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Benson Park in Loveland, Colorado began as a homestead and became a home for sculpture and natural beauty. This transformation took place over a period of more than a century. The Benson family homesteaded in Loveland in 1877. Robert Benson purchased the Jane Benson homestead in 1907 from his grandfather Aaron Shaw Benson and farmed the land for thirty-eight years. He was influential in the Colorado Big Thompson project that developed water resources for Northern Colorado. Robert and his son Ralph remained active in water conservation throughout their careers. Ralph Benson and his wife Verna Mae farmed the land with Robert from 1922 - 1933. After the Great Depression, Ralph took over the family farm when his parents moved into town. In 1961, Robert and Ralph Benson donated a portion of the Benson Family Farm to the city of Loveland for use as a wetlands area and refuge for birds. This land had become the Benson Park Sculpture Garden and adjacent ecosystem. The sculpture garden was the dream of a group of Loveland citizens who saw an opportunity to make even more of the Benson's gift. In 1985, the garden became a reality and today beautiful pieces of sculpture grace the old homestead site. The Loveland High Plains Arts Council was formed to oversee the artistic development of the park. Robert Benson, his son Ralph and other subsequent generations of the Benson family can see in the park the beauty that was a homestead now manifested in the beauty of the sculpture garden. The sculpture in this gallery was made by various artists. In each case, I attempted to alter the background while leaving the original sculpture untouched. All images are copyright Jon Burch Photography
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