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Support the Poudre Heritage Alliance on CO Gives Day – Dec. 10, 2019!

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The Poudre Heritage Alliance invites you to support our efforts to build a deeper understanding of the Poudre River’s national significance, including its role in influencing water development, water law, and water management, by donating to us on Colorado Gives Day – December 10, 2019.

Our goal is to raise $1,000 in this 24-hour period to support our mission and vision while growing projects like PHA’s Learning in Our Watershed field trip grant program and the Play It Safe on the Poudre river safety initiative.

Plus, thanks to the $1 Million Incentive Fund from Community First Foundation and FirstBank, your donation goes even further!

DONATE

Volunteer of the Month: Judy Firestien

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Much of our work would not be possible without volunteer power! This month we are honoring Judy Firestien, one of our Heritage Culturalist Volunteers, who currently volunteers her time at PHA Board Meetings taking minutes while also promoting the CALA to the community through the Von Trotha Firestien Farm at Bracewell.  Thanks for all of your time and energy, Judy.

Question: Tell us about your career path and your work on the Farm.

Answer: I worked for several small biotech companies in Fort Collins as Office Manager for about 12 years before moving back to the family farm northwest of Greeley in 2005.  I had begun to gather genealogy and historic information on our farm and the settlement of Bracewell where the farm is located.  In 2008, I compiled much of this information into a nomination for the farm and in 2009, our farm, Von Trotha-Firestien Farm at Bracewell, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Since then, we have hosted educational groups and are continuing to work on “hands-on” activities to educate the public on the importance of agriculture and irrigated farmland in this area.  For several years we have had an “Open Farm” event with antique tractor displays, petting zoo, pony rides, irrigation demonstration, and educational displays to encourage people to come out and experience the farm.  We also regularly host gatherings such as graduation parties and birthday parties at the farm and have also hosted a couple of weddings.

Q: What do you like most about the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area?

A: I really enjoy the great history it holds with regard to agriculture and water law and the development of the Greeley-Fort Collins area.  It is also so special to me because a portion of our farm lies within the Heritage Area and I have many fond childhood memories of times along the river, mostly exploring with my dog, Duke.  We also had an ice skating pond on our property next to the river and spending time skating and having skating parties are some of my very favorite memories.

Q: Why did you become a volunteer with the Poudre Heritage Alliance?

A: I wanted to further solidify the knowledge I have gained over the past years with regard to history of the area, water history and water law, and historic preservation.  I hope to further use this knowledge on our farm to educate the public on history, water, and how awesome the PHA is and to inspire and encourage them to learn more!  (You can learn more about Judy’s farm and its history within the CALA at www.BracewellFarm.com.)

Q: When you aren’t supporting PHA as a volunteer or managing the Farm, what do you like to do for “fun”?

A: Sometimes it seems like my favorite hobby is mowing or doing “weed patrol”, as I call it, around the farmyard!  Not really a hobby, but seems to take up a lot of my time during the summer to try to keep the place looking nice.  I enjoy spending time with friends, hanging out on the “sky deck” at the farm, reading, watching movies, researching genealogy and history, and walking.  We built a structure at the farm awhile back that started as a picnic shelter, but we added a deck on top.  It’s fairly high and might be considered more of an “observation deck”, but we have dubbed it the “Sky Deck”!   It’s a great place to hang out with friends or relax and enjoy the sunset!

Interested in volunteering with the Poudre Heritage Alliance? Please contact Jordan Williams at programs@poudreheritage.org to learn how you can support the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area, or click here to sign up!

Celebrating Native American Heritage in the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area

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During the month of November, we join the nation in celebrating Native American Heritage Month, recognizing the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the United States.

Crazy Bull and Chief Friday in Washington, D.C. in 1873. That year, a delegation of Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho from the Red Cloud Agency went to the capitol with their agent, Dr. John J. Saville, to discuss their hunting rights as well as their future home (Photo by Alexander Gardner, 1873)

Indigenous peoples have been living in and migrating through the unique eco-tone of the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area for more than 13,000 years. As Brenda Martin, Curator for the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery writes, “Tribal groups as we know them today are not recognized as being present until 1,000 A.D., if not longer, beginning with the Numic (Uto-Aztecan) speakers, commonly known as the Ute. Oral tradition and the ethno-historic record show evidence of other tribal groups like the Apache, Comanche, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Lakota, Shoshone, and Pawnee in Colorado as early as the mid-17th century.”

In the early 1800s, after the Louisiana Purchase, Euroamericans begin exploring the Plains. In the 1850s, the federal policy of westward expansion brought many more people to the area of the country we now call Northern Colorado. This policy promoted agriculture, mining, and trade. Thus began a painful history for the Native American tribes that have called this area home for so many hundreds of years.

