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Garden of the Gods: Sacred Ground and Native American Crossroads

Thursday, November 10, 2016 21:09
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Garden of the Gods: Sacred Ground and Native American Crossroads

Located in Colorado Springs, the Garden of the Gods is a stunning expanse of unique geological formations. Its known human history goes back around 3,000 years, however, the indigenous Ute people claim their ancestors always lived there.  Over the centuries, the spectacular landscape served as a Native American crossroads with numerous nomadic tribes gathering there in peace. According to local stories, the immense sandstone formations were considered sacred ground and that meant that even rival tribes laid down their weapons when entering the Garden of the Gods.

In 2014, the Garden of the Gods was voted Top Park in the United States and is frequently listed on global ‘most visited parks’ lists- over one million guests a year journey to this National Natural Landmark. The park’s interesting name came from two surveyors who visited the park in 1859 while working on establishing Colorado City. One of the men, M.S. Beach commented that he thought the site would be a “capital place for a beer garden”. His companion, Rufus Cable, replied “Beer Garden! Why it is a fit place for the gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods.”

Owned by the City of Colorado Springs, the Garden of the Gods was established in 1909 as a nature preserve of 240 acres. Today, the park includes 1,387 acres. The park is situated at a distinctive geographic location – it is where the grasslands of the Great Plains begin to merge with the pinon-juniper woodlands of the American Southwest and the mountain forests of the Rocky Mountains. This creates a vibrant array of plants and animals; however, most of the tourists come to see the rocks, not the birds. – Reconstructing the story of humanity’s past


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