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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 promptly at the schedule start time 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 and Winter 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 promptly at the start time 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 summerprogram locations are at a park near Conifer.

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

CSA Farm Tour and Discussion - Chatfield Farms

Tour the vegetable production areas at Chatfield Farms and taste some fresh flavors. Learn about small-scale farming in the Colorado region, food production and other farm related topics.

Finish the morning with a tasting from of the farm - fresh tomatoes, cheese and herbs - to discuss the flavors of fresh foods.

 

Price: $28, $24 member

Instructor: Josie Hart

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

 

Family Workshop at Plains Conservation Center: Biscuits and Butter in the Homestead

Learn how homesteading families cooked on a wood burning stove and bake biscuits and make butter together in our sod house.

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

 

Family Workshop at Plains Conservation Center: Homestead Gardening

Get your hands dirty in our homestead garden and plant a mini garden of your own.

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

 

Lavender Festival - Grab & Go Lavender Arrangements

Learn tricks of the trade to make those colorful bunches of flowers from the farmers market or local grocer into professional arrangements. Leave with your very own lavender vase arrangement.

 

Price: $60, $55 member

Instructors: Lisa Weddel and Laura Tonner

 

Lisa Weddel AIFD PFCI has been in the floral industry for over 30 years.  She has been active in all areas of the industry from designer, teacher to owner of several businesses. Lisa has a floriculture degree, is an Iowa Master florist, as well as being an accredited member of the American Institute of Floral Designers organization where she currently holds the position of President of the South-Central Chapter.  In addition, Lisa has served on the Board of Trustees of the Professional Floral Communicators International as Chairman.This is an organization under the umbrella of the Society of American Florists.

Past floral accomplishments include designing at the prestigious Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA for over 16 parades as a designer as well as a team leader. She designed on the floral team for President George W. Bush's 2005 Presidential Inauguration, designed at the 2019 Kentucky Derby and has the same honor this coming May.

 

Laura Tonner has enjoyed working in the floral industry for five years. Her favorite part has been designing for weddings and events, but she has done just about everything in the floral industry. She has experience in retail, deliveries and the day-to-day operations of a small flower shop. All of this has led to her latest endeavor as the co-owner of Designs Inspired by You, the first of its kind floral experience studio.

Laura has a floral certificate from a local design school, won an academic scholarship from FAR (Floral Association of the Rockies) and has attended the Rose Parade as a designer for two years.

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

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

 

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. In addition there will be ample time to capture photos of wild and domestic creatures, native plants and historical structures. All photography skill levels are encouraged to attend. The emphasis will be on high dynamic range photography with guidance from David Winger. A tripod is highly recommended along with clothes for protection against possible rain and or cold.

 

 

Price: $26, $28 member

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

 

 

 

Relational Rewilding: Awaken Your Naturalist Intelligence Through Plants

Expand your observation skills, strengthen your knowledge of edible and medicinal plants, hone your animal instincts and grow your ecological literacy by awakening naturalist intelligence! Naturalist Intelligence is an actual intelligence style that has to do with developing high levels of sensory awareness, observation, pattern recognition, and intuition. This primal form of intelligence is innate in humans yet modern lifestyles hinder its full expression. In this rewilding walk we will practice skills for strengthening naturalist intelligence through a focus on the plants and ecology of a montane landscape.

 

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: Walk 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: Specific location details will be sent out about a week prior to the hike.

Relational Rewilding: Encounters With Trees!

Trees have always held a special place in human culture as sources of creative inspiration, mythic symbolism, spiritual significance, wild medicine as well as for their practical gifts. In this evening, autumn program we’ll enjoy connecting with trees in diverse ways, from learning to identify species and understanding tree biology to intimate sensory experience and soulful connection. Spend a lovely evening learning and cultivating a deeper appreciation for our wooded friends.

 

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: Walk 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: Specific location details will be sent out about a week prior to the hike.

Urban Farm Tour - Grow + Gather

Housed in a renovated historic auto shop, Grow + Gather has preserved the architectural legacy while re-imagining the original property to serve the needs of our urban farming operations, market and restaurant. From our rooftop greenhouse to our solar panels, beehives and gray water system, we are committed to creating a more local, sustainable and creative food experience. Guests will join us for a tour of our facility, followed by a rooftop greenhouse food tasting creatively curated by The Feedery's Executive Chef Jeff Schwing.

 

Special Instructions: A portion of the tour is not ADA accessible.

If you would like to enjoy brunch or lunch at The Feedery, we do encourage you to make a reservation ahead of time, which can be done online here.

 

Price: $28, $25 member

Instructor: George Gastis, Founder + Owner

 

George is a Cleveland, OH native and graduate of Denison University, transplanted and living in Denver since 1995. Prior to this latest venture, George was a marketing and tech-industry veteran, most recently as the owner of BrainSpark Media, which he founded in 2005 and then sold in 2015. As a lifelong gardener and food enthusiast, he has merged these passions with nearly three decades of professional experience to form Grow + Gather and The Feedery.

