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A Guided Walk - Forest Bathing

 

Experience the relaxing practice of forest bathing: shinrin-yoku. Bathe in the atmosphere of the forest through mindful engagement of the senses. Studies suggest that a regular practice of forest bathing may be associated with a reduction in blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones. During this walk, the guide invites ways to engage the senses for closer connection with the surrounding nature. You will move slowly and mindfully through the forest as you are guided through a series of invitations to engage your senses for closer connection with the surrounding nature. The walk begins at 9 a.m. (this does not include travel time to get to the walk starting point) and lasts 2.5 hours. Detailed information about location will be emailed out about a week before the walk.

 

Price: $30, $25 member

Instructor: Leona Campbell

Leona is a professional photographer and owner of Wind in Pines LLC, which provides public and private forest bathing walks in the greater Denver area. Leona is a certified forest therapy guide, through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT).

 

Special Instructions: All walks begin at 9 am (this does not include travel time to get to the walk starting point), and will last 2.5 hours. Detailed information about location will be emailed out about a week before the walk. All locations will likely be near the foothills, within about a one hour drive or less from Denver.

 

Astronomy Nights at Plains Conservation Center

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora.

Come join the City of Aurora at the Plains Conservation Center for an exciting night of stars, planets, solar systems and s’mores. Each evening begins with a presentation by retired astronomy professor, Dr.Win Pendleton, including images of the stars and planets that make our solar system and universe unique. After Win discusses each night's topic we will venture outside for a campfire, s’mores and a chance to look at the planets and other objects through the telescope, weather permitting.

Each Astronomy night will have its own theme.

• March 8 at 6 p.m.: Splendors of the Spring Sky. Discover an array of fantastic objects and fun folklore hidden in the spring constellations.

• April 12 at 6 p.m.: The Life and Death of Stars. Explore the process of star birth and death through Hubble Telescope images and fun mythology and folklore.

• May 10 at 7 p.m.: The Summer Sky. Discover a variety of hidden astronomical objects in the summer sky.

The City of Aurora's Parks, Recreation & Open Space department's mission is to encourage active lifestyles and create healthy environments for people, nature and community.

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013

Cherokee Spring Nature Hike - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

Those lucky enough to have hiked Cherokee Ranch know that there are a wealth of habitats and a rich flora that distract your eyes downwards, even as the vistas of the rugged backbone of the Rockies and distant misty towers of downtown Denver tempt you to look further away. We have experienced toasty winter days that were breathless and surprisingly sunny, as well as blustery days in the summer. One thing is for sure, you will never be bored on a Cherokee hike!

In the early months spring is in the air at Cherokee Ranch and Castle. Tree buds are welling buds and early flowers unfurl among the tattered grasses. Winter departs reluctantly, but this exciting season is when you can smell and almost taste spring everywhere. Snowbanks can still be lurking and mud puddles and morning fog suggests you should bring your parka and good boots!Don't forget your binoculars because many birds that left Cherokee in the  fall are starting to return including Western and Mountain  Bluebirds and many will nest in the over 200 nesting boxes which are spread over the six trails that are monitored by volunteers.  It is a great time to be outdoors at Cherokee.

Cherokee Ranch has 230 nesting boxes for Bluebirds which are spread out over six trails that are monitored by volunteers. We might even see a Swainson's Hawk which wintered in Argentina. Nesting birds will be singing to attract a mate and establish a breeding territory. It is a great time to be outdoors.

 

Price: $25, $20 members

Special Instructions: Please wear comfortable shoes and bring your own supply of water for a 2 hour adventure. Plants don't really care how you dress for the field trips but BIRDS DO!! It is easier to see birds if you DO NOT wear white or other very bright colors i.e. yellow, orange or red. Also, bring your binoculars: they can be used for both birds and plants.

Directions and details for your hike will be emailed to your email address approximately one week before your hike.

Hike location:

Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135

Cherokee Summer Nature Hike - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

Those lucky enough to have hiked Cherokee Ranch know that there are a wealth of habitats and a rich flora that distract your eyes downwards, even as the vistas of the rugged backbone of the Rockies and distant misty towers of downtown Denver tempt you to look further away. One thing is for sure—you will never be bored on a Cherokee hike! This year we are starting much earlier—for better birding. But the plants will already be awake!

