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Learning in Our Watershed Solo Field Trips – Call for Educators!

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To Our Local Educators:

Even if classrooms or buses are closed this school year due to the pandemic, the Poudre Heritage Alliance still wants local students to have the opportunity to explore the history and environment of the Cache la Poudre River Heritage Area, but we need your help!

We are looking to hire four educators to develop curriculum for self-guided field trips along the Poudre Trail. Any K-12 educators in Weld and Larimer Counties are welcome to apply. Each educator will receive a stipend of $1,000.

Please see the attached flyer or visit the Learning in Our Watershed page for more information about the solo field trip program and how to apply. Applications are due on Friday, July 10. Feel free to share this opportunity with any other educators who you think might be interested.
If you have any questions, please contact Vanessa Selwyn at admin@poudreheritage.org.

 

New Heritage Trail Connects Sites Throughout the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area, Starting with Poudre River Whitewater Park

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(Pictured: Bikers on the Poudre River Trail ride past the new Heritage Trail Gateway located at the Poudre River Whitewater Park in Fort Collins, Colorado.)

The Poudre Heritage Alliance (PHA), managing nonprofit of the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area (CALA), is excited to announce the recent installation of the first marker and gateway of their new Heritage Trail. The marker and gateway are located at the Poudre River Whitewater Park in Old Town Fort Collins.

The Heritage Trail incorporates a coordinated family of interpretive signs, markers and gateways that will be used throughout the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area, drawing attention to and educating trail users about interesting and ingenious ways that humans have interacted and worked with the Poudre River to improve life on the high plains of Colorado. The Heritage Trail will highlight six main themes related to water and the Poudre River: Water for Agriculture, Water for Industry, Water for Recreation, Water for History, Water for Education, and Water for Nature.

The Heritage Trail program will also serve to connect town sites and neighborhoods, businesses, historic structures, natural areas, and recreational opportunities, such as the Whitewater Park, that are within or adjacent to the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area. The CALA extends 45 miles through Larimer and Weld counties, and through towns and cities such as Bellvue, Fort Collins, Windsor, Timnath and Greeley.

poudre whitewater park

The new Heritage Trail marker at the whitewater park speaks to the history of the Coy Ditch and Diversion Structure and how it relates to water for agriculture, recreation and industry.

This first Heritage Trail marker and gateway, located at the Poudre River Whitewater Park, speak to the history and importance of the Coy Ditch headgate and diversion structure, which led to the first in-channel water right in Colorado. This type of water right supports “in-channel” river recreation, such as kayaking, as a beneficial use within Colorado’s Doctrine of Prior Appropriations. The site is also important to the history of Water for Agriculture and Water for Industry, with the CSU Powerhouse overlooking the park and the Coy headgate still intact. The marker and gateway include QR codes connecting visitors to additional online resources about these sites.

The Poudre Heritage Alliance worked closely with the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), who helped to fund the project as part of their 5-year investment plan (2016-2020). In addition, PHA worked with the City of Fort Collins Parks & Planning and Art in Public Places (APP) departments to design and install this first Heritage Trail Gateway (located on the south side of the bridge across from the wave shelter) and second, smaller informational marker (located on the north side of the bridge).

Intern Spotlight: Leslie Moore

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We are excited to welcome Leslie Moore to our staff as a program intern! Leslie comes to us through the Stewards Program run by Conservation Legacy,  which “provides individuals with service and career opportunities to strengthen communities and preserve our natural resources.”  Leslie will be working on several programs and projects with PHA, including Learning in Our Watershed, Heritage Culturalist Volunteers, Lifting Voices from the Shadows oral history project, and the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area Strategic Interpretive Plan.  Here is a bit about Leslie in her own words:

Leslie MooreI grew up in a large family just outside of Baltimore before moving to Minnesota to attend Carleton College where I studied history and spent my summers canoeing in the Boundary Waters. After graduation I began working for the Minnesota Historical Society as an interpreter at a living history farm. I spent those three years developing and leading fieldtrip programs and learning how to drive oxen, which is not easy in a nineteenth-century dress! Once I got tired of wearing a bonnet every day, I moved to Fort Collins to pursue a master’s degree in history with a concentration in historic preservation at Colorado State University. I graduated this May and am very excited to be interning with an organization that strengthens local communities by conserving and educating about nearby cultural and natural resources. If you are interested in my historical research, you can read the report I recently wrote for the City of Fort Collins about the local women’s suffrage movement.

