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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 summer program 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 do not 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connecting With Nature

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora

Nature can be a safe and restorative place to find solace during the difficult times that are currently affecting us all. Discover ways you can connect with the natural world while still being in the city by attending one or all programs of our connecting with nature series.

Prairie Bathing

Date: Sunday, September 20, 2020

Time: 8 a.m.

Connecting with Nature by Ear: Learn how to experience the outdoors in a whole new way by opening your awareness of nature using your hearing. 

Date: Sunday, October 4, 2020

Time: 10 a.m.

Reading the Signs of Nature: Develop techniques to read the stories written by wildlife by learning to recognize clues they ve left behind.

Date: Sunday, October 18, 2020

Time: 10 a.m.

Immersing in Nature with Writing: Using writing prompts, we  focus on different aspects of nature to express emotion, discovery and awareness.  

Date: Sunday, November 8

Time: 2 p.m.

Price: $10

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

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.

 

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: Be a Homesteader

Learn about how homesteading families lived on the plains in the 1800's and make a homestead craft 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 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

Registration Instructions: Pre-registration is required. Program registration will not be available onsite. Due to social distancing and group size restrictions you must register all members of your party ages 3 and up.

The following safety procedures and requirements are in place for attending onsite classes during COVID-19:

All adults and children ages 3 and older are required to wear a mask.

Class sizes are reduced to follow social distancing protocols. Materials used during the program will not be shared between participant groups and will be disinfected between each use.

The program will take place entirely outdoors.

Please practice social distancing  keep at least six feet away from visitors not in your party.

If the program is sold out, we encourage you to add your family's name to the waitlist.

 

Family Workshop at Plains Conservation Center: Creepy Crawlers and Spooky Critters

Learn about some critters like snakes and spiders, and do some exploration and crafting together in Halloween.

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 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

Registration Instructions: Pre-registration is required. Program registration will not be available onsite. Due to social distancing and group size restrictions you must register all members of your party ages 3 and up.

The following safety procedures and requirements are in place for attending onsite classes during COVID-19:

All adults and children ages 3 and older are required to wear a mask.

Class sizes are reduced to follow social distancing protocols. Materials used during the program will not be shared between participant groups and will be disinfected between each use.

The program will take place entirely outdoors.

Please practice social distancing  keep at least six feet away from visitors not in your party.

If the program is sold out, we encourage you to add your family's name to the waitlist.

 

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

 

Gardens to Glass, Delicious Drinks and Cocktails from the Garden - ONLINE

Grab your friends and discover how easy it is to create fresh, artisanal beverages from the garden with minimal effort and delicious results. Make captivating cocktails, infused liquors, non-alcoholic refreshers, herbal concentrates, healthy fruit shrubs and more. Skip the chemicals, dyes, and corn syrup and bring in the nourishing clean tastes of fresh produce and herbs to create your own unique flavorful libations.

Class is taught by Susan Evans, herbalist and author of The Herbalist’s Happy Hour, Crafted Cocktails and Tapas from the Garden.

 

This session will be held streamed online through Vimeo. Details on how to join the class will be emailed the day-of the program. Recipes will be provided to registrants to make the beverages at home!

 

Price: $25, $20 member

Instructor: Susan Evans

 

Susan specializes in empowering people to improve their health and lifestyle through herbal and wellness education. Let Susan introduce you to herbs for healing, cooking, gardening and crafting.

Susan has been cultivating and working with herbs for more than 30 years. She managed garden centers and greenhouses in Denver before starting her own organic landscaping business, Flowerscapes, which she owned and operated for 12 years. She has worked as a master gardener and volunteer naturalist for Jefferson County, Colorado.

She has a certificate in advanced clinical herbalism from the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies in Boulder and has over 1,500 hours of clinical study and experience in the uses of medicinal plants. After attaining her certification in 1997, she founded Chrysalis Herbs. Since then, she has devoted herself to sharing her love and knowledge of herbs and gardening, helping people to reconnect with the beauty and healing aspects of the natural world.

 

 

Image: Courtesy of Amy Stewart

Ghost Stories on the Prairie

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora

Join us for an evening walk as we regale you with spooky, creepy and downright hair-raising tales from the past of the Colorado prairie.

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 Phone 303-326-8380

 

Guided Homeschool Exploration at Plains Conservation Center: Birds

Come meet the birds of the Colorado prairie! Learn about birds through scavenger hunts, hiking in the shortgtass, and dissecting an owl pellet.

Audience: Families with children ages 5-12

Program Fee: $8 per child, $6 per member child; $8 per adult, $6 per member adult

Registration Instructions: Pre-registration is required. Program registration will not be available onsite. Due to social distancing and group size restrictions you must register all members of your party ages 3 and up.

The following safety procedures and requirements are in place for attending onsite classes during COVID-19:

All adults and children ages 3 and older are required to wear a mask.

Class sizes are reduced to follow social distancing protocols. Materials used during the program will not be shared between participant groups and will be disinfected between each use.

The program will take place entirely outdoors.

Please practice social distancing  keep at least six feet away from visitors not in your party.

If the program is sold out, we encourage you to add your family's name to the waitlist as more dates and times may be scheduled.

 

Guided Homeschool Exploration at Plains Conservation Center: Sod Homestead

Find out what it was like to live in a sod house in the 1880s! Explore our replica sod village, compare artifacts from then and now, and make you own homestead toy to bring home with you.

Audience: Families with children ages 5-12

Program Fee: $8 per child, $6 per member child; $8 per adult, $6 per member adult

Registration Instructions: Pre-registration is required. Program registration will not be available onsite. Due to social distancing and group size restrictions you must register all members of your party ages 3 and up.

The following safety procedures and requirements are in place for attending onsite classes during COVID-19:

All adults and children ages 3 and older are required to wear a mask.

Class sizes are reduced to follow social distancing protocols. Materials used during the program will not be shared between participant groups and will be disinfected between each use.

The program will take place entirely outdoors.

Please practice social distancing  keep at least six feet away from visitors not in your party.

If the program is sold out, we encourage you to add your family's name to the waitlist as more dates and times may be scheduled.

 

Guided Homeschool Exploration at Plains Conservation Center: The Cheyenne

Join us to learn about the Cheyenne and how utilized the natural resources to survive on the prairie in the 1800s. Explore our replica Cheyenne tipi camp with a guide, discover how the Cheyenne made items for their homes from parts of the bison, and create something using the prairie plants to take home with you.

Audience: Families with children ages 5-12

Program Fee: $8 per child, $6 per member child; $8 per adult, $6 per member adult

Registration Instructions: Pre-registration is required. Program registration will not be available onsite. Due to social distancing and group size restrictions you must register all members of your party ages 3 and up.

The following safety procedures and requirements are in place for attending onsite classes during COVID-19:

All adults and children ages 3 and older are required to wear a mask.

Class sizes are reduced to follow social distancing protocols. Materials used during the program will not be shared between participant groups and will be disinfected between each use.

The program will take place entirely outdoors.

Please practice social distancing  keep at least six feet away from visitors not in your party.

If the program is sold out, we encourage you to add your family's name to the waitlist as more dates and times may be scheduled.

 

History Hikes

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora

Learn about the important role nature has in history and how it has influenced folklore, culture and modern society.

Living West - Water

Date: Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Time: 10 a.m.

Devastation of the Dust Bowl

Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Time: 11 a.m.

The Invasion of the Non-natives

Date: Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Time: 11 a.m.

The Smokey Hill Trail

Date: Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Time: 12 p.m.

 

Price: $5

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

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.

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.

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)

 

 

 

 

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