Blog.06 Drafting a Thesis

My Thesis

What environmental lessons can the tail of two cities teach us about ourselves, our past and possible our future? Golden & Applewood Mesa could be considered a historic and modern day environmental study of two cities born in an era of the western industrial age without environmentalism and how the two revised themselves through the decades of environmentalism and conservationism change, like the changing seasons of the Rocky Mountains, transforming, then giving us pause during the winter to reflect on our past and to prepare for a future of growth and opportunity in the spring of another new season of perpetual change.

 
Objectives

  • Research the history of Golden & Applewood Mesa
  • Explore connections and contributions of the two cities influence on local and regional environment
  • Discuss the significance the environment played in the development and growth of the area
  • Compare resource and environmental issues and philosophies of the past and today with class readings
  • Show how recreation and resource development changed throughout the years and their influences on the environment, economy and community living
  • Investigate the importance of conservation and preservation to the economic growth of the area and its future as a world leader in sustainability

Possible Components to Integrate into thesis

• “You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.” – James A. Froude

• “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” – Henry David Thoreau

• People, like the transparent eyeball, come to Colorado to become one with nature and absorb its …….

Blog.05 From Mining Industry to Recreation and Everything in Between

After reading Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac, [1] [2] [3] I have another vantage view of my place project of Golden/Applewood from a different angle.
After the industrialized revolution calmed down for Golden and Applewood, some people stayed behind because of the natural beauty and the rustic feel of the area. Then after World War II in 1945, life appeared to be getting better and starting to become normalized; the consumer economy was starting to boom, people had money to spend on luxury items and had the financial means to do things they weren’t able to do before. This new era created “some major changes that began to take place in the American population.”[4] Many Americans became unsatisfied with their previous life and began searching for something better.

“Millions of people moved out of cities and small towns to buy newly-built homes in the suburbs,”[4] and Colorado was no exception. To them, the Rocky Mountains were the epitome of nature; wild, natural and breathtaking. People started to visit the Rocky Mountains in search of the sublimed experience. But as Leopold mentioned, so were many others and like AMWAY, word of Colorado’s skiing and Wild West like atmosphere was spreading. As most places in the west, as people migrated (drove) their way in search of nature, roads and infrastructures were built in order for them to access and experience nature.

Since Golden was close to the city of Denver and was also the gateway to the Rocky Mountains, people started moving here to get away from the stress and congestion of city life and closer to the serenity of nature’s outdoors. As the population grew and people explored the outdoors, they discovered that there were so many activities to be had; skiing, mountain climbing, fishing, hiking, hunting, horseback riding, and camping, all within a reasonable walk or drive from Golden. Others saw this trend and saw and opportunity decided to commoditize it. The highlands developed ski resorts, the national forestry started developing parks, camp sites and trails. Hotels started to populate the areas to offer billeting to visiting patrons, as did restaurants, recreation shops and other services type businesses.

Present day, people are still moving to Colorado’s Golden/Applewood area and the influx of new people along with a shortage of housing highlights the struggles between conserving/preserving nature and the need to develop housing and infrastructure to lessen the aforementioned deficit. A good example of this continuing struggle can be seen between the residents of Applewood and Molson/Coors. Molson/Coors want to sell the Applewood Golf Course so a developer can build 400 new housing complexes in order makeup some of the shortfalls in the demanding housing market. Molly Hendrickson of Denver’s News 7 wrote a brief story Apr 8, 2015 and provided a 1 ½ minute video[5] covering a meeting of the two parties (which I was a participant of) and the struggle of whether to conserve nature or develop it; “Neighbors say they’re concerned the development would create traffic problems, overcrowded schools and force the local wildlife out of the area” vs. “The developers want to build 400 houses in the area”.[5]

The transformation from a mining industry to one of consumer recreation shows how the relationship between humans and nature and our respond when nature becomes disfigured and we try to reconstruct it through myths from the days of yore, only to not realize that nature, is all around us and always has been.


References:

1 Aldo Leopold, “Conservation Esthetic,” A Sand County Almanac (New York: Balantine Books, 1966; c.1949), 280-295. (WEB LINK)

2 Aldo Leopold, “Good Oak,” A Sand County Almanac (New York: Balantine Books, 1966; c.1949), 06-19/136-141. excerpts by Michael Smith, 2-11. Ney York: Ithaca College. (WEB LINK)

3 Aldo Leopold, “Land Ethic,” A Sand County Almanac (New York: Balantine Books, 1966; c.1949), 237-264. (WEB LINK)

Works Cited:

4 VOA News. The Making of a Nation “American History: Life in the US After World War Two” http://learningenglish.voanews.com/content/a-23-2006-12-28-voa1-83129597/126059.html. VOAnews. web. accessed 11/11/15. Published 12/28/06

5 Molly Hendrickson, KMGH. “Neighbors oppose development plans for Applewood Golf Course”. http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/front-range/golden/neighbors-oppose-development-plans-for-applewood-golf-course. 7news. web. accessed 11/11/15. Published 04/08/1