Big Thompson Flood

This coming Sunday marks the 35th anniversary of one of Colorado's greatest natural disasters, the Big Thompson Flood. On the evening of July 31, 1976, heavy rains caused flooding to erupt in the Big Thompson Canyon, eventually resulting in the deaths of 139 people and causing $35.5 million in damage. If you're interested in finding out more about this terrible event, we have a number of publications in our library that can help you, including:

  • Estimation of Big Thompson Flood Rainfall Using Infrared Satellite Imagery

  • What We Have Learned Since the Big Thompson Flood

  • Flood-plain Information Report, Big Thompson River

  • What People Did During the Big Thompson Flood

  • Big Thompson Flood Disaster: Final Report to the Governor

  • The Big Thompson River Flood of July 31-August 1, 1976, Larimer County, Colorado

  • Geologic Hazards, Geomorphic Features, and Land Use Implications in the Area of the 1976 Big Thompson Flood


I-70 Mountain Corridor Record of Decision

In a recent announcement from the Colorado Dept. of Transportation (CDOT), "On June 16, 2011, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) signed the Record of Decision approving the Preferred Alternative for the I-70 Mountain Corridor Programatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). The FHWA approval marks the end of nearly 20 years of study and discussions about improvements for the I-70 Mountain Corridor." They continue, "The recent decision approves a broad (Tier 1) program of transit, highway, safety, and other improvements on the 144-mile route between Glenwood Springs and the western edge of the Denver metropolitan area. Implementing the approved improvements will increase capacity, improve accessibility and mobility, and decrease congestion along the Corridor. The decision provides a framework for implementation of specific projects in the Corridor as funding allows."

You can view a copy of the Record of Decision for Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, produced by CDOT, in our library.


Foster Care

The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) tells us, "Foster parents are a finite resource. They are part of the team that helps make a real and lasting difference in the lives of Colorado's families and children. It's everyone's responsibility to support and retain our foster families." Many Colorado children are in need of a loving home. CDHS offers a helpful website with links to all the information you need on foster care, whether you're a foster parent now or are interested in becoming one. You can also visit our web catalog and search terms such as foster care or foster parents to find resources and publications.


Do You Have What it Takes to be a State Trooper?

If you've ever wondered how much training it takes to become a law enforcement officer, look no further than the Colorado State Patrol. On their website, you can follow along with their Academy Cadet Class 2011-1 as they learn the skills needed to become a State Trooper. See how they start off with physical training on Day One - and continue with physical training for the first 8 weeks. It's not until Week 9 that they learn to use their firearms, and by week 12, you can watch how they're using them in mock building searches; under week 12 you can also follow along as they learn to drive the patrol cars. This Cadet Scrapbook is a fun way to see what's really involved in training for law enforcement, both for those considering a career in the field, or citizens who are just interested in a look behind the scenes. If you find that you are interested in becoming a State Trooper, you can visit the State Patrol's recruitment page to find out more.


Things to Do Statewide

Whether you're visiting Colorado or live here and want to explore, there are a number of publications in our collection that can help you plan your travels around Colorado. A few of the helpful resources available in our library include:

  • Colorado Byways: A Guide Through Scenic and Historic Landscapes

  • Colorado Museums and Historic Sites

  • Exploring Colorado State Parks

  • Colorado Local History: A Directory

  • A Journey Through Time: The Regional Museums of the Colorado Historical Society

  • Guide to Colorado Historic Places

  • Colorado's Historic Architecture & Engineering Web Guide

  • Colorado Trails and Transportation Resource Guide

  • Colorado Bicycling Map

  • Colorado Mini-Tours

  • Colorado Birding Trail

  • Messages in Stone: Colorado's Colorful Geology

...and much, much more. Search our web catalog for whatever you might be interested in seeing here in Colorado. Also, be sure and check www.colorado.com, the state's official tourism website, for attractions statewide.


Things to Do in Southeast Colorado

Southeast Colorado is well known for its agricultural production. It is also an area rich with history, explored by Spanish conquistadores in the 1540s, traveled by settlers via the Santa Fe Trail, and home to Kit Carson, George Bent and other legendary figures. Though much of the region is farmland, some of the towns and cities in the area include Eads, Fowler, Granada, Holly, La Junta, Lamar, Las Animas, Manzanola, Ordway, Pueblo, Rocky Ford, Springfield, Trinidad, and Walsenburg.

There are many things to do in the area, particularly if you're interested in history. One of the most popular attractions in the region is Bent's Old Fort, near La Junta. This re-creation of the historic Santa Fe Trail fort is a fun place to teach kids about history. There are also some very interesting museums and sites in Pueblo (such as the El Pueblo Museum and the Steelworks Museum) and Trinidad (including the Baca House, Bloom House, and Pioneer Museum.) You can also visit the sites of two of Colorado's more shameful moments in history: Amache, a Japanese internment camp during WWII, and the Sand Creek Massacre site.