Vegetable Gardening on the High Plains: Heirloom and Beyond

*all sessions are individual registrations, students can take the full series or individual classes based on your interest

$34, $29 member for each session

Session 1: Saturday March 28- Seed Starting and Garden Planning Learn how to start your veggie garden entirely from seeds! This class will go over seed starting basics and home propagation techniques. We will also look at how to maximize your garden space at home through efficient garden planning and you'll learn how many of each variety to start based on your needs, scheduling your seed starting, as well as the best ways to organize your vegetable beds.

Session 2: Saturday June 6– Learn the best way to plant your veggie garden and the basics of garden maintenance, including soils and fertilization, watering and pest management. We'll also learn about crop selection and vegetable varieties that are well suited to the climate of Colorado's front range. Get your hands dirty as we practice the basics of planting and garden soil prep in the garden.

Session 3: Saturday August 8– This class will go over the basics of harvesting from your veggie garden. Proper harvest techniques and ongoing plant maintenance (including trellising, pruning, etc.) will be covered. We'll also look ahead at how to extend the growing season and transition a vegetable garden into the autumn with hardy leafy greens and other fall crops.

 

Instructor: Michael Guidi

Michael is a horticulturist at Denver Botanic Gardens and oversees Mordecai Children’s Garden, a diverse garden showcasing Colorado life zones ranging from the plains to the alpine tundra; it also contains a demonstration vegetable garden. Ecological gardening and native plants are his main area of interest, but he is passionate about growing food and urban agriculture. In the past, he has worked in hydroponic food production, greenhouse production and organic farming. Michael holds a B.S. in Biology with a focus on plant physiology and ecology. He currently sits on the board of directors of the North American Rock Garden Society.

 

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

 

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

 

Wagon and Walk Explorations at Plains Conservation Center: Homestead

Visit the Plains Conservation Center's sod homestead and homestead garden 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, ages 2 and under free

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

 

Wagon and Walk Explorations at Plains Conservation Center: Prairie Animals

Focus on the animals that call the prairie home 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, ages 2 and under free

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

 

Wagon and Walk Explorations at Plains Conservation Center: Riparian Scavenger Hunt

Explore the riparian area of the Plains Conservation Center and learn more about this important ecosystem 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, ages 2 and under free

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

 

Wild Wednesday Hikes Through Colorado's Life Zones - Alpine

Loveland Pass

Spend the morning with a guide learning about Colorado's alpine life zone and searching for wildflowers. This hike will start off at Loveland Pass, a high alpine pass about 60 miles west of Denver. Here we will see several different alpine plant communities, including fell fields, dry and wet alpine meadows, and snow fields. Dozens of species of wildflowers will carpet the tundra in a short but magnificent display of color. The pass hosts moss campion, phlox, alpine forget-me-nots along with dozens of others. Afterwards, we will drive a few hundred yards down the road to Loveland Lake where riparian alpine wildflowers like Parry's primrose, gentians, and roseroot are plentiful. This hike will be moderate at 4 miles or fewer (in total).

 

This hike will take place at very high elevation, from 12,000 to 12,500 ft so be aware you may be short of breath and experience altitude-related fatigue at this elevation!

 

Price: $25, $20 member

Instructor: Michael Guidi

 

Michael Guidi joined Denver Botanic Gardens in 2017 as a horticulturist where he manages the native plant themed Mordecai Children's Garden. Rock gardening and native plants are his main areas of horticultural interest, but he is broadly interested in alpine and aridland flora and ecology. Michael holds a B.S. in biology with a focus on plant physiology and ecology and currently sits on the board of directors of the North American Rock Garden Society.

Wild Wednesday Hikes Through Colorado's Life Zones - Subalpine

 

Lake Isabelle

Spend the morning with a guide learning about Colorado's subalpine life zone and searching for wildflowers. Lake Isabelle is situated at 11,000 feet in the heart of the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Framed by Navajo, Apache, and Shoshoni peaks, this beautiful lake offers some of the most spectacular mountain scenery close to the front range. Just as spectacular are the abundant wildflowers along the trail and surrounding the lake. Along the way, the trail moves through subalpine forest of spruce and fir, crosses several wildflower-bordered streams, and eventually opens up to wide subalpine meadows surrounding the lake. Stands of bluebells, Penstemon, Erigeron, Paintbrush and Pedicularis will keep us busy on the 4.1 mile hike up to the lake.

 

This hike will take place at moderately high elevation, from 10,500 to 11,000 feet so be aware you may be short of breath and experience altitude-related fatigue at this elevation!

 

Price: $25, $20 member

Instructor: Michael Guidi

 

Michael Guidi joined Denver Botanic Gardens in 2017 as a horticulturist where he manages the native plant themed Mordecai Children's Garden. Rock gardening and native plants are his main areas of horticultural interest, but he is broadly interested in alpine and aridland flora and ecology. Michael holds a B.S. in biology with a focus on plant physiology and ecology and currently sits on the board of directors of the North American Rock Garden Society.

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