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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.

 

 

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.

February 14 at 6:30 p.m.: Mars - The Red Planet. Hear the myths and speculation surrounding Mars compared with what we actually now know. Should humans visit it?

March 6 at 6:30 p.m.: Sights in the Spring Night Sky. Spring constellations, galaxies, nebulas, visible planets and more! View several Hubble Space Telescope images that will amaze.

April 3 at 8 p.m.: Galaxies Galore. Learn their descriptive types, when and where they were formed, and their colossal collisions.

May 1 at 8:30 p.m.: Women Astronomers. Discuss major unsung contributions of women to the field of Astronomy and how they shaped our understanding of the Universe.

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

Cherokee Spring 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. 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 outside at Cherokee! This adventure is a walking tour, allowing time to observe and learn about the plants and birds found in this environment.

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 member

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.

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

Cherokee Summer 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. 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.

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 member

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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Crafting

Learn how homesteading families spent some of their time 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 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

 

Family Workshop at Plains Conservation Center: Prairie Plant Project

Learn a bit about the shortgrass prairie we call home and complete a project together using plants.

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

 

Homeschool Excursion at Plains Conservation Center: Be a Homesteader - Homesteading on the Prairie

Spend a day at the Plains Conservation Center in Aurora with your family growing their knowledge of prairie living and appreciation for the natural world. Learn all about how the homesteading families and children lived on the plains in the 1800's.

Programming runs from 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., with check-in starting at 9:45 a.m. You are welcome to bring a sack lunch to enjoy in our picnic area after the program. Programs may be modified in the event of inclement weather. All ages are welcome, however programming is focused for ages 5-12.

Price:  $12 per child

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

 

Homeschool Excursion at Plains Conservation Center: Prairie Ecology and Environmental Science

Spend a day at the Plains Conservation Center in Aurora with your family growing their knowledge of prairie living and appreciation for the natural world. Learn about the shortgrass prairie and the plants and animals that call this important ecosystem home.

Programming runs from 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., with check-in starting at 9:45 a.m. You are welcome to bring a sack lunch to enjoy in our picnic area after the program. Programs may be modified in the event of inclement weather. All ages are welcome, however programming is focused for ages 5-12.

Price:  $12 per child

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.

Macramé Plant Hanger Workshop

In this introductory workshop with Amie Krug 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 Krug 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 Awareness Through Native Plants

What is native is natural. The native plants of Colorado provide a doorway to re-engaging our vast knowledge of the land and our original rootedness in nature. In this outdoor program you are guided to search for nature s patterns in the plants   not only to identify local flora, but also to increase your perception of wildlife and connections in the environment. As you slow down, awaken the senses, engage imagination and explore plants, you learn more about their bio-region, increase natural intuition and gain confidence in your outdoor abilities.

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.

 

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.. 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 Vistor Center. Please park in the lot to the east of the picnic shelter, not directly in front of the Visitor Center. Please arrive at 7:25AM the first day to receive course materials. Course begins 8:00 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

 

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 guided tour by wagon of several stops to experience and paint the variety of plants, animals and history of the prairie. Bring your painting supplies, hat, water bottle and any other materials that you might need for the morning outing.

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

 

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