Greetings from Beaver Ponds!
Earth Day at Beaver Ponds - April 22nd:
Join Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center in celebrating Earth Day 2018. This year's theme is:
'End Plastic Pollution'
We will have a wide-variety of activities for a family day of fun focusing on the 5 Rs and plastic pollution reduction:
Refuse, Reduce. Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle.
The celebration will include:
- Creative Workshops
- Education Labs
- Food including treats made from our own greenhouse goodies.
- Family Fun
We will post a detailed schedule soon!
If you would like to help with our Earth Day Celebration here are a few ways you can do so - just email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- We need 'green' artists to display their work - this means you use 'waste', recycle-eligible, or repurposed materials to make your art, create your work from nature itself, or your work sends a strong message about the environment and conservation.
- Volunteer - we need plenty of help with this event. You can volunteer for set up, take down, or to help the day of.
- Plastic collection - some of our family activities will include repurposing small plastic containers like soda bottles to create fun items such as planters. We need you cleaned, plastic containers - contact us to make a donation.
- Spread the word for us! There is nothing better than word of mouth support!
The Scoop with Amity features Earth Day information -
to go to her article.
Also, our April recipe is Pickle Stuffed eggs -
to read more. Finally, Eric Chatt our site manager and Ute County News reporter talks about our Pika Patrol volunteer workshop this month - click here to read about pikas.
Hope to see you at Earth Day,
Kids Corner -
Spring is officially here. Let's start thinking about gardening, birds returning and a gardening lab for kids!
Square Foot Gardeing with Kids
by Mel Bartholomew
Mel Bartholomew's top-selling Square Foot Gardening books have made his revolutionary garden system available to millions of people.
In Square Foot Gardening with Kids, Mel reveals his tips, tricks, and fun projects in one of his most cherished pursuits: teaching youngsters to build and grow a SFG of their own.The easy geometry of the gridded box breaks the complex world of gardening into digestible bites for enthusiastic young learners, and the sequence of tasks required to grow plants from seeds is repeatable and reassuring.
Kids learn many valuable life lessons when tending their own garden -- such as the importance of following instructions and doing your chores, basic skills like counting and water conservation, and learning to appreciate the nature of food and why it is important to respect it.
Most importantly though, they learn that growing your own food is both fun and rewarding.
Oh Say Can You Seed?: All About Flowering Plants (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library)
With the able assistance of Thing 1 and Thing 2 -- and a fleet of Rube Goldbergian vehicles -- the Cat in the Hat examines the various parts of plants, seeds, and flowers; basic photosynthesis and pollination; and seed dispersal.
National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America, Second Edition (Science & Nature)
Fly into the world of birds in the most complete guide for kids to North America's birds, featuring range maps, cool facts, fun activities, and detailed descriptions and drawings by Jonathan Alderfer, one of the country's top avian experts and artists.
Kids can soar with peregrine falcons or hop with backyard sparrows or sing with robins in the pages of this engaging guide, perfectly leveled for kids just discovering these fascinating feathered friends. With beautiful photography and habitat snapshots, lots of the fun facts kids love, plus interactive birding activities and crafts, the newly updated and expanded guide is the perfect way to bring the fun and amazement of beautiful birds to junior birders. The guide features profiles of 50 of North America's most popular birds--including how and where they live and tips about how to spot, hear, and attract them--as well as mini-profiles of another 100 birds, for coverage of 150 bird species in all.
for Kids: 52 Fun Experiments to Learn, Grow, Harvest, Make, Play, and Enjoy Your Garden (Hands-On Family)
A refreshing source of ideas to help your children learn to grow their own patch of earth, Gardening Lab for Kids encourages children to get outside and enjoy nature. This fun and creative book features 52 plant-related activities set into weekly lessons, beginning with learning to read maps to find your heat zone, moving through seeds, soil, composting, and then creating garden art and appreciating your natural surroundings. Author Renata Fossen Brown guides your family through fun opportunities learning about botany, ecology, the seasons, food, patience, insects, eating, and cooking. The labs can be used as singular projects or to build up to a year of hands-on outdoor experiences. The lessons in this book are open-ended to be explored over and over - with different results each time! Garden Lab for Kids is the perfect book for creative families, friends, and community groups and works as lesson plans for both experienced and new gardeners. Children of all ages and experience levels can be guided by adults and will enjoy these engaging exercises. So, slip on your muddy clothes, and get out and grow!
The Scoop with Amity
We are quickly approach Earth Day 2018, however it is important for us to remember how we can always be better stewards of the earth on a regular basis.
My scoop today are the things you can do day-to-day to go green following these simple tips utilizing the 5 Rs. Some organizations like to add a 6th 'R' - Rethink, however I feel it is meaningful to incorporate the activity of rethinking what we use and how we use it into each and every one of these.
Refusing unneeded or unnecessary items will help eliminate waste from the very beginning. We need to become comfortable with saying the words, "No, thank you." Part of the rethinking with this step is looking into reusable alternatives. Use washable cloths rather than paper towels. Refuse single use items like straws (buy paper), utensils, coffee cups, plastic bags, and plastic bottles. This is easy - use what you have! You can find reusable shopping bags for free or many stores carry them for $1.00 or less. I keep mine in the trunk of my car so I am always ready - even for that unplanned shopping trip. The Dollar Store is another great place to purchase reusable bottles for water and reusable to-go coffee cups.