At the beginning of Summer the grasses have greened up, although there may still be snow on the higher peaks, when we walk through meadows full of the bounty of early summer this is the peak season for many of the loveliest wildflowers; including One-sided Penstemon (Penstemon virgatus), lupines and Monument plant. It is also peak season for the Broad-tailed Hummingbirds that have made their way back from Mexico and Central America to nest at Cherokee. We will learn how to identify the male Broad-tailed Hummingbird just by hearing it fly as it darts between scarlet gilia trumpets. Two species of bluebirds and swallows will be active at this time as well as the tiny (4 ½ in) Blue-gray Gnatcatcher that has returned from its winter grounds as far away as Central America to nest at Cherokee. Summer is prime time for viewing the plant and bird life at Cherokee, folks!

 

 

Price: $25, $20 members

Special Instructions: Please wear comfortable shoes and bring your own supply of water for a 2 hour adventure. Plants don't really care how you dress for the field trips but BIRDS DO!! It is easier to see birds if you DO NOT wear white or other very bright colors i.e. yellow, orange or red. Also, bring your binoculars: they can be used for both birds and plants.

Directions and details for your hike will be emailed to your email address approximately one week before your hike.

Hike location:

Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cherokee Winter Nature Tour - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

Those lucky enough to have hiked Cherokee Ranch know that there are a wealth of habitats and a rich flora that distract your eyes downwards, even as the vistas of the rugged backbone of the Rockies and distant misty towers of downtown Denver tempt you to look further away.

 

Whoever says winter is the “dormant” season? Wise naturalists know that nature does not sleep, you can now SEE those birds flitting in the bare branches. Buds are set on everything, and there is much more than just bark, branches and berries to liven a walk. You can see two species of Chickadees and Nuthatches that never stop in their search for food and there are a few last lingering hints of flowers. You will be surprised at how many evergreens there really are; not just pines and junipers and Oregon Grape, but many of our native shrubs and forbs keep living foliage and rosettes through the winter: they are still hard at work chlorophyll pumping! You might also be surprised to know that some Dark-eyed Juncos fly all the way from the Pacific Northwest and even Canada to winter at Cherokee. Other winter species include Flicker, Woodpeckers and a resident Red-tailed Hawk. What better time and place than Cherokee Ranch in the bright, winter light.

 

 

$20 member, $25 non-member.

 

 

 

 

* Plants don’t really care how you dress for the field trips but BIRDS DO!! It is easier to see birds if you DO NOT wear white or other very bright colors –i.e. yellow, orange or red. Also, bring your binoculars: they can be used for both birds and plants

* Please wear comfortable shoes and bring your own supply of water for a 2 hour adventure

*Directions and details for your hike will be emailed to your email address approximately one week before your hike

 

 

Historical Uses of Edible and Medicinal Wild Plants of the Prarie Grasslands

Presented and managed by the City of Aurora.

Are you curious about the plants you see on the outskirts of the city? It may just be that those plants were once used to treat headaches, stop bleeding or aid in sleep. Take a hike to learn how these plants were once used by Native Americans and Western colonizers.

The City of Aurora Parks, Recreation & Open Space Department's mission is to encourage active lifestyles and create healthy environments for people, nature and community.

Price: Adults $10 Child $10

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013

 

Homestead Quilting and Reusing Fabrics Craft Workshop

Join us in the Sod Homestead at the Plains Conservation Center. Learn to make a quilt block, small pin cushion and/or braided rag piece using techniques and patterns from the 1860s. All materials provided. This class is geared towards adults and children 10 years and older. Light morning refreshments will be served; please bring a sack lunch to enjoy.

 

Price:  Member $25, Non-member $29

 

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013

 

Macramé Plant Hanger

In this introductory workshop with Amie Phillips of Boriya + Co, we will learn four basic knots of macramé. We will then use these knots to craft a plant hanger! Also covered will be the history of macramé and the steps necessary to create macramé pieces including: planning a pattern, measuring and sourcing rope.

All materials to fashion your plant hanger will be provided.

 

Price: $65, $60 member

Instructor: Amie Phillips is a fiber artist currently living and working in Denver. She received her BFA in art from Palm Beach Atlantic University, and developed a love for textile design during her years spent in Rajasthan, India. After spending three summers as a river guide on the Arkansas, she repurposed her knotting skills to create artistic and utilitarian pieces. Amie has taught macramé workshops since 2015, and recently had her first solo exhibition in Buena Vista entitled "Rivers Edge."

