Visiting the Plains Conservation Center in Aurora offers a glimpse of pioneer life on the Colorado high plains. These 1,100 acres, at 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, have been preserved, with a mission of educating people about the natural wonder of the prairie and a place to study and practice sound conservation management.
The Plains Conservation Center is an outdoor education facility. Visitors are able to visit most any time and walk the trails. Prairie dogs, rabbits, hawks and pronghorn are pretty easy to spot. With the vast prairie meeting the wide open sky, it really is a bit like traveling back in time.
While you can walk the grounds anytime, you must sign up for a tour to actually go inside some of the historic buildings. Wells Crossing is a historic farm, which features two replicated homesteads, a schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop and a barn. The buildings are soddies, built with large bricks of sod and once commonplace on the prairies. It’s interesting to see how soddies are constructed and to imagine the challenges of actually living year around in one. They are furnished with a combination of actual antiques and replicas of pioneer life. Nearby, there is an heirloom garden, a chicken coop, a donkey and some sheep in residence.
Visit the Plains Conservation Center to experience what living in a soddie on the Colorado plains would have been like. Enjoy the Plains Conservation Center on the next free day, January 17th and learn more here.