Your June News from Beaver Ponds
Pontentillas are a member of the rose family
 
Dear ,    

Are you noticing the increase of bees and butterflies and other insects flying in the air, as well as flowers blossoming where you live?

With spring, the emergence of Potentilla and dandelions is evident all over Beaver Ponds -- providing insects an important source of early season nectar. We hope you'll keep those dandelions growing in your yard for at least another few weeks in order to provide bees and other pollinators an early season food source.  There also has been an uptick in animal activity this spring, including "our" beavers moving back onto Beaver Ponds property.

Have you ever considered planting a pollinator garden?  Here at Beaver Ponds, ours has been seeded with golden banner, fireweed, and fairy trumpet. This garden will provide a source of nectar throughout the summer for our local sub-alpine pollinators. During National Pollinator Week, June 20-26, Beaver Ponds will be sharing on Facebook a number of activities you can do to improve the pollinator habitats around your house.  Be sure to "like" our page!

Fireweed is a part of the evening primrose family

Please remember to save the date to attend our upcoming Beaver Ponds Open House on July 10th from 3-6pm.  This is sure to be a a special afternoon.  We will have complimentary light food and fare ~ much of it produced in our greenhouse and garden, as well as live music and a behind the scenes tour of Beaver Ponds ~ with a visit to the tree stump that is nearly 800 years old and the new beaver dam being constructed by "our" beavers. This will be a more intimate experience than our monthly visiting hours on the 9th, so mark your calendars and join us.  

Finally, if you're in the Fairplay area and have young kiddos, we are collaborating with Mosquito Range Heritage Initiative on an upcoming free environmental education program: Growing Up Wild. Join us!

I'll leave you with an invitation that with the coming summer season, you consider what you can do to positively impact the world around you.  Whether it is planting a garden, letting your dandelions grow, bringing your own reusable cup to Starbucks, harvesting rain water, or something else all together, I encourage you to demonstrate how you can be a better steward of the earth with at least one new action this season.

I hope you get out and enjoy these increasingly longer days!   
 
 
Kevin 
Beaver Ponds Executive Director

"We are such spendthrifts with our lives, the trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I'm not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out."  ~ Paul Newman 
Summer Visiting Hours to Begin on June 11th with Get Outside Day at Beaver Ponds 
 

Beaver Ponds is participating in the 9th Annual National Get Outdoors Day to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun at sites across the nation on June 11th between 10am - 3pm. It's a really great opportunity for you to enjoy all nature has to offer and Beaver Ponds isn't charging any fee to visit.  Staff will be providing guided tours of the property on the hour.

Beaver Ponds is shifting from being open by appointment only to some regularly scheduled hours so we can further our mission to give individuals of all ages the tools and knowledge they need to become better stewards of the earth.

In addition to learning about sub-alpine ecology and our namesake beavers, visitors can expect to visit the barn and learn about alpacas, llamas, goats, and chickens. You can also visit the greenhouse and learn how to keep a year round garden, as well as types of renewable energy. You'll also learn ways to make forests healthier, fire mitigation treatments, and you will learn about the very-old Bristlecone pines in our area - some are nearly 2,000 years old!  

Located at 2234 Busch Run Road in Fairplay, other open visiting days are July 9th, August 6th, and September 3rd.

Libraries Aren't Just for Reading Anymore

 

It is an interesting time for seed cultivation and unfortunately for all of us, a lack of biodiversity may have a negative impact on our food security. Due to changing agricultural practices and the loss of many heirloom varieties, patents, and pollen drift (accidental cross-pollination), the old practice of saving seed for the next year and community sharing of seed is decreasing overall in current cultivation and modern farming practices.
 
Seed libraries allow individuals to "check out" seeds. They then plant the seeds and "return" seeds back to the library at the end of the growing season. We recently selected many plants to narrow down what performs well in our environment at 10,000 feet. Our hope is to then contribute meaningfully to the local seed library in Park County and to offer a workshop to the community on what grows well at this altitude and tips and tricks we learned along the way.
Read more...
 
Green Tips from Beaver Pond to Your Home

You will find monthly sustainability tips like this delivered to your inbox.

This month's tip on composting comes from "Eartha" our   
neighbor over at High Country Conservation Center -- Be sure to share this with a young person in your life, as she originally wrote this for elementary school age children.

Indoor vermiculture (worm composting) helps battle critters in the mountains 
 
Why should you compost and why is it good? There are LOTS of reasons! Adding compost to soil gives plants all the building blocks they need to grow big and strong - nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and lots of other micronutrients. It's sort of like a human taking a multi-vitamin. Additionally, putting compost in soil helps the soil keep water and improves air circulation - water and air are both very important to growing plants.

Compost also helps keep our air clean. Most households throw away about 474 pounds of food a year, which is about 1½ pounds of food per person per day! If you piled all the food scraps by all the households in the USA on a football field, it would be more than five miles high. Wow! When people don't compost, those food scraps end up in a landfill; and, because landfills lock in layers of trash keeping oxygen out when those scraps of food decompose - or break down - they create methane gas, which is very bad for humans to breathe. Read more here...
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If you have a tip you'd like to share with our Beaver Ponds family, please send a note to Kelly at kvoss@beaverponds.org. 

For composting up in the high country you need to get material properly composted indoors in order to detract bears and other animals.  One way to do this is by utilizing other organisms to break down the waste material.  Namely, worms and fungus are great assistants to utilize in the composting process.

Most gardeners realize the value of vermiculture by utilizing their castings as natural fertilizer ~ namely worm poop.  "Worm bins" using red wriggler worms is a common method to compost kitchen scraps.  Bokashi is another indoor friendly method to compost in your home using beneficial fungi to break down the material in a closed bucket system.  This is a great way to utilize kitchen scraps by composting indoors and involves inoculating the bucket with a powdered fungus and adding scraps of vegetable matter to the bin as it collects, mixing occasionally.



You're invited to join The Beaver Colony!    
 

Will you please join Beaver Ponds Founders Terry & Al Hershey and me in becoming an inaugural member of The Beaver Colony?  Members of this special giving society believe in the power of stewarding our earth by committing to a gift of $1,000 or more in a year to support the Beaver Ponds mission. 

That breaks down to donations of only $83 or more a month. 
You are welcome to make monthly payments.

 
Y ou'll join me and a bunch of other committed investors in growing Beaver Ponds into an exceptional environmental education center! 

With Inspiration,

Kelly
Director of Development
Inaugural Member of The Beaver Colony  

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