A pair of recent announcements bodes well for lovers of the outdoors.
First, El Paso County Parks says Rainbow Falls Historic Site will open to the public this summer and fall, starting on June 3. It will be open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the end of August. In September and October, the site will be open on Saturdays and Sundays only from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Located just west of Manitou Springs, Rainbow Falls includes a segment of the old Ute Pass wagon trail that provided access to the mining camps in Cripple Creek and Victor as well as access farther west into the Colorado mountains. By labeling the falls a historic site, the county said in a release it hopes to change a culture of vandalism to one of respect. Trails, bank stabilization and parking are to be added after the site closes this fall, using $450,000 in grants and local funding. For more, go to facebook.com/RainbowFallsManitou.
The other announcement: Bear Creek Nature Center will update its educational displays using a $100,000 donation from Friends of El Paso County Nature Centers. The originals were installed in 2002. The center, which draws 140,000 visitors each year, already had $150,000 allocated for exhibit updates through a 2014 ballot measure for county parks, bringing the total budget for the update to $250,000.