August 2018
The Beaver Broadcast
The Importance of Environmental Education
Our future leaders need to be equipped for tomorrow’s challenges and it is our role as educators, parents, and the community to properly prepare them to inherit this earth. This requires a commitment on all our parts when it comes to providing Environmental Education (EE) to enable our youth to become good earth stewards. We are in the midst of a profound societal shift in history when it comes to indoor education – this does not just mean within the classroom .        Read More
Upcoming Events
Fun & Learning at Beaver Ponds
There’s always something fun to do at Beaver Ponds. View our summer programming schedule here
Eco-Dyeing
Did you know that plant-based dyeing used to be a mainstream practice? This was especially true through the use of indigo and dates back to ancient times. Weaving of and printing on fine textiles formed part of a continuous tradition. Today, natural dyes are experiencing a revival due to not only being more skin-friendly and biodegradable, but also for the pure depth of beauty and color this ancient art brings.

Watershed Watch
Fire and Water Quality
Forest fires, as we saw recently, in South Park with the Weston Pass fire can be traumatic for people, livestock, wildlife, soil health, and water quality. People discussed charred pine needles dropping out of the sky like rain.  Fire can be life threatening, however fire is not the enemy in nature. Out of control forest fires of higher intensity are the challenge. Collectively, we can all do more to help in our backyards to decrease the destructiveness of fires. There are several important actions we can take...
Out and About
Explore Colorado
Colorado is the ideal destination with unparalleled hiking, camping, whitewater and biking, events and festivals, and a rich cultural heritage. Plan a visit or plan a ‘stay’-cation – there is so much to do. Colorado is the state for exploring and many activities can be planned in conjunction with visiting some amazing nonprofits like ours that are all about taking care of Colorado’s natural resources. Access this guide to help plan and determine if you are Colo-Ready!

The Busy of 'Back-to'
August represents a time of many ‘Back-tos’ – back-to school, back-to work for some, back-to an extremely busy schedule! During such an active time of year it is easy to become overwhelmed so it is important to remember to be good stewards to ourselves! Sometimes in all the chaos we get lost as individuals and self-care falls short. What are ways that you can be proactive in not letting yourself fall into the abyss of the ‘Back-tos’? I enjoy being in my garden, riding my bike, and taking nature walks with my family that we turn into a time of bonding and learning. We try to be consistent and make it a part of our daily routine so that we don’t get lost in the weeds. The environment is not just something we can all work to protect – we can use the environment to protect us as well. Let the outdoors be your special place for the calm away from the hustle and bustle of life - a time to bond, to learn, to regroup, and to enjoy!

August was also a busy time for Beaver Ponds as we had a full schedule of programming and events. Our Fiber Workshop Series was a huge hit with the community. We featured Eco-Dyeing with Hand-Gathered Plants and Native Plant Imprints. You can read more about the eco-dyeing here. Many thanks to Eric and Jane Wunder for facilitating the workshops and our Program Coordinator, Kristin Barrett, for organizing this fun series. We will be rescheduling the Picture Frame Weaving as a youth workshop and our Handmade Felted Insoles class is on September 9 th so there is still time for you to join in the fun by registering here.

On August 23rd we celebrated our phenomenal group of volunteers - The Beaver Ponds Super Stewards. We had a BBQ featuring live music held at the beautiful location of Beaver Ponds. All the food was prepared by Beaver Ponds staff either from our greenhouse or from local, organic sources. Our Super Stewards are truly the backbone of our organization and fun was had by all honoring them!

Remember to take a break and be kind to yourself. I always think of this quote by John Muir:
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”




Until next time,
Amity

Interim Executive Director
Director of Development

Protect • Preserve • Educate
North African Roasted Vegetable Salad
Where does our food come from?
This month’s recipe provides a great opportunity to teach kids about a variety of vegetables, herbs and spices, where the vegetables were grown or where they came from, and what part of the plant is used in the recipe (the root, leaves, the stem, the fruit, seeds, nuts, etc.). Have the kids explore the produce section at a grocery store and identify the diversity of tasty fruits and vegetables on display. 

Ingredients:

1 large Eggplant, 8” or so
2 Bell Peppers, 1 red, 1 green
2 firm, not overripe, Tomatoes
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
2Tbs. Lemon Juice, squeezed from a fresh lemon
2 Garlic Cloves, minced or pressed
1 ½ Tbs. minced Onion
2 Tbs. chopped fresh Parsley
1 – 1 ½ tsp. chopped fresh Rosemary
Salt and fresh ground pepper (or Cayenne) to taste

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Prick the eggplant 4 or 5 times with the tines of a fork.
On an un-oiled cookie sheet, bake the peppers for 35 minutes and the eggplant for 35 – 50 minutes.
Turn the vegetables every 10 minutes or so.
About 25 minutes into the cooking time, add the tomatoes and bake for about 10 minutes or until softened. The eggplant and peppers are done when they are tender and look somewhat collapsed.
While still hot, place the peppers in a brown paper bag for about 10 minutes. This  will help to peel them later.
Allow the eggplant and tomatoes to cool (to the touch).
Scoop the eggplant pulp from the skin and place in large salad bowl.
Peel away the pepper skins and chop peppers into ½ inch pieces.
Peel the tomatoes (if desired) and cut in half to remove the seeds and excess juice. Chop into ½ inch piece.
Mix the roasted vegetables in with the eggplant pulp.
Add the remaining ingredients.
Season to taste and serve chilled.

Recipe comes from the Rae Navin Family of Fairplay.
Penstemon Salve

T he beautiful Penstemon is another plant that can be utilized topically in homemade salves. The whole plant is used by chopping it into fine pieces, using a food processor, juicer, or a blender. One recipe from herbalist, Michael Moore, suggests using equal parts processed Penstemon and an equal part of apricot kernel, almond, or olive oil. This combination is placed in a warm place for a minimum of one week. Then it is pressed through muslin or cheesecloth and heated enough to melt the appropriate amount of beeswax for the salve. All of this is then poured into a wide-mouth jar and stirred briefly. This salve is recommended for epidermis (skin) irritation treatment and prevention. As always with topical herbal products, apply to a small test area of skin first as a test for any reaction or sensitivity to the product.  

Eric Chatt N.D.
Beaver Ponds Site Manager
Kids Korner
Book of the Month
I Can Save the Ocean!: The Little Green Monster Cleans Up the Beach
by Alison Inches and Viviana Garofoli
Others in the series: I Can Save the Earth; The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle (featured during our Earth Day celebration); Don't Throw That Away; and many more - all available on Amazon.
Order through Amazon Smiles and a percentage is returned to Beaver Ponds.

Max the Little Green Monster is a cute, furry green monster that loves the outdoors, especially the beach! But Max and his friends don't like cleaning up after themselves and after a picnic on the shore, they leave a big mess behind and go scuba diving. While Max is excited to meet lots of new ocean-swimming friends from crabs to colorful fishes to ink-squirting squids, when he learns how his carelessness and littering may have harmed the beautiful ocean, the Little Green Monster goes on a quest to clean and protect the beach and finds out what it means to be environmentally  green

Activity of the Month

This is a fun, outdoor activity that teaches through the senses and can be tailored to specific age groups. This activity is also great to do as a family and can be incoporated into a family walk or visit to the park!

Access full activity here!

Don't Forget to Connect
There are several ways you can support the unique and important mission of Beaver Ponds:

Amazon Smiles - listed under Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center.

A one-time donation or recurring donation .

Volunteer! We are currently looking for a wide-variety of volunteers to include administrative support that you can do from home!

Spread the word on our mission! Thank you for your continued support!