Parent and Family Resources

The Colorado Department of Education has put together a webpage, entitled Parent and Family Resources, which is a great place for families to start when looking for information about their child's K-12 education.  The website includes information on state tests; finding a school; getting ready to start school and getting ready to graduate; department programs; special education; school and family partnerships; and more.  Search our library's web catalog for additional information from the Colorado Department of Education.


Time Machine Tuesday: Diamonds in Colorado

Did you know that Larimer County had a diamond mine?  The Kelsey Lake Mine was operational from 1996 to 2001.  During that time period, in 1999, the Colorado Geological Survey released What Are Diamonds?, an issue of their popular Rock Talk series.  This publication discussed Northern Colorado's State Line Kimberlite District and the Kelsey Lake Mine, as well as the history of diamond mining in Colorado and the geology of diamonds.  In this fun, easy-to-read publication, you can learn such fun facts as:
  • How do volcanic deposits form diamonds?
  • What is Colorado's connection to the famous Hope Diamond?
  • What was the Great Diamond Hoax of 1872?
  • How are diamonds mined?
  • What was the largest diamond found in Colorado?
For current information, including a location map, visit the Colorado Geological Survey's Diamonds webpage.


Golf in Colorado

As the weather gets warmer people are beginning to head to the golf course.  If you're interested in the history of golf in Colorado, or are a landscaper, manager, or owner of a golf course, our library has several resources that may be of interest to you.

The Economics of Colorado's Golf Industry, The Golf Industry in Colorado, and Resource and Economic Aspects of Golf in Colorado, all publications from Colorado State University's Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, discuss golf's contribution to the state's economy, factoring in tourism, environmental impacts, drought, and more.

Greening Your Golf Course is a publication from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that teaches golf course managers how to keep their golf courses green without polluting the air and water.

If you're looking for information on the history of golf in Colorado, a 1992 publication from the University of Colorado's Business Research Division gives a snapshot of Colorado golf a quarter-century ago.  Colorado Golf Highlights:  A Review of Available Data, 1989-91 is available for checkout from our library.  You can also check out issues of Colorado Heritage magazine, which contain several interesting articles on the golf industry in our state.  See "Lost Links:  In Search of Estes Park's Oldest Golf Course," January/February 2010, and "The Sage and Cactus Golf Club:  Hugo, Colorado, 1939-42," Summer 2007.  Finally, see James Whiteside's Colorado:  A Sports History (University Press of Colorado, 1999), also available for checkout from our library. 


Planning and Planting Trees and Flowers

The season for planting trees and flowers has arrived.  If you're planning a garden, or looking to update an established one, there are many questions to be thought through -- such as what types and species are best for Colorado's climate, how long they will take to grow, what kind of care they need, how to use mulch, how to deal with pests, what plants attract butterflies and birds, what's different about gardening in the mountains, etc.  Luckily, the Colorado State University Extension can help.  They have issued numerous publications about all aspects of Colorado gardening.  Some of the titles that you may find useful in helping plan your yard and garden include:
Search our library's web catalog for more titles, including information on specific plants, insects, and diseases.  Also, if you're looking for ideas on flowers, check out CSU's Flower Trial Gardens.  If you still need more help, you can go to the Extension's Ask an Expert.


Marijuana Laws and Health Effects

In anticipation of 4/20 the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has posted a news release with helpful reminders about the state's laws regarding marijuana, as well as information on its health effects.  CDPHE has issued numerous publications to educate consumers about the regulation and effects of marijuana.  Other agencies, such as the Department of Revenue, which oversees enforcement, have also produced a number of publications -- search the keyword "marijuana" in our library's web catalog for resources.

"Good to Know" is the state's marijuana public awareness campaign.  See below for a new infographic created by CDPHE's "Good to Know."


Retirement Planning Tips

April 11-15 is National Retirement Planning Week, and April is also Financial Literacy Month in Colorado.  The Colorado Division of Securities, part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), has put together some helpful tips for retirement planning, including how to be aware of pension scams; understanding high risk investments; and planning for retirement in the event you lose your spouse.  These tips are part of DORA's Take 5 to Get Wise campaign, which provides public service announcements and articles that take just five minutes to read, but can help you learn important information about protecting your finances and avoiding hassles later.


Time Machine Tuesday: Arbor Day

Coming up on Friday, April 22, we celebrate Earth Day.  The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970.  It grew out of the celebration of Arbor Day, which also took place in April.  Arbor Day, a day for planting trees, began in Nebraska in 1855.  In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Arbor Day became very popular, especially here on the Plains, where trees are in short supply.  In Denver, Mayor Robert W. Speer heavily promoted Arbor Day; hundreds of trees were planted in City Park, the Denver parkways, and other places around the city under his watch.  The popularity of Arbor Day coincided with the City Beautiful Movement, a nationwide movement encouraging city planners to incorporate parks, parkways, and aesthetically pleasing architecture into urban planning.  The movement arose after Chicago's 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.

