A gentle warm mid-autumn day was the backdrop for MPEC's celebration of completion of the first phase of the Horseshoe Lodge Project. An estimated 300 people showed up to celebrate, enjoy some delicious goodies, tour the Lodge, and learn a bit about what comes next for MPEC at Horseshoe Lodge. Words of wisdom, story and insight were shared by Pueblo City Councilman Randy Thurston, MPEC Board Member Anne Warren and her son, MPEC camper Zach Warren, camper Jackson Reed, founding MPEC Board Member Tim Sandsmark (now Director of Lookout Mountain Nature Center in Jefferson County), Pueblo County Commissioner Jeff Chostner, and MPEC Founder and Director Dave Van Manen. A surprise visit by Dudley McFarland, a CCC worker who worked in Pueblo Mountain Park in 1935 (he's now 95) and a donation by the National Automobile Sales Association presented by Barbara and Bill Vidmar added to the day's delight. A few youngsters from our Nature Toddlers group cut the ribbon that officially opened the Horseshoe Lodge as MPEC's new home. The day was both a celebration of the completion of Phase 1 and a kick-off of fund-raising for the remaining phases of the exciting Horseshoe Lodge Project - which we already have quite a bit of the necessary funds to get Phase 2 - the overnight rooms in the west wing - started and completed! Click the ribbon-cutting photo on the right to see lots of Grand Opening photos.
Many people remember the old dining hall of the Horseshoe Lodge as this big dark dungeon of a place. We can't wait for you to see the transformation of this space which will become the gathering spot for many children and adults in the near future... a place for eating delicious healthy meals after a day of hiking and learning. With the help of Pueblo Artist Jean Latka (and many hours of framing interior walls, insulating for warmth, dropping the ceiling and cleaning like mad) the Dining Hall has amazing paint and is sparking. Dave and Jean created animal track templates and will make the downstairs of Horseshoe Lodge another inspired place for learning.
October arrives with lots of color - from many flowers still in bloom and leaves as colorful as flowers in their autumn look. I finally have another camera (thank you, Helene) and have stolen a few moments to try it out. Here is some of what Pueblo Mountain Park has to offer these soft autumn days: Lots of members of the Sunflower Family, and, yes, that is poison ivy (the Sumac Family). The deer are very plentiful - I saw this one walking home from the office yesterday evening around 6pm right at the entrance to the park.