Conifers are cone-bearing plants, in the Gymnosperm division. They make up the vast majority of the gymnosperms ('naked seed' bearing plants) - the only other gymnosperms are cycads and gnetophytes. Conifers are charactarized mainly by their cones, which take many forms, from the familiar pine cones we see so often to little 'balls' and juniper 'berries' used to flavor gin (these are more similar to a pine cone than to any type of berry). In addition to cones, most conifers also have needle-like leaves, or plate-like leaves in some cases. Almost all are evergreen, but there are several deciduous species, such as Dawn Redwood or larch.

Conifers are common in harshly cold habitats such as high mountains or boreal forests. They are all wind pollinated and lack fruit for animals to disperse (although jays or squirrels may bury the 'nuts' and forget about them). Conifers are valued for their beauty and grace, but also for their high-quality timber. The tallest, most massive, and oldest trees in the world are all conifers.

Conifer is also a small mountain town in Colorado, about 25 minutes southwest of Denver via US 285. It is a fairly small community. It has several Elementary Schools, West Jefferson Elementary School, Marshdale Elementary, and Elk Creek Elementary. There is also one Middle School, West Jefferson Middle School. And, of course there is Conifer High School, which also contains the Conifer Public Library, part of the Jefferson County Public Library system. The town is a lot like most small towns, and even has a Boy Scout Troop.

There isn't too much to do, as there isn't much there. The major part of the town is a strip mall with a Safeway and three stories worth of other stores. The most popular "attractions" are driving by the Safeway, and visiting Coney Island, a Hot Dog stand. There are several nice restaurants, my personal favorite being Mauro's Italian Food. Some other restaurants are The Coal Mine Dragon, The Italian Touch, and Bugling Bulls. The only fast food is Subway, unless one wishes to drive to Evergreen.

The town is expanding, and will be getting a King Soopers soon. West Jefferson Elementary was recently rebuilt, and Highway 285 is being widened to four lanes. A new open space park has opened at the base of Shadow Mountain. Depsite this change, there is still some history. The old Conifer Junction School and the Yellow Barn specifically.

There are several events, including the Lobo Lope (Conifer High's mascot is a Lobo), which is a 5K run. There is an annual Christmas parade. And there are events on Halloween too.

It is a nice place to live if you don't mind snow very much, don't mind commuting 45 minutes+ to work, and like to be away from other people... sorta.

And, throughout its history, the town has produced but one celebrity: South Park creator Trey Parker. Parker even based some of the things in the fictional town of South Park on some of the things in his actual hometown of Confier. A good example is Mr. Mackey, based on an actual counselor at West Jefferson Middle School.

Co"ni*fer (?), n. [L. conifer; conus cone + ferre to bear: cf. F. conifere.] Bot.

A tree or shrub bearing cones; one of the order Coniferae, which includes the pine, cypress, and (according to some) the yew.


© Webster 1913.

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