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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. One thing is for sure, you will never be bored outside at Cherokee! This adventure is a walking tour, allowing time to observe and learn about the plants and birds found in this environment.

Price: $25, $20 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.

Children over10 years of age are permitted in this program.

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

Tour location:

Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early Morning Sunday Strolls

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora

Immerse yourself in the beauty and history of the high plains shortgrass prairie through a guided nature hike. Experience the prairie in the soft morning light while catching some breathtaking views of the Colorado front range and the chance to view resident wildlife.

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: $5

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

 

Family Workshop at Plains Conservation Center: Birds of a Feather

Come out to the Plains Conservation Center and learn about the birds that frequent the prairie and then complete a bird project together.

Family Workshops at Plains Conservation Center offer families a fun, hands-on guided opportunity to learn about the prairie and the people, plants and animals that live or have lived on the prairie. Workshops include a guided exploration of the topic and a hands on project for adults and children to create together. This workshop is designed for families with children ages 4-10.

Price:  $12 per person

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

 

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.

Price: $5

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

 

Painting Expedition: En Plein Air on the Prairie

Join us for a morning of plein air painting at the Plains Conservation Center. Your morning includes a walking tour of several stops to experience and paint the variety of plants, animals and history of the prairie. Bring your painting supplies, mask, hat, water bottle and any other materials that you might need for the morning outing. Preregistration required, no walk ins will be accepted. Masks are required to be worn at all times while on the property.

Expedition led by Pam Roth O'Mara. Pam's nature inspired work has appeared in exhibits and festivals across South Metro Denver, including the Depot Art Gallery, Littleton Museum, City of Centennial Gallery, Colorado Gallery at Arapahoe Community College, Lowry Conference Center, Castle Rock Court the Arts Festival, Centennial Chalk Art Festival, National Arts Program Exhibit, Castle Rock Library and Nixon's Coffee House. Her piece, "Winter at the Sod Home", was selected by the curator of the Denver Art Museum's Women in Abstract Expressionism Exhibit to appear at the Littleton Museum.

Price: $22, $20 member

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

 

Saturday Evening Guided Hikes at the Plains Conservation Center

Join us for engaging and educational evening hikes on the prairie with an experienced guide and end with one of the most spectacular sunsets in the Front Range. Hikes start at the Visitor Center, but our destination will change for each session based on the wildlife and weather at the Plains Conservation Center. For example, if the herd of pronghorn are out, we will hike in that direction to observe them and learn some cool facts about them; or we may hike to the tipis or homestead village and learn about the history of the Colorado prairie.

Participants should arrive prepared to walk up to 2 miles round-trip and bring sunscreen, hats, water, cameras, and if you have them, field guides and binoculars. Binoculars will be available to borrow if you don't have your own to bring, which will be sanitized before and after each use. Hikes can be for all ages, but participants need to be aware that there are unpaved paths, uneven ground, no shade and the hikes are all on foot.

All participants need to wear masks at all times while on the property and maintain appropriate social distancing from other hikers who are not part of their groups throughout the program. Preregistration is required for this program.

Dates: July 11, July 25, August 8 and August 22, 2020

Times: 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Price: $10

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E Hampden Ave Aurora, CO 80013 (Entrance is at the corner of E Hampden Ave and S Picadilly Rd)

 

 

 

 

Wagon and Walk Explorations at Plains Conservation Center: Geology

Visit an interesting rock outcrop at the Plains Conservation Center as you join us for a tour of the property that will include a wagon ride (weather permitting) and some walking to specific locations on the property to explore the topic in-depth. Appropriate for all ages. Closed-toe footwear, water bottle, sunscreen and hat recommended.

Price:  $10/person, ages 2 and under free

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

 

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