Interview: “Lifting Voice from the Shadows” Oral History Project

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The Poudre Heritage Alliance (PHA), nonprofit managing entity of the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area (CALA), is collaborating with the Northern Arapaho tribe, Colorado State University’s Native American Cultural Center, and the National Heritage Areas Program to compile stories from Northern Arapaho women.

PHA Executive Director, Kathleen Benedict, interviewed Yufna Soldier Wolf of the Northern Arapaho Tribe in Wind River, Wyoming, to introduce the project and discuss why it is important to record the stories of Northern Arapaho women.

The Northern Arapaho lived in the Cache la Poudre River basin for centuries before the United States military forcibly removed the tribe to Wyoming in the 1870s. It is vital that Northern Colorado communities learn the stories of the people whose historic and spiritual homeland is the Cache la Poudre River. Doing so can help people properly understand the complicated history and ecology of the region. The involved organizations hope that the “Lifting Voices from the Shadows” project will strengthen partnerships, build the PHA’s education and interpretation program, and connect people to their collective Poudre River heritage.

The project is funded by a $25,000 “Women in Parks Innovation and Impact” grant from the National Park Foundation (NPF). The goal of the grant “is to support projects and programs that help the NPS share a more comprehensive American narrative that includes the voices of women.” In particular, the initiative is meant to raise awareness of the 19th Amendment’s centennial this year and to “highlight stories of women who continue to shape the world.” However, as Benedict and Soldier Wolf discuss in the video, Indigenous women did not gain the right to vote in 1920. It was not until the Snyder Act passed in 1924 that Indigenous Americans earned their full U.S. citizenship, though some states continued to deny Indigenous Americans their enfranchisement as late as 1962.

The “Lifting Voices from the Shadows” project is an opportunity for Northern Arapaho women to share their personal experiences with voting and address contemporary issues in a respectful and professional context. Soldier Wolf believes this is the first opportunity that Northern Arapaho women have had to share their stories with the public. The PHA will record 8-12 women’s oral histories in the coming months. Thanks to the grant support, the organization will also create educational videos and interpretive materials, and share relevant content about the promises and failures of the 19th Amendment.

The Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area is treasured by a community that values it for a variety of recreational activities and the tranquility of a natural corridor, while also depending on it as a water source for municipal, industrial, and agricultural uses. A wide range of cultural perspectives form our rich Poudre River heritage. This project will help the PHA present creative and balanced interpretation representing the variety of cultures that make up our river corridor and helping citizens find a sense of place and continuity in a rapidly changing world.

To stay up-to-date on events and information related to this project please visit: https://poudreheritage.org/lifting-voices/

Guest Blog: PHA Grant Helps Give UNC Students Practical Skills & Experience in Water Quality Monitoring

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by Alexi Richmond, UNC Undergraduate in Earth Sciences (Class of 2020)

The opportunity to do field work in an undergrad degree is varied and not many students get to assist in research or field work unless it is a requirement of a class. I have been really fortunate to assist my professor this past year and help set up a baseline analysis for future long-term monitoring of the Poudre River in Greeley.

Through this I have learned more skills/practical experience than my whole undergraduate degree combined. I’ve gotten to use devices I never even thought of using such as an GPS, RTK, Flow Meter and of course processing data with Excel. I didn’t realize there was equipment that could calculate such things as measuring cross sections in not only latitude and longitude but as well as elevation so we could see a horizontal view. I also didn’t realize there was such a thing as a flow meter in which it measures the discharge of water; an entire volume of water that moves every second! In class, we had calculated relative discharge with a ping pong ball and a stopwatch and at the time I thought that was just how you took measurements but using the flow meter was a whole other story. It is so much more accurate and it calculates discharge for you which is amazing. It gave me a different perspective on water movement and I feel seeing and doing it first hand I understand the importance of the Poudre River better with how much discharge is even at low flow times.