Scenes from Mayor Speer's Arbor Day tree planting in 1911.  Photos from Denver Municipal Facts.
(Click to enlarge)
Arbor Day was also a popular celebration in the schools.  School children would learn about nature and assist in tree planting.  It became so popular that Colorado's Superintendent of Public Instruction issued books of Arbor Day songs, poems, and activities for use in the classroom.  You can find many of these here in our library.  Here in our library we have such books for 1908, 1911, 1912, 1913, and 1914.  You can also find information on Colorado schools' Arbor Day celebrations in the Superintendent of Public Instruction's biennial reports.  For instance, see page 32 of the 1891-92 report for a summation of that year's activities and how they tied in to the declaration of the Columbine and Blue Spruce as Colorado's State Flower and State Tree.  The following year's report reprints the Act declaring the third Friday in April to be Arbor Day in Colorado.  Each of the biennial reports are available from our library.


Estes Park

Due to its proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park is one of Colorado's best-known tourist towns.  But how much do you know about the history of Estes Park?  With RMNP turning 100 last year, there is renewed interest in the history of the area.  Here are some resources you can find in our library that tell the story of Estes Park and RMNP:
  • America's Switzerland:  Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, The Growth Years.  University Press of Colorado, 2005.
  • This Blue Hollow:  Estes Park, the Early Years, 1859-1915.  University Press of Colorado, 1999.
  • Frederick Chapin's Colorado:  The Peaks About Estes Park, and Other Writings.  University Press of Colorado, 1995.
  • Rocky Times in Rocky Mountain National Park:  An Unnatural History.  University Press of Colorado, 1993.
  • Rocky Mountain National Park:  A History. Colorado Associated University Press, 1983.
  • An Interindustry Analysis of Three Front Range Foothills Communities -- Estes Park, Gilpin County, and Woodland Park, ColoradoColorado Water Resources Research Institute, Colorado State University, 1982.
  • Archaeological Survey of Forest Highway 26 from Meeker Park to Estes Park. Colorado Department of Highways, 1981.
  • Mountain Lands Analysis, Estes Park Study Area, Larimer County, Colorado. Colorado Division of Planning, 1974.


Colorado Ski History

Skiing has been an important part of Colorado's history, from the Tenth Mountain Division "Soldiers on Skis" in WWII to the development of the state's largest tourist draw.  The current (March/April 2016) issue of Colorado Heritage includes a detailed article about skiing in Hot Sulphur Springs in the early twentieth century.  The article features some excellent photographs.  In our library we have numerous other publications that tell the story of skiing in Colorado.  Some highlights include statistics and profiles of ski areas from the 1960s, '70s, and 80s, and economic studies of the ski industry.  Search the keyword "skiing" in our library's web catalog to get a list of resources.  You can also find out more about ski tourism today by visiting the state's official tourism website, www.colorado.com.


Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Agricultural College, 1919

Last week I posted about some of the many resources our library offers for researching the histories of the state's public colleges and universities.  One addition to the list is a publication that gives a look at Colorado Agricultural College -- now Colorado State University -- in 1919.  The Colorado Agricultural College:  Its Functions, The Service It is Rendering is a "syllabus of facts pertaining to the State Agricultural College of Colorado compiled expressly for the information of the members of the Twenty-second General Assembly of Colorado." 

Why might the Colorado Agricultural College have been so intent on promoting itself to the Legislature in 1919?  A look at the Colorado Session Laws provides some clues.  During the 1919 and following 1921 sessions (they only met every other year at that time), there were several bills regarding appropriations and taxation benefiting the College, its Agricultural Experiment Station and Seed Laboratory, and the Fort Lewis School of Agriculture, Mechanic and Household Arts -- today's Fort Lewis College -- which was then part of the Colorado Agricultural College.

For more on the history of Colorado Agricultural College, search our library's web catalog or check out Democracy's College in the Centennial State:  A History of Colorado State University, available from our library. 


K-12 Education Fact Sheets

Is your head spinning with all of the state's K-12 education acronyms?  Are you curious about the difference between various programs, or how a program might affect your child?  If you're looking for quick, easy-to-understand explanations of K-12 education in Colorado, the Colorado Department of Education offers a series of Fact Sheets that cover various topics.  In these fact sheets you can learn more about accountability, assessment, capital construction, culturally and linguistically diverse education, dropout prevention and student re-engagement, educator effectiveness, postsecondary readiness, school finance, school nutrition, standards, technology, and more.

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