For those interested in outdoor pursuits, there are four State Parks in the region: Lake Pueblo, Lathrop, Trinidad Lake, and John Martin Reservoir. Each of these four parks centers on a large lake, great for fishing, boating, and other water sports.

For more ideas on what to do when you're vising Southeast Colorado, see the Attractions webpage on Colorado.com, the state's official tourism website. While you're in the area, be sure to travel along one of the region's byways, the Highway of Legends and the Santa Fe Trail, both rich with history.

For more information on the area, we have a number of publications in our library that might interest you, including:

Also be sure to search our web catalog for more publications on the area. If you're interested in geological information, search by county name. You are also welcome to contact us for additional help finding information on any place in Colorado.


Things to Do in Northeast Colorado

Colorado's Eastern Plains are an area of highly productive farms and a small population. For visitors, however, the area does have its attractions, including history and prairie scenery. Although much of the area is farmland, some of the towns and cities in the northeast/north central part of the state, as designated by the above map from Colorado.com, include Akron, Brush, Burlington, Cheyenne Wells, Elbert, Elizabeth, Fort Morgan, Holyoke, Julesburg, Kiowa, Limon, Sterling, Stratton, Wray, and Yuma.

For visitors to the area, there are many options for things to do. If you're interested in history, visit one of the area's many small museums, or travel along one of the overland routes where pioneers traveled West to California and Oregon. You can even ride a historic carousel in Kit Carson County. For outdoor enthusiasts, there are two State Parks in the region, North Sterling and Bonny Lake. Each park's website also includes a list of nearby attractions. You can also consult Colorado.com, Colorado's official tourism website, which has a list of attractions for the region. For the best way to experience the region in your vehicle, be sure to travel along one of Northeast Colorado's two byways.

If you're interested in more information on the region, our library can help. We have a number of resources in our collection exploring various topics related to this region of the state, including:

Be sure to search our web catalog for more information. If you're looking for resources on geology, search by county name. We're also always happy to help with research.


Things to Do in Colorado's Northern Front Range

The north-central part of the state, termed the Front Range by Colorado's official tourism website, Colorado.com, is an area of both mountains and plains. Landscapes vary from the mountains of Rocky Mountain National Park to the plains of the Pawnee grasslands, and includes some of Colorado's best farmland. The region also houses three major universities (Colorado State University in Fort Collins; University of Northern Colorado in Greeley; and the University of Colorado at Boulder.)

Colorado's Northern Front Range stretches from Boulder and Broomfield on the south, north to the Colorado-Wyoming border, west through Rocky Mountain National Park and east past Greeley. Some of the cities and towns in the region include Berthoud, Black Hawk, Boulder, Central City, Erie, Estes Park, Evans, Fort Collins, Greeley, Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville, Loveland, Lyons, Nederland, Niwot, Red Feather Lakes, Strasburg, Superior, Windsor, and others.

Probably the biggest tourist attraction in this part of the state is Rocky Mountain National Park and the other mountainous areas northwest of Denver. In other parts of the region, Boulder is a city that is both urban and outdoors-oriented. Black Hawk and Central City offer legalized gaming. Loveland is known for its outdoor art, while Lyons is known for its chief industry, Lyons sandstone. Throughout the area, there are many places to visit for persons of all tastes and interests.

For those interested in the outdoors, there are several State Parks in addition to the National Park. State Parks in the region include Lory, Boyd Lake, St. Vrain, and Jackson Lake. Each park's website also includes a link to other interesting things to do nearby. You can also find a great list of attractions on Colorado.com. Additionally, for some of the region's best scenery, be sure to check out some of the area's byways.

If you're interested in learning more about the area, we have a number of publications here in our library. Some of these include:

  • Birds of the Rocky Mountains, with Particular Reference to National Parks in the Northern Rocky Mountain Region

  • This Blue Hollow: Estes Park, the Early Years, 1859-1915

  • Riches and Regrets: Betting on Gambling in Two Colorado Mountain Towns

  • Rocky Mountain National Park: A History

  • Rocky Times in Rocky Mountain National Park: An Unnatural History

  • America's Switzerland: Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park

  • Metal Mining and Tourist Era Resources of Boulder County

  • Weld County, Colorado Historic Agricultural Context

  • Historic Farms and Ranches of Weld County

  • Your Guide to Colorado Trails: North Front Range

  • Significant Plant, Animal and Wetland Resources of Larimer County

For more publications, search our web catalog. For geological information, search by county name. Other searches can be by city name, county name, or other geographical keywords.

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