 

 

 

Native Plant Master Course at Plains Conservation Center

The Denver Botanic Gardens and CSU Extension's Native Plant Master Program are cosponsoring a Native Plant Master® course at the Plains Conservation Center for the second time in several years. Come experience the wide open prairies of Colorado while learning about native and alien plants that live there. During three outdoor field sessions, you will learn common and scientific names, ecological relationships and human uses of 40 - 50 plants. You will also develop skills in using family features and a botanical key to identify plants. Course includes special emphasis on natives useful for landscaping and alien invasives that threaten native ecosystems.

 

This program is jointly sponsored by Denver Botanic Gardens and the Native Plant Master® Program. Please visit https://npm.eventbrite.com to explore other Native Plant Master offerings or sign up to get class announcements.

 

Price: $95 public

 

Instructors:

Lisa Mason - Horticulture Agent in Arapahoe County

Lucinda Greene -Assistant Horticulturist and Native Plant Master Coordinator in Arapahoe County

 

Special instructions, requests or notes:

 

Prerequisite: Basic Botany class. (For those with a botany background that have not completed a Native Plant Master course, this prerequisite may be waived. Contact lgreene@arapahoegov.com to request a waiver.)

 

 

 

Native Plant Master: All participants who pass three NPM courses will receive a Colorado Flora Certificate. For accepted volunteers, this course counts toward certification as a Native Plant Master. For more information on the volunteer program, see www.nativeplantmaster.org. To reduce overlap, take courses in different months and/or lifezones

Lifezone: Plains

 

When and where to meet: Plains Conservation Center - 21901 E Hampden Ave, Aurora, CO 80018. (303) 693-3621. (See map.) Meet at the center of the main lot. Please park in the lot to the east of the picnic shelter, not directly in front of the Front Range Building. Please arrive at 8:15 AM the first day to receive course materials. Course begins 8:30 AM sharp.

 

What to wear: Layered clothing for changing and/or severe weather conditions, hat, sturdy closed-toe footwear (suitable for cactus country), etc. Please come prepared for moderately strenuous walking on hot, cold, windy, rainy or snowy days.

What to bring: Textbook, pencil, hand lens (10x), daypack, water, sack lunch, rain gear, sun and wind protection, personal items you will need, etc.

 

Required Textbook: Flora of Colorado by Jennifer Ackerfield available through Colorado Native Plant Society bookstore (https://conps.org/conps-store), local and online retail outlets and the publisher (800-621-2736)

 

Carpooling: Carpooling is encouraged. Contact lgreene@arapahoegov.com if you would like to carpool and your contact information will be shared with others interested in carpooling.

 

Please visit https://npm.eventbrite.com to explore other Native Plant Master offerings or sign up to get class announcements. This program is jointly sponsored by Denver Botanic Gardens and the Native Plant Master® Program

For more information on the volunteer program, see www.nativeplantmaster.org

 

Petrified Wood Tour and Investigation - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

 

Join members of the Cherokee Ranch Science Institute on a tour of one of the oldest petrified wood sites in North America. Large trees were deposited along the meandering river 55 million years ago. This petrified wood preserved cell structure allows scientists to identify several different families of deciduous trees and to make assumptions about the climate during the Paleocene Epoch.

 

Price: $45, $40 member

Tour Guides: John McKinney and Peter Brown

Special Instructions: The hike is off trail and of moderate difficulty. Please wear appropriate clothing. Closed-toe hiking shoes and long pants are highly recommended. Please also bring plenty of water, your lunch, sunscreen and a hat.

 

Location:

Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135

 

Photographing Denver at Night

 

Explore the magic of night photography as you learn to create stunning and visually exciting images. Instruction focuses on making the proper exposures at sunset and at night using limited or controlled light sources, as well as understanding how to capture movement within an image.

This class will be held on two evenings: the first in the classroom for instruction; the second one will be off-site to put the teachings into practice.

