Skip to main content

Documenting history of the Poudre River Corridor

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? We imagine there are some colorful characters and stories behind the formation of our nation’s national parks and heritage areas. What kind of courage, controversy, commitment, and circumstances come into play?

Our Water Legacy program teases out the stories of people and events that shaped  the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area (CALA). Since the time of our early ancestors, the Poudre River has been the lifeblood of northern Colorado for both wildlife and humans. Events during the days of early settlement as well as the modern demands on the Poudre River have been complex. It’s because of this that the Poudre River contributed significantly to the development of water law and the evolution of highly complex water delivery systems.

Featured Project: Lifting Voices from the Shadows

Through “Lifting Voices From the Shadows”, the Poudre Heritage Alliance (PHA), National Heritage Areas Program, CSU Native American Cultural Center and the Northern Arapaho have a rare opportunity to compile stories from Northern Arapaho women that run in parallel with, or counter to, the Suffragette movement and modern society.

As women who have been maligned for generations, the Northern Arapaho remain understandably wary and unlikely to trust their stories with outsiders. For centuries Northern Arapaho lived in the Cache la Poudre River basin before being forcibly removed by soldiers in the 1870’s from Colorado to Wyoming. Capturing stories from these people whose historic and spiritual homeland is the Cache la Poudre River is vital for our collective history, strengthening partnerships, building the PHA’s education and interpretation program, and in connecting people to their Poudre River heritage.

Grant support will enable our team to record women’s oral histories, host a webinar series, create educational videos and interpretive materials, and share relevant content that aligns with 19th Amendment milestones. With a somewhat limitless pool of untold stories to highlight, the possibilities are enormous.

Learn more about the project


Documenting History Resources


Interactive Timeline


History of the Heritage Area

Video & Audio Archive


Union Colony Pioneer Society


• Increase understanding of the linkages between past and present Poudre River heritage and recognize the contribution of the people who created the CALA.
• Increase the opportunity to teach about CALA, the Poudre River, and water heritage.


• Increase public awareness of CALA and the Poudre Heritage Alliance
• Inspire appreciation of the Poudre River and water heritage
• Inform about the process of establishing heritage areas
• Support educators in delivering required curriculum content
• Enhance and expand content knowledge, especially related to CALA

The Campaign for Cache

The Poudre Heritage Alliance (PHA) raises awareness about water issues and connects people to their water heritage in the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area (CALA) through a variety of programs that promote, engage, and inspire!