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How an unassuming creek shaped Colorado Springs, and how the city shaped the creek.

Monument Creek's contemporary appearance belies the immense influence that the formerly-ephemeral stream has held since Colorado Springs' founding 1871. In many ways, the creek is a microcosm of larger resource management trends that have been materializing across the American Southwest over the past century. The following six vignettes have been skillfully crafted by Colorado College students Beau Burns and Nate Goodman to illuminate these trends and tell the story of Monument Creek's surprising role in shaping Colorado Springs. To most intimately understand Monument Creek's impact, it is best to read all vignettes, however each piece may also stand alone. 

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Palmer’s Early Promises:

A Vision for Colorado Springs

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Beautification and Bliss:

Living the Dream

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Floods and Frustration:

The End of an Era

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Building Rivers:

Military in Colorado Springs

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Caught in a Web of Regulation:

The End of Urban Imperialism

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The Stormwater Deficit

Worked cited:

Baudrillard, Jean. America. Paris: Bernard Grasset, 1986.

Brosnan, Kathleen. “Creating a Valuable Niche: Colorado Springs and the Tourist Trade.” In Uniting Mountain & Plain: Cities, Law, and Environmental Change along the Front Range, 91-117. Albuquerque: UNM Press, 2002.

Brosnan, Kathleen A. Uniting Mountain and Plain: Cities, Law, and Environmental Change along the Front Range. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2010. Print.

“Beautiful Lawns, Trees and Shrubs of City Made Possible by Special Irrigation System.” Colorado Springs Gazette, August 6, 1916.  

Chacon, Daniel. “Stormwater Enterprise to end in 2011.” The Gazette 23 November, 2009. Web. 16 Feb. 2018.

“City Water System Grew from Three Wells, Canal.” Colorado Springs Gazette, April 18, 1962.

“Cloudburst North of Town Sends Monument Creek on the War Path.” Colorado Springs Gazette, July 22, 1925.

Fredell, John and Cherrier, Bill. How Colorado Springs Funded Its Landmark Southern Delivery System. Water Finance & Management, 2016.

Karber, Jennifer M. “Little London Legacy: A Study of Historic Preservation in Colorado Springs.” Thesis submitted to the University of Colorado at Denver under the directed of Prof. Thomas J. Noel. 2004.

Limerick, Patricia N. and Hanson, Jason L. A Ditch in Time: The City, the West and Water. Golden: Fulcrum Publishing, 2012. Print.

Lochhead, James S. Transmoutain Diversions in Colorado. University of Colorado Boulder Natural Resources Law Center, 1987.

Mendoza, Monica. “Stormwater conflict could affect SDS water flow.” The Gazette 9 August, 2014. Web. 24 Jan. 2018.

“The Monument Flume.” Colorado Springs Gazette, August 28, 1886

Palmer, William J. “Founding of Colorado Springs.” Colorado Springs Gazette, August 10, 1896.

“Petition Urges Use of Old El Paso Canal to Save Trees,” Colorado Springs Gazette, May 15, 1953.

Poulton, Curt A. The emergence of appropriative water rights in Colorado Springs, Colorado. University of Minnesota, PhD dissertation 1989.

Reisner, Marc. Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water. New York: Viking Penguin, 1986. Print.

Van Diest, E.C. et al. “Report of the Parks Commission at Colorado Springs Colo.” Report assembled by the commissioners of the Parks Department of CO Springs, 1908.

Vogrin, Bill, “Side Streets: Overgrown property a sign of family's 60-year feud with Colorado Springs.” Colorado Springs Gazette, February 25, 2015.

Woods, Mark. The Holy Cross Wilderness Area and Homestake II: Case History, Conflict Analysis, and Intractability. University of Colorado, Boulder, 1994.

Zubeck, Pam. “Springs, Pueblo agree to 20-year,$460 million pact.” Colorado Springs Independent 13 April, 2016. Web. 24 Feb. 2018.

Zubeck, Pam. “Springs faces uphill slog in the EPA lawsuit alleging stormwater system neglect.” Colorado Springs Independent 23 August, 2017. Web. 22 Feb. 2018.

Zubeck, Pam. “Suthers kicks off Colorado Springs stormwater ballot measure campaign.” Colorado Springs Independent 31 August, 2017. Web. 22 Feb. 2018.