 

Price: $60, $55 member

Instructor: Jeanette Galie Burkle is a commercial and editorial photographer with extensive experience in teaching, lecturing, and consulting. Since 2003, Jeanette has successfully owned and managed Galie Photography, while designing and delivering seminars on a wide range of photography topics. An award winning-photographer, Jeanette combines an engineering background with a strong artistic sense. With the belief that photography is part art and part science, she strives to use her unique background to produce art that is infused with a creative vision and improved by knowledge of the underlying scientific principles of photography. She has worked with many corporate clients including ExxonMobil, George Mason University, American Red Cross, John Marshall Bank, AmeriChoice, Medtronic, Harris Corporation, and Long & Foster Realty. Jeanette³ work has been honored through the Virginia Professional Photographers Association with such recognition as the highly distinguished Fuji Masterpiece Award and the Kodak Gallery Award.

Jeanette has been teaching photography since 2005. Her students respond well to her fun, upbeat classes, and Jeanette loves to see this passion be reflected in her students increased confidence as photographers.

 

Special Requirements: A camera with manual capabilities and a tripod. A shutter release cable or remote would be helpful but not required.

 

Photographing the Not-So-Plain Plains!

What could there possibly be to photograph on the wide open expanse that is the Plains? Not so fast my friend! Join DBG Official Photographer Scott Dressel-Martin to photograph the places, spaces, plants, people (and maybe an animal or two) that are the Plains Conservation Center. Scott will offer great photographic tips and tricks while we traverse the Plains and find great locations for compelling images!

Price: $39, $34 member

Instructor: Scott Dressel-Martin, DBG's official photographer

Special Instructions: This class requires basic knowledge of photographic skills and functions. Bring your gear as this is a shooting class and is held exclusively outdoors. Dress for outdoor weather.

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013

 

 

Photography Expeditions at Plains Conservation Center

 

Photography expeditions to the Plains Conservation Center offer opportunities to capture the life and the seasonal characteristics of the prairie in the best light possible. Dates and times are set to coordinate with sunsets, sunrises, moonsets and moonrises with one exception in May to focus on spring flowers. Each expedition is led by David Winger, a renowned garden and nature photographer.

 

Open to all skill levels. Participants are encourage to bring a tripod and a telephoto lens and dress appropriately for the weather as the class takes place outdoors.

 

 

Price: $26, $28 member

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013

 

 

 

Plains Conservation Center Wagon Tour

Get to know the prairie in a whole new way. On our ride across the plains, participants watch for wildlife in the landscape, from prairie dogs to pronghorn antelope and birds of prey, beneath the great stretching sky while learning about the short grass prairie ecosystem along the way. With stops at the sod homes and Cheyenne camp, your group will experience what it was like to be a homesteader and a Cheyenne Indian living on the prairie in the 1800's. Take a guided tour of the sod homestead and see the sod homes, schoolhouse and blacksmith shop. Then visit the Cheyenne camp to learn about how the Cheyenne lived on the prairie and followed the bison as a seminomadic tribe.

Please note: Tours are weather dependent. If a tour is cancelled due to weather, you will be contacted.

Date: Select Saturdays

Time: 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013

 

 

Plants for the Plains

Colorado urban landscapes need to reflect responsible plant choices which represent the climate and environment surrounding our cities. Plant Select® promotes many native plants that can be used to offer the impression of a native prairie landscape. This course will discuss those native plants and how to use them effectively at home or in an HOA situation.

 

Ross Shrigley is a longtime Colorado Horticulturist, and now Executive Director of Plant Select®. Plant Select® is the country’s leading brand of plants designed to thrive in high plains and intermountain regions.

Price: $14, $12 member

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013

 

 

Prairie Birding at the Plains Conservation Center

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora

Join City of Aurora naturalists for a morning of birds and spectacular views at the Plains Conservation Center. Enjoy the open prairie and it's diversity of plant and animal life as you search for resident birds. From year-long residents like the Western Meadowlark to seasonal migrants like the Swainson's Hawk, there is always something to see. Whether you are new to birding or a seasoned pro, this is a great opportunity to meet other bird enthusiasts.

The City of Aurora's Parks, Recreation & Open Space department's mission is to encourage active lifestyles and create healthy environments for people, nature and community.

Date: March 30, June 22, September 22 and December 7, 2019

Time: 9 a.m.

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013 Phone 303-326-8380

Prairie Homestead Self-Guided Tour

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora

Join us at the Plains Conservation Center for a self-guided tour of our historical sod village and tipis. See what a Native American tipi camp might have looked like in the early 1800s. Immerse yourself in a replication of an 1880s prairie homestead village with authentic artifacts and, depending on the season, real farm animals.

