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City announces archaeological dig in Garden of Gods; public tours Nov. 17-20

A view from the Foothills Trail near 30th Street looks across the Camp Creek channel at the north end of the Garden of the Gods, in the general area of an archaeological find and the planned site of a 17-acre stormwater detention pond.
Westside Pioneer photo
Nov. 14, 2018; updated Nov. 15
       Free, guided public tours of a recently announced archaeological dig site in the Garden of the Gods are being offered Saturday, Nov. 17 through Tuesday, Nov. 20.
       The tours will be offered at 11 a.m., lasting to 12:30 p.m.; and 3 p.m., lasting to 4:30 (weather dependent), a city press release states. The starting point will be the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center, 1805 N. 30th St. The center phone number to call is 219-0108.
       The dig is at the north end of the Garden of the Gods, by Camp Creek. The on-site excavation work started in early October and will be finished before Thanksgiving, according to Matt Mayberry, the city's cultural services director.
       According to a previous Westside Pioneer interview with Mike Chaves of Colorado Springs Engineering, the dig site resulted accidentally, while a city contractor was finishing creek stabilization work over two years ago.
       In response, the city contracted with Alpine Archaeological Consultants to analyze what was found.
       Until now, city officials have declined to disclose details about Alpine's work. That changed this week, with the announcement of an on-site press conference two days prior to the public tours, which will include a "preliminary summary of recovered artifacts and their significance to the City of Colorado Springs," the press release states. (See the Westside Pioneer's coverage of the Nov. 15 press conference at this link).
       A side effect of the archeological dig, according to the Pioneer's past interview with Chaves, was the city delaying - though not canceling - construction of a $7.8 million, 17-acre stormwater detention pond for Camp Creek in that part of the Garden of the Gods. At one point, the city had that work scheduled in 2016. UPDATE, Nov. 15: A city press release states that with the archaeological dig ending this month, the pond work is now planned for "early 2019."

Westside Pioneer article
(Outdoors: Garden of the Gods)

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