Sand Creek Massacre Site Master Plan Gets Public Hearing

Photo: Sand Creek Massacre Painting
An painting of the Sand Creek Massacre by Robert Lindneaux.

The National Park Service is asking the public to weigh in on the future of the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site in eastern Colorado.

The site commemorates the mass slaying of more than 100 Cheyenne and Arapahoe people on Nov. 29, 1864, when volunteer troops marching from Fort Lyon attacked an unsuspecting and peaceful settlement about 150 miles east of Pueblo.

Photo: San Creek Massacre Hearing Postcard (NPS)
Where to find public meetings about the Sand Creek Massacre site master plan.

The preferred plan being advanced by the Park Service includes a new trail, more interpretive signs, and new visitor facilities, but still leaves more than 90 percent of the area undisturbed -- and inaccessible to the public.

That latter point is key to honoring the wishes of tribal members, says Tom Thomas, the Park Service’s leader on the master plan: "Keeping the landscape to the greatest degree possible in its appearance … with a very light footprint in terms of development and facilities."

Park superintendent Alexa Roberts says that, "Even as the visitor approaches the site, even before they set on foot on the trail, the intention is to tell that whole story from the beginning of the day throughout that day."

Park staff will present the 10-years-on-the-making plan Thursday at a 7 p.m. public meeting at the Center for Advanced Visualization and Experiential Analysis, Metropolitan State University in Denver. A previous presentation was made in Eads, and more are planned for Montana and Wyoming. The public review period ends on July 29.

7 p.m. Thursday, June 18

890 Auraria Parkway, Suite 420, Denver