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Lakewood, CO (Population: 140,671)

Lakewood is the fourth largest city in Colorado with an estimated population of 140,671 (2005). Incorporated in 1969 with a population of over 90,000, the city has the distinction of being one of the largest cities in Colorado at the time of its incorporation. Lakewood is home to the prestigious Lakewood High School, recognized by Newsweek as the number one school in the state and the only International Baccalaureate School in Jefferson County.

The city has a strong history of community support for their heritage and culture. The Lakewood Heritage, Culture & Arts Association runs the Lakewood Cultural Center, Lakewood Heritage Center, and Washington Heights Arts Center which presents outstanding educational outreach programs. Local events are popular with Lakewood, Aurora, and Denver residents. These include an Art Fest, Sound Exciting!, a summer concert series and, in the fall, Cider Days.

Outdoor locations for sports activities are also abundant. Bear Creek Lake Park offers all the usual along with environmental education programming for all ages. The park is also home to a wide variety of birds, coyotes, prairie dogs, deer, snakes, and birds of prey. William Frederick Hayden Park spreads out in over 2,400 acres of multi-use trails that accommodate hiking, mountain biking, paragliding, and horseback riding. With an accessible summit of 6,800 feet above sea level, the hardy climber can see wonderful views of Denver and the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.