Crossroads Through Time Heritage Park gratefully acknowledges financial support from the Greater Denver Area Gem and Mineral Council, sponsors of the
Denver Gem & Mineral Show, Sept 16—18, 2016

Crossroads Through Time Heritage Park

Conceptual Plan
Pueblo Community College – Fremont Campus

Crossroads Through Time Heritage ParkThe Pueblo Community College Fremont Campus “Crossroads Through Time Heritage Park” (CTT) provides a quality educational experience for all ages by encouraging an understanding and appreciation for the region’s rich paleontological, geological, and historical heritage. Its location is literally a crossroads where the planet’s and its inhabitants’ stories intersect, tying together the deep-time geological past to the history of the people and places of the Fremont County Region.

CTT goes beyond aiding students and visitors in understanding the area’s rich heritage. This project further enriches our community by being a connection with and destination point for the Riverwalk trail system.  A 2012 US Forest Service study showed that over half of those surveyed engage is some form of physical activity.  This park will help students, residents, and visitors stay active and healthy, while providing mental stimulation and encouraging learning.

Not only will the project aid in grasping the timing and duration of natural processes that have shaped the earth, as well as their implications for understanding climate change, it will also address environmental education and sustainability in an understandable manner for people of all ages. Built in a way that protects and enhances the environmental integrity of the site, the project will include natural and historically appropriate landscaping features that will attract the interest of gardening and birding enthusiasts.

As an educational focal point for campus students and K-12 field trips, a gateway for visitors, and a destination for those interested in paleontology, geology, and history, plus an opportunity for all to keep fit; Crossroads Through Time Heritage Park will embody and enhance the Fremont County community and region.

This is not just trails, but an array of places to sit and reflect on this most interesting setting and if interested, the visitor can be a participant, not just be an observer. Projects will create various opportunities for the local community to provide geologic and historic display pieces, ideas, and support.  Located at the western gateway to the city, Crossroads Through Time Heritage Park epitomizes the unity of the faculty, the students, and the Fremont Campus of Pueblo Community College with the community, the region and our heritage.

Recent Activity

The Geology Time Trail at the Crossroads Through Time Heritage Park now under construction on the PCC – Fremont Campus was recently extended. The Cañonland Walkers & Hikers helped build an additional 600 feet of the trail on Monday, March 14, 2016 by laying landscape fabric and raking fines.  Now half completed, this 2,300′ trail will feature interpretive signs explaining major local and global geology and paleontology events. The Geology Trail includes large rocks as examples from local geologic formations and is an extension of the Riverwalk Trail System on the PCC campus.  At 1 foot = 1 million years, walkers are able to get a sense of deep time relative to present day.

Crossroads recent activity

Major Sections

Crossroads Through Time Heritage Park has two major sections: a Geology Time Trail, and a People and Places (History) Trail. By including educational, cultural, and artistic displays, each will augment campus activities, encourage public visitation, and enhance local lifestyle.  From the Geology Time Trail, multiple geologic rock formations are visible in all directions It is also in close proximity to some for the greatest paleontological discoveries and excavations made in the late 1800s up to today.  The People and Places Trail begins at a time thousands of years ago with the Pre-Clovis/Paleo-Indians and runs to present time.

People & Places Trail

People and place trail

The objective of this approximately 2,000 foot People and Places Interpretive Trail is to present the story of the people, places, activities and circumstances that have touched, and been touched by, the Fremont County Region. Waysides along the trail will include informative signs, artifacts, representations and art pieces.  PCC students and community members are encouraged to participate in researching and organizing displays. The Fremont Campus Colorado History courses will use the People and Places Trail for learning purposes and will be involved in classes that include development of possible future displays, activities, and K-12 curriculum.

The first section of the trail “From the Early Coloradans” will include the Paleo-Indians, the Spanish and the French.  Displays will include information from the end of the last Ice Age, the first people in the region, and the Spanish that traveled through the area.   One display will be designed to enlighten visitors about the Spanish battle against Greenhorn that happened just south of the campus.

The second section of the trail will cover highlights of the 19th Century “The 1800s.”  Starting with early explorers, it will include stories of mountain men, fur traders, and international border disputes. Informational displays showing historical events such as the gold rush, the founding of villages and towns, railroad builders, cattlemen and farmers, and the silver boom will all be present. Displays will include a replica of the blockhouse that Zebulon Pike built within view of today’s PCC Fremont campus and a rock garden designed to represent the map Pike drew showing this region and his travels.  Visitors will be able to walk the path that Pike traveled via this replica.  The Railroad War and the Native Americans of this region will all be represented.  An informational display about the Colorado Territorial/State Prison farms and ranches in the region has already been built and will be included.

