In Motion

Emeritus Honorees

During the event, emeriti were recognized and honored for their services to heritage area. Emeriti are individuals who have served the Poudre Heritage Alliance, the nonprofit managing entity of the Cache NHA, and the heritage area with distinction, excellence, and outstanding service. The unveiling of the new perpetual plaque marks the legacy of the outstanding service of each emeritus member. Two of the individuals named on the plaque were in attendance: Dick Maxfield and Brian Werner.

“The plaque will be on permanent display in our office,” said Executive Director, Sabrina Stoker. “On behalf of the Poudre Heritage Alliance, we express our most sincere gratitude to your service and continued support.”

The evening’s honoree, Brian Werner, testified before Congress in 1995 in support of the S. 342 the Cache la Poudre River National Water Heritage Area. His testimony was a crucial step in securing designation for the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area. Werner was an original appointee to the Poudre Heritage Alliance Board from 2001 to 2016.

"As a founding member of what became the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area, I have a true soft spot for everything Cache NHA is about and am truly honored to be receiving the Emeritus Award. The Poudre River is such a wonderful natural resource and a real lifeline for the region. We should celebrate all this river is about."

Brian Werner

9 Reasons to Visit Fort Collins this Summer: Guest Blog

By Guest Blog, News, Uncategorized

April 18, 2024 by Visit Fort Collins

Whether you’re in Fort Collins for a weekend or two weeks, it’s nearly impossible to explore all of the trails, lakes, rivers, and streams in the surrounding foothills and mountains, so if you only have time to explore a few, we suggest experiencing Horsetooth Reservoir and the Cache la Poudre River.

Horsetooth Reservoir is one of Colorado’s most scenic outdoor utopias and it is located just minutes from the heart of Fort Collins. The reservoir also has quite the story of how it acquired its name from the distinctive rock formation that sits above the large body of water. There is an old Native American legend regarding this famous stone. The Valley of Contentment (today’s Horsetooth Reservoir) was once guarded by a giant so that no buffalo, deer, or antelope were hunted in the valley. Chief Maunamoku led Indians to slay the giant. In killing the giant, the Chief slashed at his heart, first in the center, then on the right, and then on the left with a tomahawk from the heavens. The next day the giant turned to stone and is now known as Horsetooth Rock.

Today, the 6.5-mile-long reservoir is a beloved recreation spot for activities such as fishing, swimming, boating, stand-up paddleboarding, sailing, water skiing, hiking, and camping. There are tons of miles of trails surrounding the reservoir for mountain biking, horseback riding, and hiking. The east side of the reservoir is one of the best spots in Colorado for bouldering. Horsetooth Reservoir is open year-round and includes RV spots, campsites, and cabins, managed by Larimer County Natural Areas. If camping isn’t your forte, you are welcome to relax in one of the condos or bed & breakfasts in the area and you can rent a boat, kayak, SUP board, and more at the local marina.

The Cache la Poudre River Canyon truly is something to behold. Surrounded by magnificent cliffs and captivating rock formations, encased in ponderosa and lodgepole pine trees, sagebrush, mountain mahogany, and aspen – the canyon is nothing short of a wonderland. The Poudre River also happens to be Colorado’s only nationally designated “Wild & Scenic” river. Colorado Highway 14, the road which follows much of the river, is a designated Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway as well.

2. SUMMERTIME FESTIVALS AND EVENTS IN FORT COLLINS

Fort Collins plays host to some of the greatest festivals and events in the state of Colorado each and every year. Enjoy summertime events celebrating everything great about our town from craft beer to bikes to music and food. See Visit Fort Collins’ event blog and calendar here.

3. FORT COLLINS AS A WELLNESS TRAVEL DESTINATION

Wellness is a way of life in Fort Collins and our city facilitates many opportunities to treat yourself right while visiting. Enjoy all kinds of outdoor recreation from outdoor yoga to hiking to kayaking. Summertime in Fort Collins additionally offers amazing running events to participate in. For passionate cyclists, The FoCo Fondo offers many biking events that provide for both heart-healthy exercise and opportunities to explore beautiful Northern Colorado.

4. FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVITIES

The 4th of July celebration in Fort Collins is a sight to behold, with events happening all around town, there are ways to celebrate all day long. Enjoy family-friendly celebrations such as the annual parade that rolls through the historic streets of Old Town traveling east on Mountain Avenue, beginning at Jackson Avenue and ending at Meldrum Street. After that, enjoy a day of live music, food, and vendors at City Park as the night culminates with a spectacular firework show in Fort Collins’ oldest recreational park.

5. OUTDOOR LIVE MUSIC

Celebrating music, musicians, and providing opportunities for visitors and community members to take part in the music scene is a big part of the Fort Collins culture. Summertime is outdoor live music season and on any given weekend, and often weekdays, you will find live music in Fort Collins. Venues like The LyricWolverine Farm Publick House, and our craft breweries frequently host outdoor live music events.

6. NEW BELGIUM BREWING’S TOUR DE FAT

The slogan for this annual costumed bike and beer parade festival says it all: Bikes, Beer, and Bemusement. Get out and have a ball at this eccentric festival hosted by New Belgium Brewery on August 24th. This is your chance to ride your bicycle in your best costume from Old Town to City Park while enjoying a day full of wacky carnival fun, live performances, and delicious New Belgium Beer. Welcome to the home of New Belgium – Fort Collins, CO.

7. HIKE THE AMAZING TRAILS OF FORT COLLINS

HORSETOOTH FALLS

Located in the gorgeous Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, Horsetooth Falls is truly one of the most family-friendly hikes you can find in and around Fort Collins. It’s a little less than 2.5 miles roundtrip and rated as easy to moderate skill level. There is beautiful scenery all around this trail, from open meadows to green wild grass and beautiful wildflowers with the payoff of a waterfall at the end, this hike is truly spectacular. Pack a lunch and have a picnic when you get to the waterfall and go ahead and dip your feet in the water, and if you really want, you can cool down and dip your head under the falling water as well.

ARTHUR’S ROCK

Set with the stunning natural background of Lory State Park, Arthur’s Rock offers some of the most magnificent views of Horsetooth Reservoir and the city of Fort Collins. Arthur’s Rock is a very short drive from Fort Collins and is also a relatively short intermediate hike. This approximately two-mile trail bends through open meadows and brilliant mountain views on the way to the summit of Arthur’s Rock, which ascends to an elevation of 6,780 feet. The hike does gain in elevation quickly, which means it’s climbing up on the way to the top and shooting down on the way back to the bottom. There is also a fantastic natural stairway leading you to the top of the rock which provides a perfect setting for a picnic if you pack a lunch.

HORSETOOTH ROCK

Views upon views upon more spectacular views describe this hike in a nutshell. There is an incredible feeling that overcomes you when standing atop Horsetooth Rock while staring down into beautiful Horsetooth Reservoir. Just as impressive is the opposite view of the rolling hills to the west. Not to mention, Horsetooth Rock is one of the more unique rock formations you’ll ever come across. There truly is nothing that looks quite like Horsetooth Rock. This hike is 5 miles roundtrip and is a moderate skill level hike.

GREYROCK

This fantastic hike resides in Cache la Poudre River Canyon and is less than 20 minutes from Old Town Fort Collins. This moderate skill level hike has two trail options: the Meadows trail (approximately 7.4 miles roundtrip) and the Greyrock Summit trail (approximately 5.5 miles) with both offering stunning views equipped with ponds that live atop the summit of the rock. The elevation gain on this hike is nearly 2,000 feet with the summit sitting at 7,480 feet. This hike is definitely a bit of a challenge that comes with a little bouldering toward the end. But the payoff is worth it as it offers outstanding 360-degree views of Poudre River Canyon.

8. RIDE YOUR BICYCLE

Biking might be the best way to get to know Fort Collins. The city boasts a reasonably flat terrain, extremely wide bike lanes, and trails that follow the Cache la Poudre River and Spring Creek. Plus, biking is an enjoyable, healthy, and environmentally friendly way to get around. Whether you’re discovering some of Fort Collins’ 285-plus miles of trails or riding in the mountains, you’ll recognize why Fort Collins is a platinum-level bike-friendly city. Cycle to Old Town or pedal to one of the 20-plus local breweries and you just might come across more bikes than cars on the road on any given day.

9. MAP OUT A BREWERY ADVENTURE

Every town has an identity, a way of life, a certain aura-something that specifically defines why the town is special. For Fort Collins, that certain something is craft beer and the culture that has grown around it. The relationship between the brewing industry and the town of Fort Collins is more than just a business correlation, it’s a societal culture – a culture that has been around for over 25 years.

