Pinello Ranch Offers Good Birding
The Pinello Ranch covers over 200 acres, It is located just north of Venetucci Farm, at 4940 S. US Hwy 85/87 in Widefield. The ranch has long kept local birders’ mouths watering for an opportunity to explore this secret world. With over half a dozen ponds, and with riparian habitat bordering Fountain Creek, this is truly a wildlife oasis.
The ranch is being slowly brought back to life by the Pikes Peak Community Foundation (PPCF), who own and operate Venetucci Farm. Hay meadows are being restored, a historic apple orchard is being replanted and a dozen or so cows are grazing. The ranch also provides the same type of outstanding wildlife habitat as Fountain Creek Regional Park a few miles downstream, which has documented 290 bird species and obtained Important Birding Area (IBA) status from Audubon of Colorado.
The long term goal is to make Pinello Ranch self-sustaining. To do so will mean that both agricultural and wildlife aspects are managed together. The first step in this process will be surveying the bird population, adding a listing to the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s (CDOW) Colorado Birding Trail and applying for IBA status.
Due to a current wetlands mitigation project, trips are currently on hiatus. Hopefully, programs will resume once the project is completed.