Natural History

Boulder's Constructed Landscape:

150 Years of Irrigation Ditches

150 years of water development have constructed the Boulder Valley landscape.

  • Boulder's original short-grass prairie has been replaced with urban forest and irrigated farmland.
  • Irrigation ditches, and the reservoirs they fill have created new ecosystems and destroyed some old ones.
  • Many "natural" features of our landscape are here today because of irrigation ditches.

This exhibit explores Boulder's constructed landscape.

Right: 1890, Westminster, William Henry Jackson photo. Courtesy Denver Public Library Western History Collection, #WHJ 1596 Inset: 2009, Westminster at Sheridan and US 36