There are numerous ways to explore each of the 20 and counting breweries in Fort Collins. You can go on a beer and bike tour, take a magic bus ride, or indulge in a self-guided tour. There are so many unique ways for everyone of age to experience the incredible beer that resides in Colorado’s craft beer capital. We encourage you to partake in what is such a big part of the Fort Collins community. We promise you will not be disappointed – cheers!

CACHE LA POUDRE RIVER NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA

When you are exploring the wonders of Fort Collins, remember you are in a national heritage area – how cool is that! The Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area extends 45 miles and includes the lands within the 100-year flood plain of the Cache la Poudre River. It begins in Larimer County at the eastern edge of the Roosevelt National Forest and ends east of Greeley, 1/4 miles west of the confluence with the South Platte.

Cache la Poudre River NHA symbolically receives historic landmark plaque for Windsor Eaton House

By Events, News

On Friday, May 17, the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area and three other individuals and organizations were recognized by the Town of Windsor’s Historic Preservation Commission for their contributions to historic preservation in Windsor. Historic landmark plaques, physical markers to commemorate historical and architectural significance, were presented for each of the four newly designated buildings in the area.

The historic landmark plaque for Eaton House, currently undergoing preservation work, was presented to the Cache NHA as the organization is partially funding the restoration project.

The Windsor Eaton House was constructed in 1903 by Benjamin Eaton as a dormitory for ditch riders on the Greeley #2 Ditch. Benjamin Eaton settled along the Poudre near Windsor in the 1860s, making him one of the earliest settlers in the area. Eaton dug some of the earliest irrigation ditches of the Poudre, including the B.H. Eaton Ditch in 1864, and was instrumental in shaping the Windsor community. An early irrigation pioneer, Eaton went on to work on many of the canals in Northern Colorado, including the High Line and Larimer and Weld Canals, and helped construct the Windsor Reservoir. In 1885 he became Colorado’s fourth Governor and is one of the sixteen individuals whose portraits line the dome on the Colorado Capital.

While Benjamin Eaton never lived at the “Eaton House,” he constructed it to house vital irrigation employees. The house has been vacant for most of the last twenty years, but the Town of Windsor has long held a vision for the Eaton House to become a hub for community education surrounding Windsor’s agriculture history and connection to water. In 2016, the first steps toward rehabilitation of the building were taken when a Historic Structure Assessment and Landscape Master Plan were completed with the help of the Cache NHA. In 2021, the Cache NHA again helped push the project forward by helping to fund the completion of full design and construction documents for the rehabilitation of the Eaton House into a nature and history center. The construction process will begin soon and when finished, the B.H. Eaton Nature Center will house a classroom, community gathering space, and a visitor center where community members can learn more about the history of Windsor and its open spaces, trails, and farmland.

The Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area has been involved with preservation efforts at this property since 2013, and more specifically at the Eaton House since 2015, so it has been really fulfilling to see these projects come to fruition. This partnership with the Town of Windsor has been incredibly meaningful to our organization, and we sincerely appreciate this recognition.”

Dan BiwerChair of the Cache NHA Board of Directors

The other historic sites that received historic landmark plaques were the Cheese Factory and Creamery, the Windsor Railroad Depot, and the Halfway Homestead.

The Historic Preservation Commission hosted this open house in celebration of Historic Preservation Month. There were about 55 community members in attendance, who heard stories about the four highlighted historic properties, virtually toured the historic Halfway Homestead Park program (via drone footage), and walked the remaining three properties for a brief historical discussion at each location.

Windsor’s Historic Preservation Commission is composed of seven members and works with property owners to protect the historic environment through a designation program. There are 12 locally designated historic properties in Windsor, according to the town’s website.

Eastman Park River Experience | Paddling

6 Ways to Play It Safe on the Poudre River

By Uncategorized

The sun is out, and the water is calling. However, it is important to remember one of our most beloved places to recreate in the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage area is still a force of nature. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Cache la Poudre River in Fort Collins was flowing at a discharge rate (the volume of water moving down the river per unit of time) of 627 ft3/s as of May 29, 2024, at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. An hour earlier the flow rate was down to 197 ft3/s. This constant fluctuation is one of the major reasons it is so important to be prepared when recreating on the river.

