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Homes and lives protected by Flying W Ranch

Flying W Ranch protecting areas around the ranch

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - People call the Flying W Ranch one of the crown jewels of Colorado Springs.

The chuckwagon suppers, band performances and the church are all parts of Flying W that Andrew Foote will always remember.

"I remember having an authentic chuckwagon experience," he said.

Foote, like many, had good memories at the ranch, but that was all taken away two years ago during the Waldo Canyon fire.

"It's hard to put into too many words but the Flying W Ranch was a home to me along with a lot of residents of the community who did a lot of growing up here," Ranch Executive Director Aaron Winter said.

Thousands of acres burned on the property.

The only building standing after the fire is Marian's Cooking Library.

Two years later, workers are focused on protecting the areas around Flying W from flooding.

"The thought right now is to protect our community, essentially we lost 1,200 acres from waldo canyon and we have 1,200 acres to mitigate to prevent flood and erosion and protect the neighboring community of Mountain Shadows and other infrastructure," Winter said.

Flood projects were put in near Alpine Autism Center, in the middle of the ranch, and near Douglas Creek

Each of the flood projects are meant to catch debris and slow down flood water.

More than $1 million has been invested into flood projects at Flying W Ranch, between money from the ranch, the Flying W Ranch Foundation and grant money.

Volunteers put in more than 7,000 hours to fix the ranch.

People who work at Flying W Ranch hope to reopen in three years.

To check out the most recent photos of Flying W Ranch click here.

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