Martin writes, “In 1868, the last of the Native Americans, Friday and his band of Arapahos, were removed to Wyoming, with the Federal government mandating by 1878 the removal of all Native people to designated reservations. Except for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, all others were located outside of Colorado. Combined with other assimilation policies, conversion to Christianity, restriction to boarding schools, and the outlawing of most Native American ceremonies, there was a tremendous loss of cultural knowledge and traditions.”

 

In their own words, Northern Arapaho elders shared the importance of the Poudre River to their tribe’s history and culture on this video series produced by the Poudre Heritage Alliance:

This month, we look forward to sharing some of the many stories of Native American peoples and celebrating their unique cultures and traditions. We hope you will join us in learning more about the indigenous tribes of the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area and sharing in the celebration of our Nation’s First Peoples.

 

Sources:

Burris, Lucy. (2003). People of the Poudre; An Ethnohistory of the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area
AD 1500-1880. Fort Collins, CO: Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Are, Friends of the
Poudre, and the Dept. of the Interior National Park Service.

Martin, Brenda. (May 2009). Native American Timeline for Larimer County, CO [PDF file]. Retrieved from https://poudreheritage.org/wp-content/uploads/native_american_timeline_for_larimer_county.pdf

 

Tom Trout

Volunteer of the Month: Tom Trout

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Much of our work would not be possible without volunteer power! This month we are honoring Tom Trout, one of our Heritage Culturalist Volunteers, who brings a passion for water and history to his volunteer experiences here at the Poudre Heritage Alliance. Thanks for all of your time and energy, Tom.

Tom grew up on a small farm in Ohio.  As an agricultural exchange student to Peru, he experienced irrigated agriculture in an arid climate, and, on his return, headed West to graduate school in Agricultural Engineering at CSU.  After 2 years improving irrigation systems in Pakistan, he joined the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) as an irrigation scientist.  He retired in 2015 after 32 years conducting research in irrigation water management in Idaho, California, and Colorado.  He continues volunteering at ARS and as an adjunct faculty member in Civil Engineering at CSU, and takes an occasional consulting trip overseas (going to Uruguay in November). As a Heritage Culturalist for the Poudre Heritage Alliance, Tom combines his favorite subjects:  Water and History.  Tom and his wife, Vickie, remain involved in activities at CSU through alumni functions, sports and hosting international students.

Interested in volunteering with the Poudre Heritage Alliance? Please contact Jordan Williams at programs@poudreheritage.org to learn how you can support the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area, or click here to sign up!

Pedaling the Poudre Bike Tours Help Educate Citizens, Youth, and Professionals About Past and Present Water Issues Along the Cache la Poudre River

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A Peadling the Poudre participant enjoys the views of the Poudre River from the bridge at Lions Open Space.

 

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Poudre Heritage Alliance (PHA), managing nonprofit of the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area (CALA), hosted two Pedaling the Poudre™ – Urban Water Cycle Tours on September 20 and 21 with support from Water Education Colorado and several planning partners including Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed, Bike Fort Collins, and City of Fort Collins Utilities.

The tours started in Bellvue by the Watson Lake Fish Hatchery and finished at Odell Brewing, with most of the ride taking place along the scenic Poudre Trail. Several stops at locations like Lions Park Open Space and the new Poudre River Whitewater park allowed each group of 25+ people to hear from water experts and natural resource professionals.

State Representative Jeni Arndt, who participated in the September 20th tour, commented, “I’m so appreciative of the Poudre Heritage Alliance for a wonderful, educational tour of the Poudre River—all on bicycles!  As we move into our water-short future, people will need an in-depth understanding of one of our most precious resources.”

This program received financial support from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment through their nonpoint source mini-grant initiative. Other financial partners included Morning Fresh Dairy,  which provided snacks for the tours, and the Colorado Water Center. Registration was free for all participants because of generous support from these organizations.

Topics discussed along the way included agriculture in Northern Colorado past and present; the development of water law and water management systems; river and natural area restoration; water quality and utility customer best practices; hands-on macro and micro invertebrate displays; and water conservation through craft brewing process innovation. “The tour was great. I really enjoyed all the speakers who were arranged – it made for an informative and dynamic event!” said David Fetter, Natural Resources Project Manager from SWCA Environmental Consultants.

Speakers from Northern Water, Poudre Valley Community Farms, Larimer County Natural Resources, Colorado State University, Odell Brewing, and the City of Fort Collins Park Planning, Natural Areas, and Utilities helped ensure that the tour presented a wide variety of perspectives.