Remember to have fun and Play it Safe on the Poudre!

1. Wear proper safety equipment.

  1. Use proper flotation devices
    1. Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs), or life jackets, can be purchased at local places within the heritage area. Find suggestions for places to shop under resources. Life vests will be provided at all whitewater rafting locations.
  2. Wear shoes
    1. Proper shoes provide foot protection and traction. When entering and exiting the river, the rocks on the riverbed will be slippery and potentially sharp. Sturdy shoes will also protect your feet from various hazards such as rocks, sharp objects, and debris.
  3. Wear a helmet
    1. If you do fall into the water, a helmet will protect your melon.
  4. Don’t tie anything to yourself or your tube
    1. Why? If you flip, it could get caught between the rocks on the riverbed. It could also get caught on a passing tree branch and flip the tube.

2. Is it safe to go?

  1. Know the weather and water conditions
    1. Check the water conditions using the RMA Poudre Rock Report linked below.
  2. This water is melted snow – it’s ALWAYS cold!
  3. Avoid logs, branches, rocks and debris

3. Know where you are.

  1. Take a map. Maps can be found at the physical locations listed below or you can download a digital version.
  2. Plan your take-out location before you get in so you don’t get stuck without an exit strategy.

4. Float Sober, Float Safe

  1. Alcohol and drugs impair judgement

5. Be Courteous

  1. Pack it in; pack it out
  2. Share the river
  3. If you flip, be aware that you may be on private property when you make it to shore.
    1. Note: The Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area does not own nor manage land within the heritage area. This means that if you flip and get to shore, you may end up on private property. Remember to always know where you are and respect the landowner’s property.

6. What if you flip?

  1. Don’t stand up in the river; avoid foot entrapment.
  2. Float on your back with your feet pointing downstream and toes out of the water.
  3. Take a whistle and a drybag.
  4. Use your arms to paddle to shore.

Information provided by the U.S. Geological Survey is provisional and subject to revision. Images provided by photographer Terry Walsh and the Town of Windsor.

Press Release: Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area Highlights Local Artists at First Annual Cache & Cocktails

By Capture the Cache, Events, News, Uncategorized
[Severance, CO] – The countdown is on for Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area’s inaugural community event recognizing the artistic beauty and cultural importance of the Cache la Poudre River: Cache & Cocktails.
Art and the great outdoors come together June 20, 2024, for an evening of honor and recognition, including the culmination of the Capture the Cache” photo contest and the organization’s Emeritus Award ceremony, recognizing individuals who have greatly impacted efforts to preserve the Cache NHA.

The summer solstice offers the perfect setting to celebrate those who capture the essence of life on the Poudre River in a moment of time and those who’ve worked to protect and preserve it for future generations. We look forward to sharing an evening of art and culture with our community.

Sabrina StokerExecutive Director
Guests will enjoy food and signature cocktails and a silent auction featuring canvas prints of this year’s winning photographs, plus a plein-air painting demonstration in collaboration with Thompson Valley Art League. Proceeds support Cache NHA’s arts and culture-focused community events and mission to preserve the heritage of the Cache la Poudre River for generations to come.
When:  Thursday, June 20, 2024 | 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Location: Windsong Estate Event Center | 2901 Saddler Boulevard, Severance, CO 80524
Impact/Statistics
  • In 2023, Cache NHA distributed $21,080 in grant funds to local initiatives and allocated an additional $68,197 for future historic preservation projects, including $35,000 in Weld County.
  • An economic impact study completed by Tripp Umbach in 2017 found that the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area generates an annual economic impact of $81.6 million while supporting over 1,000 jobs and generating $6.9 million in tax revenue. 
  • In the past decade, Cache NHA invested over half a million in community grants and leveraged nearly $14 million of public-private funding.
About Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area
The Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area (managed by the Poudre Heritage Alliance, a regional non-profit) promotes a variety of historic and cultural opportunities, engages people in the river corridor, and inspires learning, preservation, and stewardship through collaborative partnerships and by providing funding to community-beneficial projects within the heritage area. The 45 miles of the Cache la Poudre River, designated by Congress in 2009 as a National Heritage Area, is one of three heritage areas in Colorado and one of 62 in the nation. The heritage area was nationally designated due to conflicts over water use, leading to Western water law, innovative irrigation techniques, and water measurement devices.