Community spirit shines in Glade Park
Life moves at a slower pace on Glade Park, except when budget cuts across the school district threatened the Glade Park Community School. Parents then sprang into action — not to launch a protest, but to look for a solution.
The school is going through the process to become a charter school, so funding will come from the state rather than the district.
“This has been a blessing in disguise,” said Karyn Bechtel, one of the parents working with the district on the change.
In order to gain charter-school status, Glade Park Community School has to demonstrate how it’s different from other District 51 schools. According to Bechtel, that was a simple hurdle to cross.
“We’re a place-based school,” Bechtel said. “Kids will learn from the natural environment, we’ll do a lot of field work and spend time outdoors.”
Place-based education (PBE) immerses students in local heritage, cultures, landscapes, opportunities and experiences, using these as a foundation for the study of language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and other subjects across the curriculum. PBE emphasizes learning through participation in service projects for the local school and/or community.
Students at the Glade Park school were already following a place-based cirriculum and because of that type of education, several families who don’t live on Glade Park were willing to drive their children through Colorado National Monument to school each day. Enrollment currently stands at 21 students, but that number could increase when the charter is approved.
“We are very positive that things will turn out well. The charter should be approved by the end of the month,” Bechtel said. “The district is doing everything they can to make this charter happen.”
Other Glade Park improvements haven’t moved quite so quickly.
The post office has been in a small temporary trailer in the parking lot of the Glade Park Community Center since 2008. Nearby land was donated as a permanent location for a larger post office trailer several years ago.
“I don’t know when it’s going to happen; I’ve heard it could be as soon as a week, but the area has been waiting for years,” said Dianne Dinnel, a Glade Park resident who serves on a community center committee for the post office.
The new post office should have enough post office boxes to accommodate all the residents who have been on a waiting list for the last several years. There will also be room for additional growth as the community grows.
A growing community means a continual need for volunteers to serve on the Glade Park Volunteer Fire Department. The department currently has 11 volunteers, but is always recruiting more. Volunteers must live on Glade Park, although most of the volunteers work in the Grand Valley, which creates a 30-minute response delay.
The fire department is hosting its popular Movies Under the Stars program on Friday nights again this summer. The movies and live entertainment are family-friendly and free. It is a fundraiser, however, with proceeds from food sales benefitting the fire department, so no outside food or drinks are allowed. The featured movie for June 24 will be “How to Train your Dragon,” and there is no movie scheduled over the Fourth of July weekend.
Glade Park is a unique area; it’s rural, with a community that’s spread out for miles, but comes together to work on community improvements like the fire department or the post office.
The area is home to several working ranches and 35-acre zoning is the rule rather than the exception. Conservation and preservation aren’t new concepts to the people who live in the area and value the wildlife habitat and unique geography of the park.
Hunting remains one of the popular draws and hunting properties gather interest from a worldwide market.
“Glade Park is the single-most prolific trophy hunting unit in the state of Colorado,” said Mike Krieg with United Country Real Estate. “It can take four-to-nine years to draw a Glade Park tag.”
Krieg has several properties listed for sale on Glade Park, including two hunting lodges that will be featured on the American Outdoorsman Hunting Show in July.
The film crew followed a five-day hunt that culminated in a trophy elk, with a little fly-fishing on the side. Technically, it will be the hunt, the fishing, the animals and the surrounding countryside that will be featured in the July show, but Krieg’s $20 million Glade Park ranch listing was used to stage the hunt and his $810,000 hunting lodge listingwith eight private suites was used for the fishing portion of the show.
“There’s an incredible market for properties like that,” said Krieg, who markets the Glade Park hunting properties to an international group of buyers. According to Krieg, buyers who are attracted to Glade Park aren’t interested in development or urban amenities. They value the quiet, remote way of life and have no desire to bring paparazzi or change to the area.
Krieg has several other Glade Park properties for sale that may be more of an option to buyers outside our local market, with price tags at $2.2 million and $20 million. The $20 million property includes a log home, 2,300 acres and mineral rights. There is no conservation easement on the property, and that easement has been estimated to have an $11 million dollar tax credit value.
“It could be good for someone who needs the tax credit,” said Krieg. “I’ve had some fairly well-heeled people come and tour the property.”
Although Glade Park doesn’t have any small homes on tiny lots, there are many homes that are much more affordable than the million-dollar hunting lodges. For those who treasure privacy, space and room between neighbors’ homes, it’s hard to beat Glade Park.