Camp Friday: October 9, 2015
Pumpkin Patch Cache with the City of Salida, GARNA and Guidestone
Local youth gathered at the Hutchinson Homestead for the annual Guidestone Pumpkin Patch to learn and practice their compass navigation skills. Held on a course tucked among golden grasses, trees, and a hay bale maze, children worked in pairs to follow compass bearings to flagged points, eventually leading to a pumpkin cache destination. Each child took home a mini pumpkin as a prize to remember their accomplishment.
Camp Friday: October 16, 2015
Understanding Human Impacts on the Monarch Spur Trail with the City of Salida, GARNA and Chaffee County 4-H
A group of local little ones gathered for a day of environmental education on the Monarch Spur Trail in Salida. The site of the Salida Trail Ecological Restoration Project, the trail was a perfect backdrop for kids to learn about human impacts on nature and ways they can help improve natural areas in their own backyard. Students identified natural and un-natural objects on the trail, played games to understand how long trash takes to break down, picked up micro-trash, and learned techniques for observing and connecting to nature.
GARNA member Judy Haines put together a beautiful compilation of photographs from a GARNA Photography Club hike to Lost Lake in August, 2015. Please consider becoming a member to join us for club activities like this!
GARNA member Judy Haines put together a beautiful compilation of photographs from a GARNA-sponsored trip to the Zapata Ranch on October 6, 2015. All participants on this trip were GARNA members – we publicize activities to supporters first, please consider becoming a member to join us for experiences like this!
GARNA member Judy Haines put together a beautiful compilation of photographs from a GARNA-sponsored trip to the Zapata Falls on October 6, 2015. All participants on this trip were GARNA members – we publicize activities to supporters first, please consider becoming a member to join us for experiences like this!
GARNA member Judy Haines documented our trip to the Orient Mine in the San Luis Valley on August 27, 2015. Thanks so much to Judy for sharing this enchanting experience. We hope you can join us for the next GARNA activity that intrigues you!
Alison Ramsey, GARNA ED, Jim Houk, Thomas & Thomas, Kathy McCoy and Alan Robinson, S&RT Coordinator
MAJOR MILESTONE: The Leadville Stage Road study (now known as the Stage & Rail Trail) has just published the draft MASTER PLAN. To learn more – and to download the plan’s maps or the full draft plan, go to www.garna.org/stageandrail/ The draft is now in the hands of potential implementing managers, including the Boards of commissioners for Lake and Chaffee Counties (Colorado) and the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area.
GARNA held its environmental presentation and annual on February 5, 2015. This year’s presenter was Dr. Richard Reading, Vice President for Conservation and founder of the Department of Conservation Biology at the Denver Zoological Foundation. Dr. Reading has conducted research or consulted on conservation projects in several countries on 5 continents, primarily the Great Plains of the U.S., the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, and the Kalahari of Botswana. A major focus of Rich’s research has been on developing interdisciplinary approaches to conservation.
Dr Reading discussed how the role of zoos has changed dramatically over the past few decades from a focus primarily on “ghee whiz” recreation to a science-based focus on conservation. Today, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums requires that institutions conduct conservation programs to receive accreditation. The presentation reviewed the change in approach of zoos over time and shared how the Denver Zoo has developed a field-based conservation program that supports about 100 conservation projects in dozens of countries around the world.
Dr Reading’s entire presentation can be viewed HERE.
We were proud to present Cookie Perl, Pat Duletsky and Boyd Clark GARNA’s 2014 Volunteer of the Year awards. And, on behalf of all of our volunteers, GARNA honored the Salida-area Parks, Open-space and Trails with our annual volunteer recognition award.
On November 21, four high school students moved one giant rock and learned how to place water bars on a trail reroute of an area known as “Collarbone Corner” on the Midland Trail. Students were participating in the first of 8 GARNA Public Land Agency Career Exploration (PLACE) program days, with a goal to expose greater Arkansas River region high school students to career paths within the natural resource agencies that partner with GARNA. The partner agency for the first PLACE day was the Bureau of Land Management, and Bryce Hofmann, BLM Recreational Technician, helped students work as a team to place a “step-down” rock. Alan Robinson and Lyn Berry, GARNA volunteers representing Friends of Fourmile, introduced students to the history of the modern Midland Trail, including the important role the Friends of Fourmile play in helping the BLM maintain good stewardship of the area’s resources and maintaining balance among various recreational uses in the area.
Salida School District 6th graders participated in GARNA’s Youth Ecological Literacy Program on September 26th. They enjoyed a beautiful day at Mt. Ouray State Wildlife Area rotating through stations facilitated by volunteers and public land agency representatives. Students learned about animal adaptations from wildlife biologist Stephanie Shively of the USFS Salida Ranger District. Bob Hickey and Jeff Rangitsch of AHRA Colorado Parks and Wildlife facilitated a geology station with help from GARNA volunteer John McCarthy. Forrest Whitman and Monica White of GARNA taught students how to reflect on nature. Wendell Winger of Collegiate Peaks Anglers and Jane Jolley of GARNA helped students learn about aquatic biology, and Christy Fitzpatrick of 4-H and John Sztukowski of Wild Connections facilitated a GPS scavenger hunt.
Third grade students from Longfellow Elementary School ventured out to Maysville and Monarch Pass on October 2nd to learn about life zone ecology. Classes braved a couple inches of snow for a fun hike from the Monarch Crest to the Continental Divide to learn about Sub-Alpine and Alpine ecosystems and glacial geology. Matthew Coen, Jaime Tackel and Bob Hickey of Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Jane Jolley of GARNA led the hikes. Students took a break from the snow in Maysville to learn about Foothills and Riparian ecology. Janine Prout, then of the BLM, helped students learn about compasses and cartography with GARNA volunteers John McCarthy and Paul Smith. Sally Waterhouse, zoologist, facilitated a station on predator/prey relationships with Lisa Garvey of the USFS Salida Ranger District. Many thanks to all the volunteers and agency personnel who made the field trips a success. GARNA’s Youth Ecological Literacy Program would not be possible without funding from the BLM, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Partners in the Outdoors Program, New Belgium Brewery’s Environmental Education Grant, Salida Sunrise Rotary Club, and membership from people like you!
Christy Fitzpatrick of Chaffee County 4-H helps sixth graders learn how to use GPS units to find way points. Fitzpatrick facilitated the GPS station along with John Sztokowski of Wild Connections.
Sally Waterhouse of GARNA’s Birding Club and Lisa Garvey of the USFS Salida Ranger District wow third graders with information on predators and prey.
Mrs. McIlvaine’s third graders enjoyed a snowy hike to the Continental Divide to learn about life zones and geology.