Throughout this entire project I have come to better understand my local river system and its importance to Northern Colorado. Using equipment has also given me a new perspective through finding how much fun and important collecting data on major rivers can be; possibly giving me a new direction with my degree. I can’t express how grateful I feel to be able to gain skills and experience using real equipment while being able to participate in research, all in my undergrad degree.

River Bluffs Open Space in Windsor, CO is one of the study sites for the UNC Water Quality Monitoring Project on the Poudre River.

 

About the PHA Grant – “UNC Water Quality Monitoring Project”

The lower Poudre River has experienced long-term channel changes associated with land-use practices and flow regulation. At River Bluffs Open Space, Larimer County has partnered with the Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed to hire Stillwater Sciences to restore a 5 km section of river reach. Goals include reconnecting the river with its floodplain and increasing disturbance, good for habitat development. At the Poudre Learning Center (PLC), the PLC has acquisitioned new land adjacent to the river. The PLC plans to use the property for research, education, outreach, and as community open space. PI and collaborators have installed water-quality monitoring equipment, including turbidity that measures water clarity―a proxy for fine sediment suspension―at each site. Comparing the dynamics of fine-sediment at these two sites provides the opportunity to link information about how two contrasting stream reaches are changing through time as a result of differential influences.

The project takes place at River Bluffs Open Space (Larimer County) and the Poudre Learning Center (Weld County). Fine-sediment dynamics influence channel adjustments that can cause flooding or harm aquatic habitat, and is therefore considered a pollutant under the US Clean Water Act. Project goals include 1) training students in water quality measurements and analysis; 2) establishing long-term monitoring stations at two contrasting Poudre River reaches; 3) using water-quality data to understand dynamics of fine sediment; 4) sharing data and results with stakeholders and the community to increase awareness of linkages between land-use/management and river health. This project contributes to PHA’s vision of placing our water management heritage in the context of current management challenges, including multiple stakeholders and uses.

To learn more about the Poudre Heritage Alliance Grant Program and grant award history please visit: https://poudreheritage.org/grant-award-history/

Play It Safe on the Poudre River!

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As the Colorado snowpack starts to melt and rivers and streams across the state begin to rise, its important to remember to Play It Safe on the Poudre!

The Cache la Poudre River offers many miles of incredible recreational opportunities – the scenic river runs from mild (class I-II) to wild (class V), attracting people from around the country to its beautiful waters. However, most people do not understand the dangers that exist while recreating on the river.

The Poudre River presents numerous hazards. Broken or low-hanging tree branches, hidden beneath the water, can snag a person out for a lazy afternoon tubing trip. Freezing waters made cold by spring runoff can cause a person to react slowly, when quicker action is needed, or possibly suffer hypothermia. And deceptively fast-moving waters pose a drowning risk to even the most experienced swimmers.

“The Poudre River is a source of local pride that draws thousands to its waters each year. We wouldn’t dissuade peoples’ love for it and what it represents. But the river is equal parts beautiful and destructive. Its power is easy to underestimate, and river-related tragedy can befall anyone at any time,” said former Poudre Fire Authority spokeswoman Madeline Noblett.

The Play It Safe on the Poudre program raises awareness about approaches to recreating on the river in safe and sustainable ways, and helps to build the capacity of the Poudre Fire Authority and Larimer County rescue teams. The program also calls attention to the history of in-river structures that represent hazards to recreation.

