January 2019
The Beaver Broadcast
Kinesthesia and the Forest

The Oxford English Dictionary defines Kinesthesia as “the brain’s awareness of the position and movement of the body or limbs etc., by means of sensory nerves within the muscles and joints.” When you think about the amazing capacity of our bodies and minds to explore, learn, and create – none of that could happen without the ability of our brain to process information around movement and positioning. We are wired to move, to perceive, and to engage our senses, in nature.
  
Upcoming Events
Fun & Learning at Beaver Ponds
We have a full winter schedule planned of programming and events from our Winter Solstice Celebration to SnowSchool and free Ski/Snowshoe Days! View our whole schedule here
Environmental Literacy

The North American Association for Environmental Education’s (NAAEE) Guidelines for Excellence within Environmental Education (EE) addresses the importance of EE:

‘Environmental education recognizes the importance of viewing the environment within the context of human influences, incorporating an examination of economics, culture, political structure and social equity as well as natural processes and systems.


Out and About
Explore Colorado
Colorado is known for its festivals, but did you know they happen year-round? Check out this blog post (the post is a little bit older but we verified all the festivals are still occurring in 2019) that highlights some fun, winter festivals.

Happy New Year from Beaver Ponds
A new year, a new you as the saying goes. In pre-Christian Rome under the Julian calendar, the day was dedicated to Janus, God of Gateways and Beginnings for whom January is also named. I like to think of January being our gateway to a new beginning. What does this represent for you and your family? Do you set resolutions? I have never viewed setting resolutions as a negative undertaking. I like to contemplate what I would like to change for the positive moving forward whether it is for myself, my family, or the world wee share. New goals can’t be set without identifying objectives, which is how I view the ‘New Year Resolution’. Resolutions also carry a rich spiritual background. We set our goals as a family and then check in with where we are at to show our children it is positive to commit and check in. Setting community goals are important too – what can you do to help the world around you? What environmental resolutions can you set? Maybe it is to increase how you support wildlife or parks and protected areas; maybe it is reducing your waste footprint within the home by 25%; It could be as simple as spending more time in nature. The important part is to include this thought process with your new beginning and gateway into spring! Please share on our Facebook page how you plan to implement some healthy resolutions for the environment this year.

Beaver Ponds recently welcomed two new staff members, Andrea Bartels, whose family has been volunteering at Beaver Ponds, and Scott Holbrook who is our neighbor! They will be helping with Caretaker responsibilities. We are deep in the planning phase for 2019 and will have some exciting announcements to make soon. We continue to offer comprehensive winter programming to include our free ski and snowshoe days. If you are coming from out of the county and would like a snow level update prior to making the trip you can check our website, our Facebook page, or our voicemail.

“The only way forward, if we are going to improve the quality of the environment, is to get everybody involved.
~ Richard Rogers

Until next time,
Amity

Executive Director
Director of Development

Protect • Preserve • Educate
W orms 101
Did you know Beaver Ponds has composting worms?

They’re the good kind, though, and they are also kind of amazing.  

Red Wigglers, or  Eisenia foetida , are a special species of smaller earthworm native to Europe that have adapted to living in decaying organic material. These wonderful creatures thrive in rotting vegetation, compost and even manure. This particular worm also makes the best compost.  

W atershed Watch
An introduction to Water Quality Testing at Beaver Ponds

One of the important things we do at Beaver Ponds is water quality monitoring. This is fundamental to the management of water resources that support healthy and productive aquatic ecosystems as well as sustainable and healthy water supplies. These tests can tell us how well a river or stream is functioning and if it is healthy or at risk. 

Tips for a more sustainable future

This month’s tip is non-plastic dryer balls. Dryer balls are a natural, nontoxic, and affordable alternative to dryer sheets. Dryer balls offer many benefits:

·         Non-toxic and the majority are hypoallergenic
·         Energy-saving
·         Affordable and there are DIY options
·         Reduce your waste footprint

Conventional fabric softeners can contain some pretty toxic ingredients that can cause asthma, skin irritation, aquatic toxicity, and more. You can research here the toxins in your current fabric softener. Dryer balls save energy in a fun way. They keep the clothes separated and circulating, which allows them to dry more quickly. This can cut drying time 25 – 40%. They last up to 1,000 loads which significantly reduces your waste footprint. Essential oils can be used in conjunction with your balls, but the scent may fade due to heat from the dryer. Most grocery stores carry them now or you can purchase through AmazonSmiles and support Beaver Ponds. Wool allergies? Check out this DIY video to learn how to make them with felt and you can even repurpose some materials within your home!
Healing Herbs & Plants
Lamb's Quarters (Chenopodium album)

This is considered an introduced weed and can thrive near roadsides and in disturbed soil. Gardeners in the high country will recognize this herb and hopefully after reading this will consider it another food, medicine, and fiber dye to harvest while pulling weeds. Another common name for this plant is “pigweed”. Often the common names give some insight into the plant and the reference of pigs and lamb help clue one into its preferred habitat. Manure and compost at Beaver Ponds is where it will be found.  

This plant can be prepared like spinach and used as a salad or a pot herb. Rich in Vitamin C and beta-carotene this green leafy volunteer in the garden can provide healing properties. Like many foods and plants moderation is wise. In this case high levels of oxalic acid can pose some risk with over-consumption or predisposition to kidney stone formation. 

Kids Korner
Book of the Month
S is for Save the Planet: A How-To-Be Green Alphabet
by Brad Herzog (Author), Linda Holt Ayriss (Illustrator)

Order through Amazon Smiles and a percentage is returned to Beaver Ponds.

Did you know Americans generate nearly 250 million tons of trash each year? Or that it takes hundreds of years for a polystyrene cup to decompose? Mankind's negative impact on Mother Earth is tremendous and daily bad news can make it feel overwhelming. But all is not lost! S is for Save the Planet: A How-to-Be-Green Alphabet details the many environmental issues we face and then suggests easy-to-take actions that anyone can do. From the particulars of vermicomposting and xeriscaping, to the three R's of responsible waste management, young readers learn how they can be a force of nature in protecting the earth for generations to come.Brad Herzog spends two months every summer traveling across the country with his wife and two young sons and celebrating America's natural wonders. Together, they have visited more than 30 national parks and seashores. This is Brad's eighth alphabet book for Sleeping Bear Press. He lives on California's Monterey Peninsula. Linda Holt Ayriss is the recipient of a silver medal from the Best in the West Society of Illustrators, and has been recognized in the Communication Arts Annual. She is also the author of Sleeping Bear's E is for Evergreen: A Washington Alphabet. Linda lives in Washington State.

Activity of the Month
A Seasonal Nature Table

Hasho  
A SEASONAL NATURE TABLE 
quietening the mind 
deep in the forest 
water drips 
~Hasho 
 
Many of our experiences with nature evoke a calm, relaxing state. Research has found that spending 30 minutes a week in nature reduces high blood pressure and depression (Christina Procopiou Medical Daily 6/24/16). Parents and teachers know that frustration levels decrease and discipline challenges lessen when children play in natural settings. 

Most of our time is spent inside- at home, at work, in a car. We are surrounded by human – made objects. These days, many of them are synthetic creating a disconnect from nature. Bringing nature inside can provide us with those little, yet very important, moments of calm and peacefulness. 

Creating a seasonal nature table is an easy and fun activity with soothing benefits. 


ore
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!