Preserving History by Tom Donnelly

Commissioner Tom Donnelly. Image courtesy of
Larimer County Logo

Some say it’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. Our history is important, it tells us what our county was like and where we might be headed. In our 2018 Larimer County Citizen Survey — our thanks to those of you who participated — almost 96 percent said history is worth preserving.

With our regional growth, Larimer County strives to maintain our western heritage which is an important part of what makes our county a great place to live. A recent example that comes to mind is the Larimer County Fair.

For over 100 years, Larimer County has put on an annual fair and rodeo, highlighting our rich agricultural past, while showcasing the present in a time when some counties are ceasing to operate a fair because of cost. Even though our fair is a very successful event, another benefit of a fair each year is that it helps us to connect our past with today. And no fair would be complete without 4-H and the many interesting activities they do for our youth, just as it’s been done for many years. As in years past, 4-H has provided valuable programs to help our youth develop skills for later life and become good citizens.

Many will agree we’ve seen farmland disappear through growth in the county. Fortunately, the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources in 2016 was able to acquire a 211-acre working farm built in the 1900s, to preserve the open space, its historic presence, and beautiful views of Long’s Peak, as well as the water rights of the farm in a unique, first-ever water-sharing agreement with a municipality.

The American Bison, almost extinct in our country in the 1800s, were reintroduced to Red Mountain Open Space and Soapstone Prairie. They are a living example our history being preserved. It’s great to know the herd is thriving, too.

A brand-new Larimer County Loveland Campus building will open this September that will soon enable south Larimer County citizens to conduct business in a fast, efficient way they so richly deserve. When the landscaping was designed for the building, we wanted to highlight the history of Loveland and Larimer County.

Visitors will be greeted with a sculpture, Mariano and his Princess Namaqua, by local sculptor Jane De Decker. Mariano Medina was one of the first settlers to the Loveland area, fur trader, and local businessman.

The sculpture depicts Mariano’s daughter, who had amazing horsemanship skills, on her pony while her father adjusts her stirrups. It serves as a reminder of those who came before us that had the same vision of what a special place our county is.

Larimer County Commissioner Tom Donnelly is one of three commissioners. He resides in District 3 and represents all of Larimer County


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