The Poudre Heritage Alliance, in conjunction with its Heritage Culturalist volunteers, leads several bike tours each summer, spring, and fall. From March – October 2019, PHA hosted 8 tours at different locations along the Poudre Trail, including two educational rides through the Town of Windsor’s Park, Recreation, Culture department. Over 100 people participated this year, which included groups rides affiliated with the American Society of Civil Engineers and Colorado State University. To stay-up-to-date when the next tour registration opens, interested individuals can visit PHA’s website or email programs@poudreheritage.org.

pedaling the poudre_program impacts 2019

Poudre Heritage Alliance Honors Senator Wayne Allard and Dr. Richard Bond at 2nd Annual Emeritus Dinner

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Senator Cory Gardner, Emeritus honorees Senator Wayne Allard and Dr. Richard Bond, and 2018 PHA Emeritus Richard C. Maxfield (Photo credit: Sara Capen)

 

The Poudre Heritage Alliance (PHA), managing nonprofit of the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area (CALA), honored Senator Wayne Allard and Dr. Richard Bond at the 2nd Annual Emeritus Dinner this past Saturday, September 7th, for their outstanding service to the PHA and the National Heritage Area.

PHA Emeritus are selected from those individuals who have served the Poudre Heritage Alliance and/or the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area with distinction and excellence and considered deserving of this role for outstanding service. Board members emeritus may have been on the PHA Board of Directors or engaged in major volunteer or advocacy activities in his or her service to the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area.

Dr. Richard Bond was a former Board Member of the Poudre Heritage Alliance and was integral in the organization and creation of the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area, the first Heritage Area to be designated west of the Mississippi. Dr. Bond was introduced by 2018 PHA Emeritus honoree Richard Maxfield, also a former board member of the PHA.

With his sponsorship of the Cache la Poudre River Corridor Act in 1996, the precursor to the legislation that created the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area, Senator Allard was instrumental in the creation of the CALA. He was introduced by his former legislative aide, Senator Cory Gardner. Speaking about the CALA, Senator Gardner said, “We can protect our truly special places by working together with communities of different needs and different interests to bring them together, and with community input we can find a way to protect and preserve the most precious places among us.”

During his acceptance speech, Senator Allard said, “The Poudre River has a reputation. It appeals to all sorts of interests, recreational interests, hunters and fisherman, it appeals to the economies of Greeley and Fort Collins because the water there has contributed to their urban growth. And, also, because it has environmental concerns. And what they [PHA] are trying to do is to bring together a balanced effort and that’s one of the main reasons that I went on ahead and got involved with that particular piece of legislation.”

The event program for the Emeritus Dinner consisted of introductions by colleagues and friends of the PHA, with special awards being given to each of the honorees. The presentations and speeches were recorded for historical archiving purposes.

Several Larimer and Weld County business leaders and commissioners, Greeley, Fort Collins, Windsor and Timnath municipal leaders, and Colorado State University and University of Northern Colorado faculty and Board of Regents attended the dinner. Other leaders in attendance included Maria Secrest, Regional Director for Senator Cory Gardner, Sara Capen, Alliance of National Heritage Areas Chair, and the National Park Service’s Intermountain Regional Director of National Heritage Areas, Alexandra Hernandez. The emcee for the evening was Town of Windsor Open Space & Trail Manager and current PHA Board Chairman, Wade Willis. For the full list of PHA’s current Board of Directors please visit www.poudreheritage.org/board

For pictures and video from the event or for more information about PHA and CALA, please contact Megan Maiolo-Heath at the Poudre Heritage Alliance Office: 970-295-4851.

 

Ross Proving Up House

Poudre Heritage Alliance Receives “Friends of Preservation” Award

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The Ross Proving-Up House at it’s new location at The Farm at Lee Martinez Park in Fort Collins.

 

The Poudre Heritage Alliance was honored on Tuesday evening with a “Friends of Preservation Award” from the City of Fort Collins for “Outstanding Preservation of Historic Resources” for our work on the preservation of the Ross Proving-Up House, a project to stabilize, repair, paint and move the historic structure to The Farm at Lee Martinez Park (600 N. Sherwood) in Fort Collins. Other partners on the project included the City of Fort Collins Recreation Department, City of Fort Collins Parks Department, Ethan Cozzens, and Empire Carpentry.

James Ross just before leaving Scotland. (Image from the Fort Collins Archive #S01532.)

The house, constructed by Scotsman James Ross in 1891, was built to meet the size qualifications under the 1862 Homestead Act of 10 feet by 12 feet. The 1862 Homestead Act encouraged settlers to claim 160 acres of land owned by the U.S. government. The only stipulation was that the settlers live on and improve the land. After a minimum of five years, they could pay a small fee, apply for a patent and receive title to the land. This is how much of the vast United States prairie was settled.

Meg Dunn, a Historian at Northern Colorado History, writes, “Because of the tremendous amount of work that was necessary to put the land under cultivation, families often built a small, simple structure to live in until a point when they could spend more time and resources on building a larger house. This small building (Today we’d likely call it a shack.) was referred to as the “proving up” house because it was a step in proving up for the land.”

