14. Visit the Swetsville Zoo

If you’ve had a bad day, I have the cure: Take a stroll through the Swetsville Zoo. It’s pretty difficult to walk out of this place without a smile on your face. 25 years ago Bill Swets started sculpting during sleepless nights due to his stressful job as a volunteer firefighter.  Over the years the collection grew and has become a much loved attraction. Currently located at the south east corner of Harmony and I-25 along the Poudre River, the zoo is open during daylight to visitors for no charge but donations are welcome and it’s hard not to drop a few bucks in the slot after walking the grounds and meeting its enchanting inhabitants.

Over 30,000 people a year come to visit these creatures which Bill has welded into existence using a vast array of scrap metal. The majority were created from 1985-1995, since then he has slowed down making new pieces but the zoo’s visitors keep coming. When you go you’ll notice that Timnath is expanding all around the Swetsville Zoo. Some of the sculptures were recently removed when Harmony road was widened and a brand new Wal-Mart just went in across the road. Plans are already being made in preparation for the day that the Swets’ 35 acre property succumbs to development. A new park along the Poudre between the river and Wal-mart will house many of the zoo’s current residents along with work from other artists. These wonderful creatures have survived flood and fire and should be able to adapt to their new home.  Though I highly recommend going over to see them in their original environment while you still can!

Thanks to Eric Palmer and others for suggesting the Swetsville Zoo.

2 Comments to “14. Visit the Swetsville Zoo”

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