Convenient or not: Glade Park is still paradise to many

Glade Park: Residents still hopeful for post office

Although Glade Park has changed over the years, it’s not a community where anything happens overnight. That can be both a blessing and a curse.

Right now, the community is fighting to keep its post office, which has been housed in a temporary trailer for the last three years. When the trailer was first brought to the Glade Park Community Center parking lot, it was supposed to be there for six months. The county found a two-acre site for a post office kiosk and made improvements to ready the site for the kiosk. The postal service purchased post office boxes in anticipation of the new facility, but then put the brakes on the project. Not only are the plans for a new facility stopped, but the post office also wants to close the temporary trailer.

“Now it’s back to nothing, again,” says Lynn Grose, a Glade Park resident and president of the community center. “It would be really nice if the people who live on Glade Park could get their mail.”

For some Glade Park residents who work in town, stopping at a post office in town every day for mail pick-up doesn’t pose a problem; for others who work odd shifts or who don’t work in town, driving to Grand Junction to pick up their mail is more of a hardship. The community hasn’t give up hope, however, but has recently formed a committee to address the issue and has gotten Mesa County Commissioner Craig Meis on their side. “I don’t put it past the Glade Park community to come up with a solution,” says Grose, who adds that postmaster Daniel Reyes “has been very, very nice, but he tells me there’s no money. His hands are tied, too.”

Community members working together have already accomplished another impressive feat: bringing back their local school. The last school on Glade Park closed in the 1970s, and kids have been bused down to the valley ever since. This year, parents of kindergarten, first and second-grade kids have the option to send them to a public school on Glade Park.

Community members working together have already accomplished another impressive feat: bringing back their local school. The last school on Glade Park closed in the 1970s, and kids have been bused down to the valley ever since. This year, parents of kindergarten, first and second-grade kids have the option to send them to a public school on Glade Park.

“It’s neat just to be able to help out and be able to build something from the ground up, make something that feels like home for these kids,” says Karyn Bechtel, a parent volunteer who has a kindergarten student looking forward to going to school on Glade Park.

Tree Humbert, who has taught school at Orchard Avenue Elementary for the last eight years, and who is also a Glade Park resident, will be the teacher of the Glade Park School.

“That sense of community is what makes it different,” says Humbert. “Already we have so much community involvement and we haven’t even opened our doors.”

The school will follow the same standards as the rest of the district, but also hopes to incorporate the history, geography and natural science of the Glade Park area into lessons and curriculum.

The school will be housed in a modular building, built by Mor-Storage Sales on property owned by Glade Park resident Ed Cherry.

“I’m really glad to see this school happening,” says Cherry, whose own four grown children rode the bus all the way to town for their education. “I think it’s a great thing.” Next year, the plans are to add one more grade, and hopefully, one more teacher, if attendance numbers demand it. This year, the school will have an educational assistant to help in the multi-age setting. Humbert is expecting about 15 students in her class this year.

The Glade Park Volunteer Fire Department is hosting the summertime “Movies Under the Stars” program again this summer. Although attendance was down in June due to the unseasonable weather, it picked up in July. “A good night for us is anything over 700 people,” says Deb Trotter with the volunteer fire department. “We had more than 1,000 people for the first movie in July and 1,100 for the second.”

There will be movies every Friday throughout the month of August, and on August 14 and 21, the Pinon Mesa 4H club will hold its annual silent auction as well. As a rural community, Glade Park doesn’t offer espresso stands or a dry-cleaner, but the Happy Tails Petting Farm opened for business this summer, to the delight of young visitors. The farm is owned and operated by Bob Cunningham and is located on Elk Drive, off DS Road, about a mile south of the Glade Park Store. The farm features llamas, horses, dwarf goats, chickens, rabbits, a donkey and a miniature horse and is open to visitors Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to dusk.

Homes on Glade Park vary from straw bale construction to off-the-grid solar-powered homes, with plenty of conventionally constructed homes, as well. Most properties sit on 35 acres or more and offer plenty of privacy and quiet. The rural community may not appeal to those who like nearby conveniences, but for those who don’t mind the drive, it can be paradise on earth.

Busses start at 6:15 a.m.:

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
• Wingate Elementary, 351 South Camp Road

MIDDLE SCHOOL
• Redlands Middle School, 2200 Broadway Street

HIGH SCHOOL
• Fruita Monument High School, 1102 Wildcat Avenue


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