Paintcare: Colorado's New Paint Recycling Program

Colorado has a new paint recycling program.  The Paintcare program started on July 1, as required by SB 14-029, the Architectural Paint Stewardship Act.  The paint recycling program is overseen by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)'s Solid Waste program.  Under the program, 100 sites around Colorado -- mainly hardware stores -- will begin accepting public drop-off of unused paint, regardless of where the paint was purchased.  Primers, stains, varnishes and sealants are also accepted for recycling.  The program is free to drop off paint, but a small fee will be added to the purchase price of new paint.  For additional information on the Architectural Paint Stewardship Act see CDPHE's website.


Colorado Population by Age Visualization Graph

How has Colorado's population changed in terms of age over the last 25 years, and how will it change in the coming years?  Which age group claims the greatest number of Coloradans, and how will this change?  These questions can be answered with a fascinating animated graph from the Colorado Demography Office.  Their Age by Year Visualization presents a graph for each year from 1990 through 2040, breaking down the number of Coloradans of each age, and coloring the graph by generation to show which age groups have the highest number of persons in our state.  For example, the graph predicts that by 2040, the age group born after 2000 will have by far the greatest numbers, while Baby Boomers and even Gen-Xers start to decline.  Some of this is natural aging of population, but the overall numbers show a significant increase in the state's total population and in the birth rate. 

On the website, click on the "animate" button to see an animated version of how the population's numbers and ages change over the years, or select a specific year for data from the drop down menu.  Selecting 2015, for example, shows that there are more 35-year-olds in Colorado than any other specific age.  Ten years ago, in 2005, the greatest number of persons were age 30.  Since this is only a five-year age difference in 10 years, it suggests how much of Colorado's population change is do to migration rather than aging.  For more information on Colorado's population growth and demographics, visit the Colorado Demography Office website.


Time Machine Tuesday: The Birds of Colorado - 1897

Over the last century, as Colorado's population has grown and development has increased, wildlife has been affected.  Additionally, new scientific evidence on wildlife has been gathered.  Birds have long been among Colorado's most popular "watchable wildlife" and an 1897 publication available from our library highlights the birds that could be found in our state back in that era.

The Birds of Colorado was published by the Experiment Station of the State Agricultural College (now Colorado State University).  The publication "is designed to set forth our present knowledge of the distribution and migration of Colorado birds.  There is also included a bibliography of the subject and an historical review of the progress of ornithological investigation in this State."  Updates to the publication were done in 1898 and 1900.

According to the 1897 publication, there were 360 known species of birds in Colorado that year.  A description is given of each one.  Today the Colorado Field Ornithologists reports that there are 498 known species of birds in our state.  Notably absent from the 1897 list is the passenger pigeon, which became extinct in the wild in the United States in 1900 (the last one died in captivity in 1914), so apparently by this time it had already vanished from Colorado. 

Over the past century the State of Colorado has published many resources on Colorado birds.  Some of the documents you can find in our library include:

  • Cities and Birds (1975)
  • Birds of the Rocky Mountains (1986)
  • Colorado Bird Distribution Latilong Study (1978, 1982, 1989)
  • Wonders on the Wing (video, 1994)
  • Colorado Breeding Bird Atlas (1998)
  • Flight (2000)
  • Migratory Bird Policy (2007)
  • Wildlife Research Report:  Avian Research Program (serial)
...and many, many more resources on specific species, geographic locations, etc., so be sure and search our library's web catalog for additional resources.


History Colorado Collections Online

History Colorado recently launched a database of selected items in its collection, including artifacts, photographs, and archival materials.  The database launched with images of 80,000 items and is continuing to grow.  This database is an excellent resource for researchers to find primary sources on Colorado's history.  Of course this database represents only a small percentage of History Colorado's vast collections; if you do not find what you are looking for in the database, you can contact photos@state.co.us regarding photographs or curator@state.co.us regarding objects.  To find out more about the history and stories of Colorado, check out History Colorado's Colorado Heritage and its predecessor, Colorado Magazine, available from our library.  Also be sure to check our library's online catalog for further resources.

This 1880s-era chair from one of the private boxes in the demolished Tabor Grand Opera House is an example of the artifacts that are available for viewing on History Colorado's collections database. 


Colorado's Water Plan

The State of Colorado is currently engaged in the development of "Colorado's Water Plan."  The plan's official website, coloradowaterplan.com, offers the following explanation of the plan's goals and purposes:

This plan offers a strategic vision:  a productive economy that supports vibrant and sustainable cities, productive agriculture, a strong environment, and a robust recreation industry. How can we achieve this vision for Colorado water? This plan provides the strategies, policies, and actions by which Colorado can address its projected future needs in a manner consistent with this vision. This plan will be accomplished through collaboration with basin roundtables, local governments, water providers, and other stakeholders. It represents a set of collaboratively developed policies and actions that all Coloradans and their elected officials can support and to which they can adhere. 

On July 15 a new draft of the plan will be available for public comment.  Visit the website now to read the plan as it as has been drafted so far, and check back on the 15th for the next draft.  Information on submitting comments can be found on the website.  On the site you can also find a calendar of important dates, Twitter feeds, podcasts, river basin information, and other states' water plans.  For more resources on water in Colorado, search our library's online catalog.