World Water Day has been held on March 22nd each year since 1993. This day celebrates water and raises awareness about the issues surrounding water. The story of Fort Collins, Colorado is intimately linked to one critical freshwater source: The Cache la Poudre River.
On this World Water Day, we are spotlighting The Poudre Heritage Alliance (PHA) and their work to build a deeper understanding of the Poudre River’s significance. The PHA shares three core pillars tied to its mission: to promote, engage and inspire.
To Promote Historic and Cultural Opportunities
The PHA Water Legacy program works to collect and share the stories of the people and events that have shaped the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area (CALA). The Poudre River has been the lifeblood of northern Colorado for both wildlife and humans since our earliest ancestors. Events during the days of early settlement as well as the modern demands on the Poudre River have been complex. It’s because of this that the Poudre River contributed significantly to the development of water law and the evolution of highly complex water delivery systems.
To Engage People in Their River Corridor
Facilitating engagement with the people that the Cache La Poudre River supports is one way the PHA works to deepen appreciation for the river’s significance. The PHA produces content, events, and opportunities for direct community engagement that residents and visitors can participate in. Women in Water is one new series highlighted during the month of March featuring the women in our communities that have made an impact in their various work surrounding water and the water industry.
To Inspire Learning in Our Watershed
The PHA Learning in Our Watershed program funds K-12 school teachers in Larimer and Weld County to bring their students on field trips to the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area (CALA). Teaching the youth to understand and value the Poudre River and their water heritage can help to ensure a new generation of proud river stewards. Additionally, The Study Outdoors, Learn Outdoors field trip program (SOLO) offers students an outdoor, self-guided learning field trip experience. This program helps students connect to the landscape of the Poudre River and is a fun activity for students as well as families visiting northern Colorado.
From outdoor activities like biking, hiking/walking, whitewater rafting, fishing, boating, and birdwatching, to historical attractions and museums, the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area is a great location to visit.
This Heritage Area includes the following sites:
- Watson Lake
- Picnic Rock Natural Area
- 1883 Water Works
- Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
- Fort Collins Whitewater Park
- Frank State Wildlife Area
- River Bluffs Open Space
- Boardwalk Park Museum
- Centennial Village Museum
- Poudre Learning Center