Please Note: All guests must check in at the PCC Visitor Center with purchase confirmation prior to beginning self-guided tour in order to receive site condition updates and the actual self-guided brochure.

For a more in-depth experience, sign up for a guided tour or program! Schedule a private tour by contacting Denver Botanic Gardens at info@botanicgardens.org or 720-865-3500.

The City of Aurora's Parks, Recreation & Open Space department's mission is to encourage active lifestyles and create healthy environments for people, nature and community.

 

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013

 

Hours for Self-Guided Tours:

Monday-Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday-Friday: 2-4:30 p.m.

Saturday: Noon - 4:30 p.m.

Sunday: 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

Relational Rewilding Hike: Bird Language and the Quiet Mind

 

We live in an era marked by increasing disconnection from nature, self and others. Rewilding hikes teach how to move in nature with more awareness, confidence, knowledge and reverence. Your naturalist instincts are sharpened to understand the language of birds and nature. The practice of using senses to interpret natural surroundings can enrich your life in practical and surprising ways. The hike shares tools to enhance your sensitivity to surroundings and may contribute to more successful wildlife watching, hiking and relationships. Integration of such knowledge can be beneficial for all.

 

Price: $30, $25 member

Instructor: Kimberly Beck is passionate about facilitating deep relationships between people, nature and animals. Kimberly holds a Masters degree in Counseling and a Bachelors degree in Outdoor Education and Plant Biology. Currently she is owner and operator of both The Canine Effect, her dog training business, and Relational Rewilding Nature Guiding. Kimberly has designed and led environmental and humane education programs at state parks, outdoor education centers and animal shelters throughout the country. She is a Master Naturalist, a Native Plant Master, and has participated in continuing education programs through Wilderness Awareness School, 8 Shields Institute, and The Tracking Project - training in cultural and natural awareness, animal tracking, plant studies, bird language, primitive skills, and community building.

 

Special Instructions: Hike will take place exclusively outdoors; please dress accordingly for weather, bring sunscreen, hat, water, and lunch if desired. Be prepared for walking and light hiking.

Class length does NOT include drive time to or from our meeting place to the hiking location.

Location: Lair O' the Bear. All location details and directions will be sent the week before class.

 

Relational Rewilding Hike: Survival and Edible Plants

 

Rewilding hikes teach how to move in nature with more awareness, confidence, knowledge and reverence. This hike focuses on survival and exploration of edible plants in the local foothills. Participants learn plant identification, foraging styles and responsible gathering principles through a rewilding lens. Plant and rewilding knowledge sharpens awareness and senses, is useful in the backcountry and fosters a deeper connection to your local ecology.

 

 

Price: $30, $25 member

Instructor: Kimberly Beck is passionate about facilitating deep relationships between people, nature and animals. Kimberly holds a Masters degree in Counseling and a Bachelors degree in Outdoor Education and Plant Biology. Currently she is owner and operator of both The Canine Effect, her dog training business, and Relational Rewilding Nature Guiding. Kimberly has designed and led environmental and humane education programs at state parks, outdoor education centers and animal shelters throughout the country. She is a Master Naturalist, a Native Plant Master, and has participated in continuing education programs through Wilderness Awareness School, 8 Shields Institute, and The Tracking Project - training in cultural and natural awareness, animal tracking, plant studies, bird language, primitive skills, and community building.

 

Special Instructions: Hike will take place exclusively outdoors; please dress accordingly for weather, bring sunscreen, hat, water, and lunch if desired. Be prepared for walking and light hiking.

Class length does NOT include drive time to or from our meeting place to the hiking location.

 

Location: All location details and directions will be sent the week before class.

 

June 15: Corwina Park. Participants will be instructed to meet at a park-and-ride to carpool.

June 19: Meyer Ranch Park

 

 

The Amazing Trees of the Regis Arboretum - Tree Tour

The Regis University Arboretum is one of the premier tree collections in Colorado. Some of the most unusual tree species are found in the arboretum, as well as some of the more common trees of Colorado. This three-hour tour is led by Tim Buchanan, a tree expert with more than 40 years of experience in tree identification and selection. Don t miss this opportunity to learn about the trees of the Regis Arboretum.

 

Price: $40, 35 member

Instructor: Tim Buchanan

 

 

Participants should meet at the Arboretum Kiosk at 9am.

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