To learn more about this historic building please visit this great blog post from NOCO History: https://www.northerncoloradohistory.com/james-ross-proving-up-house/

Learning in Our Watershed

Learning in Our Watershed Field Trip Grant Application Now Open!

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The Poudre Heritage Alliance (PHA) is now accepting applications for its 2019-2020 field trip grant program, Learning in Our Watershed! With funding partners like the National Park Foundation, PHA is very excited to expand this program and provide additional resources to program participants.

Interested parties will need to submit their application online: https://www.poudreheritage.org/field-trip-grants/. Priority is still based on first come-first serve requests, so make sure to apply at least three weeks in advance of your trip. However, because of grant requirements, Title I schools and fourth grade classes will be considered first for funding.

Popular field trip locations include the Poudre Learning Center, Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, Children’s Water Festivals, and Centennial Village. Check out out the program page online for more information, including guided tour options along the Poudre Trail that highlight the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area itself.

PHA looks forward to partnering with your school while promoting programs that introduce local youth to the river and the area’s heritage. Contact Jordan Williams at programs@poudreheritage.org if you have further questions, or call 970-295-4851.

4 Fun Labor Day Activities in the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area

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The Cache la Poudre River is a fly fishing haven in the heart of Northern Colorado.

 

Happy Labor Day weekend! This is a great time of year to get out with your family and enjoy all that the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area has to offer. Need some ideas for fun, family-friendly Labor Day activities? We put together this list to help you explore your National Heritage Area over this long weekend.

1) Bike the Poudre Trail.

The Poudre River Trail offers many miles of bike trails along the scenic Cache la Poudre River, showcasing the natural beauty of the river as it moves from the mountains to the plains. Need a bike to ride the trail? You can rent bikes from Pace starting at $1/15min.

 

2) Picnic at River Bluffs Open Space.

River Bluffs Open Space is a small but spectacular open space located on the Poudre River in Windsor. The River is its signature feature and provides one half mile of pools and riffles for ducks, other waterfowl, wading birds, and curious anglers. Raptors such as red-tailed hawks and great horned owls also call River Bluffs home.

The Poudre River Trail at River Bluffs Open Space connects to 21 beautiful miles of trail running and biking southeast through wildlife areas and parks. All non-motorized activities including walking, biking and inline skating are allowed at River Bluffs Open Space. Picnic tables and river access provide a great setting to relax and enjoy the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area.

 

3) Fish the Poudre River. 

Fort Collins is well known for fishing, with a bounty of trout and other fish species thriving in the Poudre River and surrounding lakes and ponds. With miles of fishing all along the Poudre River, it is truly a fly fishing paradise. If your looking to fish beyond the Poudre River, Fort Collins has 15 natural areas that permit fishing.

 

4) Take a self-guided walk of Riverbend Ponds.

With 3-miles of trail right near the Poudre River, this is a great spot to do some birding, go fishing, or just take a stroll among natural beauty. Birders can enjoy over 200 species of birds feed, rest, nest, and migrate through this natural area, including blue herons, a wide variety of ducks, American white pelicans, double-crested cormorants and others. Dogs are also welcome so don’t forget your fury friends! Download the walking guide here.

Volunteer of the Month: Kenton Daubert

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Our work would not be possible without the volunteers that donate their valuable time, talents and energy to making our programs successful. Thank you to each and every person that has become a part of the Poudre Heritage Alliance family through volunteering. Now, please meet Kenton Daubert, our Volunteer of the Month!

 

Hello to everyone! My name is Kenton Daubert and I reside in Greeley, CO. I got involved at Poudre Heritage Alliance as a Heritage Culturalist while attending a presentation at Farr Library in November 2016 about the Volga German – Russian immigration, which I am a descendant. There was a slip of paper on a table about PHA which I thought that I would enjoy being a part of. Jordan contacted me in April 2018 and asked if I would be interested in being a part of PHA. I replied “Yes I am”. I was fortunate by being given an opportunity to be an intern from May 17, 2018 until March 30, 2019. At that time Jordan informed me that PHA would be happy to have me continue as a volunteer. Since then I have been serving in this capacity.

 

Reasons I enjoy working with PHA are there is so much to learn concerning the culture of this area. Water is a very important concern to everyone in the world. I recommend that if a person can attend the West Slope and East Slope tours that Northern Water provides to do so. They are highly informational! I have attended many Pub Talks and have learned lots about the Poudre River from the early days of colonization on up to the present time. I enjoy meeting the people that I have met by being involved with PHA. Everyone has a history and many talents.

 

Take care everyone and enjoy life!
Your friend,
Kenton Daubert

To learn more about volunteer opportunities with the Poudre Heritage Alliance please contact Andy Auer, PHA Volunteer Coordinator, at programs@poudreheritage.org.