State Park Aims to Tell Full Story of Colorado River

New signs and a new name are coming to Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park. | Jeb Lund (via Flickr)

A state park in Yuma that previously was focused on the Colorado River's history is rebranding itself and adding a new focus: the river's future.

The park, formerly known as Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, has been renamed Colorado River State Historic Park, the city of Yuma announced early this month. But there's more to the name change than just new signs, the city says.

The park's existing exhibits detail the site's history as a shipping site along the Colorado River in the mid- to late 1800s. What wasn't being told, according to the city, was what came next: an array of dams, canals and other structures built to serve the Yuma Valley and feed the area's multibillion-dollar agriculture industry, which is thriving today.

Charles Flynn, the director of Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area (which manages Yuma's two state parks on behalf of the city), says the rebranded park will address "the uncertain future of the Colorado River and how we can all play a part in addressing this challenge." That includes looking at Yuma's importance as an agriculture hub, environmental challenges, overallocation of river water and increasing demand, Flynn says.

The park also is installing a new exhibit on John Wesley Powell, and park officials have created a small theater that will show films daily. Ultimately, Flynn says, the park plans to build a new building called the Center for the Future of the Colorado River, in which "people can better understand and appreciate the challenges ahead."

For more information about the park, visit its website.

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