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Coal enabled a way of life in Craig that many cherish.

That small town community is still a draw. But for those growing up here now, knowing big changes are ahead, will that feeling be enough for them to stay?

Educational opportunities will be crucial.

We wanted to look beyond coal and energy to examine some of the other opportunities that Craig will need to build out to retain and attract students and families. At Colorado Northwestern Community College, for example, that might be an aviation program or a cybersecurity degree. Or maybe it's the opportunity to dig up fossils with the nearby field museum, home of Walter the dinosaur.

You can already feel new creative energy coming into town.

We see it in the growing public art sector (at left, the painting 'Western Tilt,' by Israel Holloway), and the young business owners starting to make investments here. The next generation will find very different opportunities than their parents did. Maybe that's what it will take to move beyond what's defined the town for so long.

Marie Bolton, Student, Colorado Mesa University
Ariane Caldwell, Secretary of the Northwest Colorado Arts Council
Lisa Jones, President, Colorado Northwestern Community College
Melanie Kilpatrick, Executive Director, Northwest Colorado Art Council
Sue Mock, Paleontology Coordinator, Colorado Northwest Field Museum
Brittany Young, Assistant Director, Craig Chamber of Commerce & Moffat County Visitor Center

Bonus Clip

Sue Mock, paleontology coordinator at the Colorado Northwestern Field Museum, talks about the effort needed to safely remove dinosaur fossils from the ground.

Further Reading

"Demographic and economic trends in urban, suburban and rural communities," Pew Research Center, May 22, 2018

"Tourism to Dinosaur National Monument in 2017 creates over $20 million in Economic Benefits," National Park Service, April 30, 2018.

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