Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Thanks to efforts by Commissioner Sallie Clark, the Manitou Environmental Citizens' Action (MECA), El Paso County Parks, citizens and volunteers gathered on Saturday, April 21st to bring Rainbow Falls back to its original splendor, encouraing more families and citizens to enjoy this historic and beautiful area. Coincidentally, the clean up took place on Earth Day.

Clean up activities included painting over destructive graffiti on the bridge and picking up trash along the trails, roadway and in the water fed by Fountain Creek. Over the last seven years, El Paso County, MECA and many other organizations have been making strides in improving the area, which until recently, had been under private ownership. Thanks to persistent efforts and the transfer of ownership to the County, picnic tables and trash cans have been installed, graffiti has been sandblasted from the rocks, the parking lot has been increased and trails have been built, including the restoration of the overlook trail with railings. One of the projects included that of Boy Scout Martin Rendleman, for his successful Eagle Scout project to build a trail access and picnic area near the entrance to the park area.

Rainbow Falls, located just west of Manitou Springs off of Serpentine drive is on the old Ute Pass Stagecoach route and is a historically significant recreation destination. After years of neglect and abuse by vandals, the property was deeded to El Paso County for a $10 transfer fee. Families are now using the area in the park and picnic area and law enforcement has come together to assist in changing the culture of destructive graffiti on the natural outcroppings and the waterway.

L'Aura Montgomery Williams, the founder of MECA, said, "Through increased family recreation and utilitization as well as citizen and sheriff/police patrols, Rainbow Falls is no longer a haven for graffiti vandals. We are sending a message that the Falls is now a park to be enjoyed, not  a place to be destroyed."

Financial contributions can be made through the MECA website: