Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is collaborating on an exciting project with Colorado Mountain College. In the next few months, the park will install a series of interpretive geology and biology panels, highlighting the natural wonders of the area.
Steve Beckley, who owns Glenwood Caverns with his wife Jeannie, is very pleased to be teaming up with the college. “We love to work with CMC. They are very professional and build a great product!” he says.
Garry Zabel, professor emeritus at CMC, has been instrumental in the creation of the geology panels. Zabel spent 29 years at the Spring Valley Campus as a professor of geology and math. Though retired, he continues to lead very popular field trips to study the geology of the Grand Canyon.
With a chuckle, Zabel credits his granddaughter with the initial creation of the geology panels: Zabel borrowed her colored pencils to create his sketches that were later turned into artwork for the panels. The sketches reveal the underlying geology of the entire Glenwood Springs valley as seen from the south side of the park (they will be installed on the Visitor Center Observation Deck and the Viewing Deck near the Giant Canyon Swing). Each layer of rock is labeled and detailed, and call-out points present interesting facts about the geological history of the area.
Panels that feature the Grand Hogback, Glenwood Canyon and Mt. Sopris are also being developed. Additionally, a series of artist’s renderings and descriptions of the local flora and fauna will be placed along the Nature Trail, which leads up to the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster.
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is committed to to the educational component of the park. From a scientific standpoint, Iron Mountain and Glenwood Springs are very distinct and the Beckleys are anxious to share some of the fascinating information behind the area’s beauty.
“The geology of the surrounding area is stunning and unique,” points out Beth Zukowski, marketing specialist at CMC. “Geologists from all over the world visit Glenwood Canyon and the nearby edge of the Colorado Plateau to study its formations. Doing so helps them interpret the geologic history of other areas, notably the Grand Canyon. ”
Both Zukowski and Beckley agree that the main goal is for visitors to find added value in their time at the Caverns. “The new panels will heighten our guests’ awareness about all the wonderful natural features in the park,” says Beckley. Adds Zukowski, “We believe that the interpretive sign project will bring added educational value to the visitors of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. We hope that novices and experts alike will be able to discover something new from these signs!”
To learn more about Garry Zabel’s upcoming field trip course to Moab, go here. There are still spots available! For Glenwood Caverns’ winter and springtime hours, and other park information, visit park info.