The 20th Century” (third) segment of the People and Place Interpretive Trail will include displays about the Progressive Era, the 1920s, involvement in the World Wars, the movies that were filmed in this region, and the booms and busts of the times. Displays regarding the Sand Creek Prison Gardens located at what are now the current grounds of the Fremont campus of PCC and another about when the prison gardens property was deeded to the college have been built and will be displayed.

The final section of the People and Places Trail, tentatively titled “The 21st Century,” will exhibit current and future “history.”  The Iron Mountain and Royal Gorge fires and the construction of new schools (Harrison School and Florence High School) will be presented during this part of the trail.

The history of the people of the Fremont County Region, and those who passed through, will be chronicled.  Stories regarding the land, the river, the towns and the wildlife will be told along this trail.  Day-to-day activities, the circumstances the people lived under, and their connections with the past, the present, and the future will unfold as students and visitors take a stroll through the crossroads of people and places.

Geology Time Trail

Geology Time Trail

In an effort to illustrate our rich geological and paleontological heritage, including events which occurred in Fremont County as well as in the global scene, a 2,300 foot trail will ring the perimeter of the field between PCC and Highway 50.  At 1 foot equals 1 million years, this length corresponds to half the history of the Earth (2.3 billion years).  This scale provides a perspective of the deep time involved in a way that participants can comprehend, and in the process educates our community and others about the formation and history of familiar venues in our own back yard, expanding peoples’ horizons and leading to an appreciation of our unique landscape.

A trailhead will be established to enable a general introduction to local geology, geologic time, trail use, and additional places to go for more information. The trail will include informational displays focusing on key milestone events important in our local geology story: dinosaurs, the ancestral Rocky Mountains, the Western Interior Seaway, and the earliest vertebrates on the planet. A variety of local rocks and boulders will be utilized along the trails in the time period they represent. Rocks, slabs, and boulders will be utilized as seating locations, creative landscaping, and informational displays.  Small signs will call attention to geologic events not dealt with at waysides, and small markers will be placed on the bed of the trail indicating 100 foot/100 million year increments.

In addition to its educational offerings, over time, enhancements to the trail system will be developed to make it both fun and recreational. This will be achieved by a variety of projects and programs including a connection to the Arkansas River Walk, a labyrinth, a group seating area (small amphitheater), native prairie vegetation, a Jurassic plant garden, additional dinosaur sculptures, and rock art such as carvings or stacked stones.  We will provide round or flat stones for visitors to construct their own stacked stones displays.  Currently the area is utilized for Frisbee golf by college students and it is possible to incorporate this activity in new and creative ways.

This trail will enable introductions to other important local geology sites including the Royal Gorge, Garden Park Fossil Area, Red Canyon Park, and Skyline Drive.  It will also maintain a strong connection to the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and other local trail networks. In the future the trail location has the capability to continue to grow, expanding to include additional rock walls, more geologic waysides, and additional campus access points.

Benefits

The Crossroads trail network will have a broad cross section of users including:

  • Arkansas River Walk connection- Bikers and Hikers
  • PCC students and staff – campus walking and even Frisbee golf participants
  • Local and regional classes for K-12 and students of any age
  • Fitness enthusiasts – a place to work out or to sit and meditate
  • Local artists and art students –sculpting, landscape, and other art projects
  • Local gardeners, and students interested in native prairie vegetation and a Jurassic Garden
  • Birdwatchers fascinated with our local winged residents and visitors
  • Heritage tourism – those that take the time to “see the sites” and loop back into town over Skyline Drive.
  • Community event organizers. 

Community Support 

Local organizations and individuals are encouraged to provide money, labor or material donations for this community project. The Crossroads Through Time Steering Committee, made up of PCC – Fremont faculty, staff, students and community members is coordinating activity and welcomes community suggestions, questions and participation in bringing this vision to life. For further information, please contact stegotrail@fremontheritage.com.

Contacts

If you are interested in more detail on how you can support this project, please contact either:

Cindy Smith (719-275-9781 or 303-818-3084)   cindysmithrocks@me.com

Jerry Davis (719-296-6100) gerald.davis@pueblocc.edu

Location

CTT East

Crossroads Through Time Heritage Park: Under Construction on the PCC – Fremont Campus.   Looking East

Crossroads Through Time Heritage Park: Under Construction on the PCC – Fremont Campus.  Looking West