Now Playing on Channel 8

DMP superintendent Dick Gannon interviewed by Wendy Brockman of Connected Colorado. SLW photo, 5/16/2014.

DMP superintendent Dick Gannon interviewed by Wendy Brockman of Connected Colorado. SLW photo, 5/16/2014.

After the May snowstorm, Mountain Parks superintendent Dick Gannon was interviewed at Genesee Park about the bison herd. This feature is available at Connected Colorado.

This report by the Connected Colorado News Magazine will be playing on Colorado Channel 8 stations Thursdays at 8 pm in June. It features Genesee Park (at minute 6:00) and the Genesee Ropes Course (Intro and at minute 13:00).

This week, the Genesee Bison Herd and its 20 calves also appeared on Channel 9. Enjoy their video at the link. More photos of buffalo babies at our earlier post.

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Flag Day Saturday June 14

speeches1938The Peace Pipe Chapter of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, will host its 103rd Flagraising tomorrow at the top of Genesee Mountain. Speeches and ceremony begin at 11 a.m. and will be followed by a “bring-your-own” picnic lunch at the Genesee Shelter. The event is supported by the Sons of the American Revolution and the Fourth Texas Artillery, who will provide a rifle salute and cannon firing, as well as by Denver Mountain Parks staff. This historic event has occurred on June 14th every year since 1911, and has been a joint event since Mountain Parks began.

To get to Genesee Mountain, take I-70 (Exit 254) and continue to the top of the mountain. Bring a lunch and join us for a picnic following the event.

See details on this flyer. FlagDayFlyer2014

salute1957What’s it all about? Check out our 100th-anniversary event in 2011!!

Seasonal surprises

Our staff has been surprised by the arrival of not one, but two, brand new baby buffalo! “Christmas” was born into the herd at Daniels Park herd on December 5th, and “Starry Night” arrived at Genesee Park a few days later. If is highly unusual, but not completely unheard of, for baby bison to arrive this late in the year. If they make it through til spring, which seems likely, they’ll demonstrate the incredible adaptations of their amazing species.

Our Christmas calf at Daniels Park, December 5, 2013. Photo by Matt Brown.

Our Christmas calf at Daniels Park, December 5, 2013. Photo by Matt Brown.

Born at the height of December’s cold snap, our first Christmas calf had an immediate challenge from the weather. She (or he, no word yet) seems to be sticking close to mom and doing well so far.

This new calf joined the Genesee herd about December 9th. Photo by Marty Homola.

This new calf joined the Genesee herd about December 9th. Photo by Marty Homola.

The second calf, Starry Night (below), waited for below zero temps to warm a bit before putting in his/her appearance at Genesee Park. This second surprise of the season is doing very well at last report. We’re tickled by this unusual happening, and wishing the very best to these newest members of our herds.

Mayor Hancock looking over 2012 calves at the auction March 15, 2013.

Mayor Hancock looking over 2012 calves at the auction March 15, 2013.


It’s been a record bison year all around, with Mayor Hancock making his first visit to our bison auction in March, and our first calf of the season showing up a tad early, on April 10th. We’ve also been working on new management plans for both herds this fall.

Calves are normally born about late April through mid-June after a gestation period of about 9.5 months. As breeding generally happens during July and August, most calves are born in the spring. We can see now that sometimes the cycles get a bit out of sync! We’ll try to keep you posted on how these new arrivals are faring. Here’s a recent look at Starry Night, now about 10-12 days old, courtesy of Genesee caretaker Marty Homola.

New Genesee calf, about December 21, 2013. Photo by Marty Homola.

New Genesee calf, about December 21, 2013. Photo by Marty Homola.

Happy Holidays to all!

Park Status after Floods

UPDATE: O’Fallon Park is now open, as are our other Bear Creek Parks. Thanks for your patience. Enjoy your visit!

Last week’s flooding has left O’Fallon Park closed for the season. The other parks in Bear Creek canyon, Little Park and Corwina Park, have now reopened.

Due to contamination, the Evergreen Lakehouse and trails are closed until further notice. Evergreen Lake updates from Evergreen Park and Rec District are posted at their website. The rest of Dedisse Park, including the north shelter area, is open as usual.

Note that several trails in nearby Jeffco Open Space are also closed.

Despite last night’s rain, water levels in Bear Creek are well below the flood levels of last Friday and Saturday, though still high compared to normal flows. Peak flow last week was above 1000 cubic ft/sec (cfs), and several houses in Morrison were temporarily evacuated, as was Mountain Parks headquarters. Average normal flow is less than 150 cfs.

Be advised that, according to the Morrison Police Dept, kayaking is NOT allowed in lower Bear Creek Canyon.

Corwina Park update

imageGood news! The current version of the Corwina suspension footbridge is surviving. Flood waters have receded some at the moment and are still well below the bridge.

Photos are from Saturday and courtesy of ranger Max Bader. Thanks, Max!

image (3)There’s a lot of debris in the creekbed, and things have been rearranged a bit (note the large boulders). Photo taken near the east footbridge.

View of the east bridge at Corwina, on the Bear Creek Trial, looking downstream.

View of the east bridge at Corwina Park, on the Bear Creek Trial, looking downstream.

Compare this photo with the one in the previous post to see how much flood waters have, at least temporarily, receded. More rain is forecast, so we’ll be keeping an eye out on park structures. [Update: As of Sunday evening, 9/15, water is again overtopping this bridge. Pic at Jeffco sheriff blog.]

image (4)Even the new roadside trail, from the south parking area to the east bridge, is surviving in good shape. Highway 74 also appears to be doing fine at this location.

Bridges at Corwina Park

Mid-day yesterday, the bridge at Lower Corwina Park was underwater. This bridge marks the old Bear Creek Road, before it was raised out of the floodway, and is now (or was?) a footbridge that connects the Bear Creek Trail from Corwina Park eastward into Jeffco’s Lair o’the Bear Park.

Bridge at east side of Corwina Park.

Bridge at east side of Corwina Park.

The bridge acts as a dam; note the debris collecting behind it. The weight of accumulations like this help the water take out bridges during floods; the bridge and the debris then become a further hazard to structures as they move downstream. [Update: The bridge was semi-clear on Saturday, but as of Sunday evening, 9/15, water is again overtopping this bridge. Pic at Jeffco sheriff blog.]

Corwina Park footbridge, circa 1916. Courtesy Denver Public Library Z-7649.

Corwina Park footbridge, circa 1916. Courtesy Denver Public Library Z-7649.

We’re awaiting word on whether the footbridge above has survived, although it (or its predecessor) has been through floods before. This bridge connects the Lower Corwina parking lot with the historic shelter on the south bank of the creek.

Skies are blue this morning, though clouds remain. We’ll be keeping you posted if there are any updates.