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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. 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. and lasts 2.5 hours. All summer walk locations will be near the foothills, within about a one hour drive or less from Denver. Detailed information about location will be emailed out about a week before the walk. Fall programs are held at Chatfield Farms.

 

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 a.m. and will last 2.5 hours. This is not a hike. Participants will move slowly and mindfully, covering about 1/2 mile over the course of the walk. Detailed information about location will be emailed out about a week before the walk.

All summer program locations are near the foothills, within about a one hour drive or less from Denver.

All October - December program dates take place outdoors at Denver Botanic Gardens' Chatfield Farms, located at 8500 W Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton, CO 80128.

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. Appropriate for ages 6 and up.

Each Astronomy night will have its own theme.

October 4 at 6:00 p.m.: What, Where, Why and How: Take a journey from Einstein's conjecture through decades of speculation and indirect evidence to the recent first photograph.

November 1 at 6:00 p.m.: Hubble Tour of the Solar System. This is a grand tour of our Solar System using Hubble Telescope images of planets and moons as we go from Mercury to Pluto and beyond.

December 13 at 6:00 p.m.: Secrets of Star Clusters. The study of open and globular star clusters is key to determining the age of the Universe and the life cycle of stars.

January 3 at 6 p.m.: The Moon. What do we know about the Moon and how do we know it. Why is it essential to human life on earth?

February 7 at 6 p.m.: Mars - The Red Planet. Hear the myths and speculation surrounding Mars compared with what we actually now know. Should humans visit it?

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.

Price: $8

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

Beginning Wheat Weaving

The prairie was designed for growing grasses, such as wheat. It is only natural that a craft grew from that popular crop: wheat weaving. Learn why grasses-especially wheat-are good for weaving, discover some of the many varieties of wheat and make some small items using basic wheat-weaving patterns. Bring a sack lunch. Appropriate for adults and children ages 12 and up.

Price:  Member $15, Non-member $17

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

 

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.

 

Price: $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

 

 

Full Moon Hike

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora

Discover Aurora's true nature under the light of the full moon and learn a little about its history with this guided nature hike.

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.

Dates: October 13, 2019 at 6 p.m. and February 9, 2020 at 5 p.m.

Price: $5

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

 

Jr Rangers: Wonders of Weather

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora

Jr Rangers: Wonders of Weather

Discover the weather on Aurora's prairie through fun activities and a wagon ride. For ages 6-12.

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: February 9, 2020

Price: $8

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

 

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.

Starting in September, the new later tours are scheduled to coincide with the spectacular sunsets at the Plains Conservation Center. Please refer to the calendar for start times.

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. and seasonally adjusted afternoon or evening start times. Please refer to the calendar for start times.

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.Appropriate for ages 6 and older.

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 29 and December 7, 2019

Time: 9 a.m.

Price: $5

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 pccinfo@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.

 

 

 

 

 

Prairie Wagon Rides with Santa

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora

Get in the mood for the holidays with a wagon ride next to Santa! Enjoy crafts, snacks and discover Aurora's true nature on the prairie.

Registration required, time slots available upon registration.

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.

Dates: December 14 and 15

Time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Wagon ride times: 10:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.

Price: $10

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

 

String Games

Winters days were long on the prairie and were a time for telling stories. String games have been part of all cultures for as long as historians know. Bring the family, enjoy some hot chocolate and learn how to make some classic string figures. Then put the figures together to illustrate a story in the the style of the Native Americans. Appropriate for ages 3 and up.

Price:  $8

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

 

Winter Prairie Campfire: Stories of Survival

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora

Hear survival stories of the people and wildlife of the prairie while drinking hot cocoa and enjoying s'mores around the fire!

Ages 2 and up.

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: January 17, 2020

Price: $8

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

 

Winter Solstice Walk

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora

The winter solstice is a day of celebrating the knowledge that longer days are on the way! Welcome this celebration with an early morning walk to watch the sun rise on the shortest day of the year.

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. For ages 8 and up.

Date: December 21, 2019

Price: $8

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

 

Women of the Plains

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora.

Women of all backgrounds have been virtually absent from the history of the American West. Join us for a presentation and a trip to the sod village and tipi camp for stories about the daily lives and historical contributions of women on the plains while participating in some of the tasks that made them indispensable. For ages 12 and up.

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: January 12, 2020

Price: $10

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

 

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