~ By Catherine Mahrholz ~ (Crackpot Story)
Plans also call for a practice putting green, and this will incorporate abandoned prairie dog holes. Enough open space will be preserved so that these little animals can still call the area home in other parts of the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.
It is hoped that during the excavation, new fossil specimens will be unearthed and many of the slabs would be used as decorative accents in the club house and restaurant that will also be a part of this project. The old school house is being considered as a structure suitable for conversion into a club house with an expansion to include a restaurant. The design of any new construction would remain consistent with the frontier ranching and Western heritage of the Florissant area. Funds generated by this attraction will help to preserve and maintain an ambitious project is being launched to attract more visitors to the Pikes Peak region. The goal is to promote the beauty or our area and to increase tourism dollars spent in Teller and Park Counties. The Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, in a cooperative effort with Teller County and the state of Colorado is planning to build a golf course.
The proposed Fossil Beds Golf Course will extend along the northeast side of Teller One and will be constructed in two phases. Phase One will extend from the border of a ranch located not far from the Florissant Post Office to Upper Twin Rocks Road. There will be nine holes and as of this writing, the first half of the course is scheduled to open in the summer of 2018. Upon completion of Phase One of the Fossil Beds Golf Course, excavation will begin on Phase Two, with the remaining nine holes to be located between Upper Twin Rocks Road and Lower Twin Rocks Road.
A bridge with an appropriate Western flair in its design will be constructed over Upper Twin Rocks road to connect Phase One and Phase Two of the Fossil Beds Golf Course. Phase Two is scheduled to open in the summer of 2019. Golf carts will not be allowed due to Federal EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulations which would be applicable since the golf course is to be located on Federal land. Golf aficionados will have to play golf “mountain style” and walk from hole to hole.
Accommodations will be made, however, for those who are disabled; that is those who have a handicap other than the one that applies to their golf score! With water availability always an issue, especially with the recent scandal in Colorado Springs regarding the use of city water for the golf course located at the Broadmoor, every effort will be made to utilize water from several springs located in the Florissant Fossil Beds. And of course Mother Nature usually cooperates to one degree or another during the summer months here in the Rocky Mountains.
In addition, a different type of grass will be used that is more drought tolerant than the type customarily used for golf courses. It is called Dichondra and instead of blades it has small leaves that are flat and do not require frequent watering or mowing, yet provide a stable “golf ball friendly” surface in the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument for future generations. It is also predicted to benefit the local economy with visitors patronizing other shops and restaurants in the area.