Fort Collins, Colorado: Folk Art: Swetsville Zoo
The animals in the "Swetsville Zoo" were built by Bill Swets from car parts, farm machinery, and scrap metal. Roadsideamerica.com Report...
Swetsville Zoo: A yard full of fanciful metal creatures built by Bill Swets, known in Timnath, Colorado, as Swetsville Zoo, will close within the next five years. [03/24/2009] Complete Story...
Visitor Tips and News About Folk Art: Swetsville Zoo
The zoo is still open! We went on a Friday afternoon and were amazed at Mr. Swets' creativity and humor. We didn't see any dioramas but we did check out all the sculptures with the aid of a laminated guide giving the name of each (and more humor). The trail on the east side of the complex is clean and well kept. The yard on the west side has some kinetic works ala Starr Kempf.
My daughter got to speak to Mr. Swets; he is hard of hearing but speaks softly. We found him to be a kind and gentle man and you could see his face light up at the interaction as my daughter complimented him. I would strongly suggest this if you're traveling on I-25 through Fort Collins, as it is just off of the highway. Bring lunch: there are plenty of picnic tables.[Rod Pombo, 04/15/2013]
The Swetsville Zoo has the best folk/junk art I have ever seen. The guy has the craziest and most twisted ideas. From cookies with guns, to dinosaurs pulling mine carts, to slinky from toy story, and much more, this place has something for everyone.[Chris Gemlo, 06/12/2011]
According to local news reports, the Swetsville Zoo is staying where it is for now. Several years ago the neighboring town of Timnath leased 75 of Bill Swets' scrap metal dinosaurs, and planned to scatter them around its downtown as part of a redevelopment project. The whole multi-million-dollar effort was funded with an expected infusion of taxes from a new Walmart Supercenter -- but the work stalled and the money dried up. Since the lease runs out in May 2012, Bill's dinosaurs probably aren't going anywhere any time soon.[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 03/02/2011]