 

Play It Safe on the Poudre principles:

  1. Wear a life vest
    • Use proper floatation devices
    • Wear shoes
    • Wear a helmet
    • Don’t tie anything to yourself or your tubes
  2. Safe to go?
    • Know the weather and water conditions
    • The water is melted snow – it’s always cold!
    • Avoid rocks, branches, logs and debris in the river
  3. Know where you are
    • Take a map
    • Plan your take-out location before you get in the river
  4. Float sober, float safe
    • Alcohol and drugs impair judgement
  5. Be Courteous
    • Pack it in; Pack it out
    • Share the river
  6. What if you flip?
    • Don’t stand up in the river; avoid foot entrapment
    • Float on your back with feet pointing downstream and toes out of the water
    • Use your arms to paddle to shore

 

Download a River Access and Safety Map

Other representatives who have taken part in the group’s efforts represent: Poudre Fire Authority; multiple departments within the City of Fort Collins, including the city’s Natural Areas Department; Larimer County; the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office and Larimer County Emergency Services; Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and more.

For more info please visit www.poudreheritage.org/playitsafe

 

Colorado Heritage Areas Launch Virtual Heritage Journey

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During this unprecedented time in our Nation’s history, when over 250 million Americans, including the entire state of Colorado, are under stay-at-home and social distancing orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to offer you a way to continue to learn about and explore the State of Colorado’s National Heritage Areas from the safety and comfort of your home.

This week, working with our fellow Colorado Heritage Areas, we’re launching “Colorado’s Virtual Heritage Journey” on social media. Discover and experience Colorado’s culture, history, and recreational activities with high-quality, virtual resources provided by Colorado’s three National Heritage Areas – Cache la Poudre River, South Park, and Sangre de Cristo.

A National Heritage Area is a site where the historic, cultural, and natural resources combine to create a landscape of national importance. Its significance is like that of a national park, but these are largely lived-in landscapes. Of the 55 National Heritage Areas in the U.S., Colorado hosts three: Cache la Poudre River, South Park, and Sangre de Cristo. They boast the natural beauty, activities, and Western history Colorado is known for, while also representing Colorado’s many contributions to our nation’s diverse ancestry.

To join the virtual journey, follow #COVirtualHeritageJourney or look out for posts from the Colorado Heritage Areas on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Enjoy and stay well!

PHA Awarded Grants for Strategic Interpretive Planning & Oral History

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Photo credit: City of Fort Collins

The Poudre Heritage Alliance (PHA), nonprofit managing entity of the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area (CALA), has received two large grants to support their programs that promote historical and cultural opportunities, engage people in the Poudre River corridor, and inspire learning, preservation, and stewardship.

Through the Colorado the Beautiful Grant Program, administered by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), PHA has been awarded $96,877 to complete a new Strategic Interpretive Plan for the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area. Grant funds will be used to: 1) Update the original Feasibility Study and Resource Inventory completed in 1990; 2) Develop a Strategic Interpretive Plan to help CALA become more accessible to the public as a whole; 3) Provide visitors with a seamlessly integrated experience; and 4) Build partner capacity.

The PHA will collaborate with a variety of stakeholders throughout the strategic planning process, including partner sites, staff, user groups, neighbors, government agencies, towns and municipalities, community decision makers, and local businesses.

The PHA has also been awarded a $25,000 “Women in Parks Innovation and Impact” grant from the National Park Service (NPS) and the National Park Foundation (NPF). The goal of this grant “is to support projects and programs that help the NPS share a more comprehensive American narrative that includes the voices of women.” In particular, the initiative is meant to “increase awareness about the 19th Amendment’s centennial and highlight stories of women who continue to shape the world.”

Through their project, “Lifting Voices from the Shadows,” the PHA, Colorado State University’s Native American Cultural Center, the National Heritage Areas Program, and the Northern Arapaho Tribe will work together to compile stories from Northern Arapaho women that run in parallel with, or counter to, the Suffragette movement and modern society. Grant support from the Women in Parks grant will enable PHA to 1) record women’s oral histories; 2) create educational videos and interpretive videos; and 3) share relevant content that aligns with 19th Amendment milestones.

The Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area is treasured by a community that values it for a variety of recreational activities and the tranquility of a natural corridor, while also depending on it as a water source for municipal, industrial and agricultural uses. A wide range of cultural perspectives form our rich Poudre River heritage. These grant funds will help the PHA present creative and balanced interpretation, representing the variety of cultures that make up our river corridor and helping citizens find a sense of place and continuity in a rapidly changing world.

For more information or questions please contact Megan Maiolo-Heath, Communications Coordinator, at communications@poudreheritage.org.

Support Poudre Pour Partners in the time of COVID-19

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With much sadness, we had to postpone our annual fundraiser, the Poudre Pour (scheduled for March 28, 2020), due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has now swept the globe. While disappointing, the health and safety of the public is most important. We are working to reschedule for this fall and will announce a new date soon.
What makes the Poudre Pour so special are the event’s beverage and food partners – 16 exceptional Northern Colorado brewers and distillers, the Human Bean, Morning Fresh Dairy, and Z Catering. Each of these partners agreed to donate time, energy and their craft beverages and food, giving every guest a special taste of the Poudre River. All of our beverage partners use the clean, refreshing water of the Poudre River in their craft!

Many of our Poudre Pour partners are taking a hard hit from this COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage you to support these small businesses who make our Northern Colorado community unique and vibrant:

Horse & Dragon Brewing Company: Taproom closed but you can find their beer in liquor stores around NoCo

Maxline Brewing: Open every day from 1-7pm for to-go orders of crowlers and limited 6-packs; feel free to call ahead to place your order.

Gilded Goat Brewing Company: Taproom closed but  many of their beers are still available next door at Square Beverage.

Rally King Brewing: Open for to-go orders – check website or call for details

Snowbank Brewing: To-go orders available – visit their website to place your order

Odell Brewing Co: Taproom closed but you can buy their beer at most liquor stores in NoCo

New Belgium Brewing: Taproom closed but you can buy their beer at most liquor stores in NoCo

Timnath Beerwerks: Beer to-go daily from 12-7pm

Wiley Roots Brewing Company: Order online and drive thru pick-up available Wed-Sun, 12-7pm

WeldWerks Brewing Company: Curbside pick-up available – order online

Intersect Brewing: To-go beer available – see website for details

Red Truck Beer Company: Taproom closed; visit website for updates on to-go orders

Mash Lab Brewing: Crowlers to-go – see website for hours

Mighty River Brewing Company: To-go beer available – see website for details

High Hops Brewery: Order online for curbside pick-up or delivery

CopperMuse Distillery: Order online for curbside pick-up

Morning Fresh Dairy: Delivery available – order online

Human Bean: Drive-thrus open – visit website for updated hours

Z Catering/Fuel Cafe: Food delivery to Fort Collins on Wednesdays

Thank you for supporting these local businesses during this difficult time. We look forward to seeing you all in person in the future! Until then, cheers to health, happiness and a cold brew in the comfort of your own home.

Poudre Pour Postponed

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FORT COLLINS, CO – Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Poudre Pour, scheduled for March 28, 2020, has been postponed. The Poudre Heritage Alliance (PHA) is actively working with the Town of Windsor to reschedule the annual fundraising event for the Fall of 2020.

While very disappointing, this decision has been made in the best interest of public health and is based on the understanding of how COVID-19 is currently progressing throughout Colorado and the United States.

PHA will be in touch as soon as possible to announce plans for rescheduling the Poudre Pour, which is critically important to our annual fundraising efforts.  You can check back at poudrheritage.org/poudre-pour for updates.

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ABOUT THE CACHE LA POUDRE RIVER NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA AND THE POUDRE HERITAGE ALLIANCE

 

The Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area (CALA), a 45-mile stretch of the Lower Poudre River, tells the story of the river where Western Water Law took shape and how the river still informs the use of water throughout the arid West today.  CALA’s 501(c)3 nonprofit managing entity – the Poudre Heritage Alliance – PROMOTES a variety of historical and cultural opportunities; ENGAGES people in their river corridor; and INSPIRES learning, preservation, and stewardship. Find out more at:  https://www.poudreheritage.org/