Estes Park Women's Monument - CODAworx

Estes Park Women’s Monument

Submitted by Jane DeDecker

Client: Estes Park Women’s Monument Committee - Estes Park Women's Club

Location: Estes Park, CO, United States

Completion date: 2021

Project Team


Jane DeDecker

Chairperson of the Estes Park Women’s Monument Committee

Ron Wilcocks

Estes Park Woman's Club Member

Judy Schaffer

Donated Land and Site Work

Town of Estes Park


An interactive and educational monument commemorates 12 women who have made, or are making, an impact on the Rocky Mountain community are commemorated in a collection of sculptures in a park-like setting. By sculpting pioneering women, I wish to perpetuate their legacy and bring their stories to the public attention. The centerpiece of the project is a life-size bronze of Eleanor Hondius, a local business leader and women’s rights activist who helped shaped Estes Park into the cultural hub it is today. The remaining figures are sculpted as smaller vignettes, approx. 3/4 life-sized, and based with unique pillars that include a brief description about each woman’s background and impact.

The women featured in the monument are diverse and from multiple time frames in our history and all have contributed to make Estes Park the great and interesting place that it is today.


I designed the Estes Park Women’s Plaza to have two entrances that are joined by a natural stone path reminiscent of the many trails that the Estes Park Women’s Club helped to raise funds for and build.

One of the entrances is located on the backside of the stone steps where the twice life-size sculptures of Eleanor Hondius and Edna Mills will be permanently attached. This entrance was added onto the plaza connecting the established pedestrian/bike path to the north-east side of the plaza. Visitors entering from this vantage point walk onto a natural stone path/trail from the pedestrian/bike path through the plaza and greeted by different vignettes and informational plaques of the selected women of Estes Park.

A low natural stone bluff/planter has been created around the outside of the plaza to set the art statement apart. Encircling this visiting area is reminiscent of the open arms of hospitality that these women of Estes Park provided to the visitors of this area. The plaza offers a gathering place for visitors to pause for a moment to enjoy the beauty of Estes Park. The height of the planters allows visitors a place to sit and rest, absorbing the beauty of the area. Native plantings help create a natural backdrop to the plaza.


After being selected by the monument committee to design and build the sculptures and the surroundings, I worked closely with the committee and the members of the Estes Park Women's Club to implement the proposed design and work through details such as who is to be commemorated and what historic knowledge can be share by the members, community, family members. Portraits start with research and with each person honored here, I delved deep to learn who they were through writings and photographs. This research is reflected in the sculpture, it shows through their face, their pose, their dress.

This particular project involved the greater community of the Town of Estes Park, the Town donated the land and assisted with the site preparation, the community raised the funds. As a team, we completed a great space for generations to learn how Estes Park became the place we now experience.

“This was a widespread, grassroots effort, hundreds of people helped make it happen. The community came through in a big way.” -Ron Wilcocks, Chairman of the Estes Park Women’s Monument Committee.

Additional Information

The Estes Park Women's Club was founded in 1912, with the goal of bringing together the women of Estes Park to enhance the town, and the lives of those who live there. The first project completed by the club was the enhancement and construction of numerous trails in the region. By making the trails safer and easier to traverse, the Women's Club greatly enhanced the scenery and vistas available to Estes Park residents and tourists. The club also sought to build a library in town, both to function as their meeting place but also to give access to literature to those living in town. This library would transfer locations numerous times in its history before the Town of Estes Park granted a plot to build a new library in Bond Park in 1922 where it still stands today. The Estes Park Women's Club is still integral to the library and town of Estes Park today. Their work to highlight the history of influential women in the Estes Valley opened the door to further scholarship on the women of the Estes Valley. The Estes Park Women's Club was accepted into the Colorado Federation of Women's Clubs in 1914 and continues to serve the community since then.