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Our INSPIRE programs bring stories and events to life through powerful place-based experiences

1883 Water Works

Water makes life possible and is essential for economies to function. But, freshwater resources are in jeopardy due to growing demand, pollution and climate change. These pressures create profound risks for businesses and communities. We can’t possibly navigate a topic as large as this without some sense of perspective and some help from the past.

The 1883 Fort Collins Water Works is a direct link to that past. By restoring the 23-acre site and transforming it into a comprehensive Water Interpretive Center, we can connect people to their history and water heritage, and empower them to become more informed guardians of their water resources. So, the Poudre Heritage Alliance provides field trips for K-12 students to the Cache la Poudre River National Heriatge Area. Our mission is simple – to engage youth in place-based learning experiences that inspire critical thinking and an understanding of the Poudre River and water heritage, thus ensuring a next generation of river stewards.

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1883 Fort Collins Water Works - Photo by Gabriele Woolever

Water Heritage Speaker Series

Water is vital for life, and its availability has been a concern for mankind through the ages. Our Water Heritage Speaker Series focuses on the history and heritage of water amnagement andthe uses that have been made of water in Northern Colorado, as well as the impact of water management on the region. For example, how did the Poudre River impact national water law? How has water management played a role in craft brewing and drinking water quality? Or what impact does the river have on the sugar beet and agricultural industry?


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Documenting History (Book)

How do you create a National Heritage Area  – through an Act of Congress! But, who decides that a natural, cultural and/or historical landscape is worthy of Congressional attention? And how does it move beyond just a good idea? Knowing it took John D. Rockefeller 30 years of overcome opposition to set aside what is now the Grand Teton National Park – we imagine there are some colorful characters and stories behind the formation of national parks and heritage areas. What  kind of courage, controversy, commitment, and circumstances come into play?This project will tease out the stories of people and events that shaped the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area.

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Flowing through the Poudre River Corridor: Heritage Video Series

We invite teachers to take their students beyond the classroom walls and into the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area for rich learning experiences – no permission slips required. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to take students on field trips. Tight budgets, location, transportation, time, and resource restrictions can keep students schoolbound. The Heritage Video Series removes those barriers, allowing students and families to explore places important to their discipline of study and consistent with their individual learning needs, without leaving the classroom.

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