While we are all conditioned to say yes and accept swag bags, free coupons, flyers (take a picture of it instead) and anything else because it is free, learn to refuse. Accept the things you need and refuse the rest.
This is easy! Simply reduce what you are purchasing by being cognizant of what you actually need and if you will be able to recycle or repurpose it (based on packaging) later. Reduce personal waste by employing healthy home practices like composting. Reduce junk mail - contact companies and ask to be moved to their digital mail list. Reduce the amount of energy you use in your home by having an energy audit completed and teaching positive green practices to your children - just like safety drills.
Reusing and repurposing materials goes hand in hand. When you're deciding whether to toss something and buy a new one, ask yourself if you can find a way to reuse it. When you get out of the habit of buying single use items (like the straws, bags etc.) and transition into the practice of buying items you can consistently reuse (coffee cups, shopping bags) - you are effectively reusing!
Reusing also means selling or donating your used items so they go to loving homes instead of the landfill. Have a yard sale, hop on Craigslist, or ask your friends and family if they have a need for things you don't. Facebook groups are great for this as well.
Before you toss - rethink and be creative. How can you repurpose every day 'trash'? An example of this would be soda or water bottles. Before throwing something away explore creative ways you can repurpose them like turning them into planters. Pinterest is a great app to help inspire your creative side. Join Beaver Ponds for our Earth Day celebration on April 22nd to discover more fun and unique ways to reuse and repurpose your waste.
One of the easiest ways to reduce your waste is to recycle. Recycling is an essential way you can reduce landfill contributions. However, it is vitally important to learn the recycling process in your area. Just because something is marked with the recycle triangle (chasing arrows symbol) does not mean your community's recycling plant will process it, this is especially true for plastics. If you don't know the process then you could actually be creating waste and hurting the environment rather than recycling and making a positive impact.
You are well on your way to reducing your earth footprint and becoming a super earth steward! Please join us at our Earth Day celebration to learn more.
Until next time,
Recipes From Fairplay
This recipe comes from The Natural Food Book by George Seddon and Jackie Burrow, and was first published in 1977. (So good luck finding a copy) This recipe book not only included the recipes and "how to," but also gave the cook ingredient and method information about natural foods for a wholesome diet.
The following recipe is a spin-off of the traditional "Deviled Egg" recipe. Note that the recipe calls for "pot cheese." This is a soft, crumbly and un-aged cheese. It is most like a variation now of cottage cheese, the type that has larger and thicker curds, and with a drier and less watery texture
serves four to six
¼ pound pot cheese
4 Tbs. plain yogurt
4 Tbs. chopped dill pickles
½ tsp. lemon juice
- Hard boil the eggs and transfer the eggs to a bowl of cold water.
- For the filling, cream the pot cheese with the yogurt. Add the chopped dill pickles and the lemon juice. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
- When the eggs are cold, remove their shells and cut the eggs into halves lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the yolks and rub them over a grater (crumble) to add to the filling. Beat the filling until it is smooth and well blended.
- Spoon the filling into the center of the egg whites. Chill in the refrigerator.
Pikas in our Peaks
by Eric Chatt N.D.
A cartoonish little creature related to the rabbit, the American pika (Ochotona princeps), can be heard squeaking among the talus and boulder fields of the Rockies. This herbivorous little mammal spends much time during the summer nibbling on grasses and forbs, keeping cool under rocks, and gathering bedding material to make what is called a haypile for the winter. They don't hibernate, and when you see them and hear them in their tiny little ecological niche it appears they don't sleep much either as they are very alert little busybodies. They are territorial and display loud calls (a peep like a squeaky toy) to warn others when intruders are near. They tend to stay near a 12 meter territory and may go about 200 meters to another talus field. They are Colorado talus hyper-locals.
While studying high alpine ecosystems certain indicator species such as pika are used to monitor ecological adaptations that relate to changing weather patterns. More extreme weather patterns means more snowmelt. Groups such as the Front Range Pika Project are collecting citizen science data about the American Pika and creating models for future collaborative citizen science programs.
Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center was lucky to have a Pika Patrol Volunteer workshop with educators with the Front Range Pika Project who were from the Denver Zoo and Rocky Mountain Wild. We discussed the world of the Pika as well as basic methods of gathering data and documenting pika encounters. It was fun and encouraging learning from the Front Range Pika Project whose passion about our local ecology and what we as citizens can do collaboratively to help in various ecological efforts was an educational treat!
So if you are the type of person that feels getting out in the mountains and into nature is good for your mind, body, and soul, then consider helping with citizen science efforts like the Front Range Pika Project. A simple collection of opportunistic pika data such as evidence of haypiles, scat, audible calls, visual sighting, proximity to a meadow, marmot presence, etc., all contributes to a greater data pool. This type of data helps scientists understand our world in a changing climate and can help us learn as citizens how we can be better stewards of the Earth. You can make a difference while you are doing healthy activity with citizen science!
Eric Chatt N.D.
Eric Chatt is the site manager of Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center.
Upcoming Events at Beaver Ponds
Earth Day - Sunday, April 22nd
This year's theme is:
'End Plastic Pollution'
We will have a wide-variety of activities for a family day of fun
focusing on the 5 Rs and plastic pollution reduction:
Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center Earth Day
Sunday, April 22nd
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
2234 Busch Run Road (corner of County Road 14 and Busch Run) Fairplay, CO
Please support Beaver Ponds and help all of us become better
stewards of the earth.
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