Water Conservation

Denver Water is talking about possible watering restrictions in the midst of this drier-than-usual spring.  If you're interested in learning more about conserving water at your home, the following publications (available from our library) might be helpful to you:
For more publications, search our web catalog.


Safe Drinking Water

We all need water to survive, and we are healthier if the water we drink is clean and safe.  Water purification has come a long way through time.  In ancient times the only way to get water was from rivers and streams, and it contained who-knows-what.  Even in early Denver, the first water taps were not filtered, so you could turn on the tap and have little fish come out!  Today, we have the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment to monitor our water and make sure we all have safe, clean water to drink.  If you are interested in the facts about safe drinking water in Colorado, visit the CDPHE's Safe Drinking Water Program webpage.  Here you will find all the information you need, including fact sheets, a newsletter, reports to the governor and legislature, regulations, monitoring schedules, investigation reports, and technical information.  For back issues of any of the serial publications listed on their website, visit our library's web catalog.


Happy Birthday Library of Congress

On this day 212 years ago the Library of Congress was established.  This library/archive is the nation's greatest treasure trove of American History.  And did you know that our library supplies copies of all the Colorado state documents to the Library of Congress?  (State documents from all 50 states are housed there).  The Library of Congress has a great deal of information online, so if you're researching Colorado history or government, they are a fantastic source for documents, photos, and much more. 

Here's to (at least!) 212 more years of the Library of Congress.  I wonder what folks in the year 2224 will be researching?   


CSU Flower Trials

Having trouble deciding which flowers to plant in your garden this year?  Colorado State University can help.  Every year they present their annual Trial Garden, a beautiful outdoor display where visitors can learn about what flowers work best in Colorado.  If you can't make it up to the Fort Collins campus, you can always peruse a list of the results and annual winners in each category on the Flower Trial Garden website.  You can also find copies of their annual reports at our library.

2011's best in show was the Argryanthemum "Flutterby Yellow."



April is Autism Awareness Month.  Researchers are still working to discover the causes of autism and why the number of children diagnosed with autism continues to grow.  In our library collection we have several very informative publications on autism and on working with autistic children.  See the following publications, all produced by the Colorado Dept. of Education (CDE):
Also, be sure and check CDE's autism webpage for more information, including a bibliography of resources and links, an autism awareness brochure, Autism Program Quality Indicators for schools, a video on the special education process, professional development opportunities, information on the Colorado Model Autism and Significant Support Needs Programs, and much more. 



Do you own horses?  Colorado horse owners are lucky because we have Colorado State University, which features a world-class veterinary hospital that does a great deal of work with horses.  Below is a selection of CSU publications on horses, available from our library, by topic:

  • A Guide for Successful Competitive Horse Judging

There are many more titles as well so be sure and check our web catalog for further information.


Local Control for Oil and Gas Regulation

Earlier this year Governor Hickenlooper created a task force to develop cooperative strategies regarding the regulation of oil and gas development. As drilling activity has been picking up in Colorado, many communities have been working to establish local regulations in an effort to address environmental concerns. In some cases this has led to conflicting rules within or across jurisdictions. The Task Force on Cooperative Strategies Regarding State and Local Regulation of Oil and Gas Development released a draft of their recommendations on April 11th. All of their documents, comments from the public, and information about the process is available on the task force website.


Online Workforce Information

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has set up a new website, http://www.e-colorado.org/, which they call "your first source for online workforce information."  This is a helpful website both for those seeking employment as well as for researchers searching for employment statistics and information.  Topics covered on the site include career planning, education & training, emerging technologies, employer resources, workforce professional resources, high growth initiatives, legislation & policies, promising practices, support services, grants, information on the Colorado Jobs Cabinet, and labor market information.


Works Progress Administration (WPA)

During the Depression of the 1930s many federal programs were set up to help get Americans back to work.  One of these was the Works Progress Administration or WPA.  Although the Depression was a difficult part of our country's history, we can thank the WPA for some very interesting projects that might not have come about otherwise.  For example, as a historian, some of the projects I run across frequently are the Historic American Building Survey, the newspaper name index at the Denver Public Library, and the incredibly detailed diorama of 1860s Denver in the Colorado History Museum -- all begun as WPA projects.

In our library, we have a number of interesting publications both about the WPA and completed as WPA projects.  Titles in our collection include:

  • Educational Assistance:  A Report Covering Work Undertaken in the Fields of Workers' Education and Adult Education (1939)
  • The Effect of Blanket Tax Limitation Upon the Revenue of School Districts in Colorado (1936)
  • The Relief Situation in Colorado Rural Towns and Areas (1937)
  • Rural Youth and Relief in Colorado (1936)
  • Social Security and Rural Relief in Colorado (1936)
Natural Resources
  • Tourist Travel Study (1938)
  • The Highways of Colorado (1937)
Resources not available online can be viewed in our library.  Also, be sure and visit the Colorado State Archives' Civilian Conservation Corps Collection.  The CCC was another Depression-era federal program which hired young men to work on natural resources projects.  Their motto was "Save the Soil, Save the Forests, Save the Young Men."


Prescribed Fire

The recent disastrous North Fork Fire, which started as a controlled burn in Jefferson County, has prompted a renewed interest in prescribed fire, with the Governor appointing a new review team on prescribed fire (see the press release here).  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has a great deal of information on their website about prescribed burns, including open burning frequently asked questions and air quality information and smoke outlooks that help officials predict wildfire danger.  See also the CDPHE's page on smoke management, which includes prescribed burn information such as permitting information, forms, photos, maps, reports, and more.


Thomas Hornsby Ferril

Since April is National Poetry Month, it seems an appropriate time to celebrate Colorado's own Thomas Hornsby Ferril, one of our state's greatest writers and Colorado's Poet Laureate from 1979 until his death in 1988.  A poet, journalist, and playwright, Ferril wrote many poems about the Colorado landscape.  Ferril's words have even been inscribed in a wall in the State Capitol:

You can read more about Ferril and his writings in the book Thomas Hornsby Ferril and the American West, available for checkout from our library. 

Photo courtesy Colorado State Archives

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