In This Edition - Quicklinks
Greetings from Beaver Ponds!

Our New Year Begins with Generosity and little Snow

Our combined fall fundraising campaigns, highlighted by our first ever Colorado Gives campaign, raised almost $28,000.  This will get Beaver Ponds off to a great start for the year.  On the horizon for this year is increased programming for youth, and a strong expansion of our high altitude agriculture with a farm to school partnership.

We are also excited that our new board chair, Lisa Bardwell, has been awarded the Enos A. Mills Lifetime Achievement Award.  Be sure to read about the honor in the article below. Congrats Lisa!

We are concerned about the low level of snow-pack at Beaver Ponds and around the state.  More than ever, this emphasizes the importance of the work that we do in studying climate change and the ecology of watersheds.  We hope to build on the work of our South Park National Heritage Area grant for the Sacramento Creek Protection Plan (which will be released at the end of February.)

Be sure to come visit us in 2018!

Executive Director     

PS - Check the Beaver Ponds Facebook page and website
kidsCorner Kids Corner -
This January with winter here and time indoors- let's read about real life adventure!!

For our younger readers:

National Geographic Kids Chapters: Living With Wolves!: True Stories of Adventures With Animals (NGK Chapters)             

Imagine living with a pack of wolves! For National Geographic wildlife 
documentarians, Jim and Jamie Dutcher, that d ream came true. Join the Dutchers as they discover what life is like among wolves in the western wilderness. Filled with engaging photos, fast facts, and fascinating sidebars, readers will be howling for more.

Helen Thayer's Arctic Adventure: A Woman and a Dog Walk to the North Pole (Encounter: Narrative Nonfiction Picture Books)

Take a trip with Helen and Charlie--to the North Pole. The adventures of Helen Thayer and her dog, Charlie, as they walk from Canada to the magnetic North Pole are exciting, perilous, and heartwarming. Perfect for the boy or girl who loves adventure and exploration.

For Older readers and the entire family:

Tales of the Mountain Men: Seventeen Stories of Survival, Exploration, and Frontier Spirit

Tales of the Mountain Men, presents in one book many of the most engaging and revealing portraits of mountain men ever written. They were the trappers of the Rocky Mountain fur trade in the years following Lewis and Clark's Expedition of 1804-1806. With their bold journeys peaking, during the period of 1830-1840, they were the first white men to enter the vast wilderness reaches of the Rockies in search of beaver "plews," as the skins were called. They feasted on the abundant buffalo, elk and other game, while living the ultimate free-spirited wilderness life. Often they paid the ultimate price for their ventures under the arrows, tomahawks, and knives of those native Americans whose lands they had entered.

Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy

In 1861, when war erupted between the States, President Lincoln made an impassioned plea for volunteers. Determined not to remain on the sidelines, Emma Edmonds cropped her hair, donned men's clothing, and enlisted in the Union Army. Posing in turn as a slave, peddler, washerwoman, and fop, Emma became a cunning master of disguise, risking discovery and death at every turn behind Confederate lines.

I'll Push You: A Journey of 500 Miles, Two Best Friends, and One Wheelchair

Friendship takes on new meaning in this true story of Justin and Patrick, born less than two days apart in the same hospital. Best friends their whole lives, they grew up together, went to school together, and were best man in each other's weddings. When Justin was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease that robbed him of the use of his arms and legs, Patrick was there, helping to feed and care for him in ways he'd never imagined. Determined to live life to the fullest, the friends refused to give into despair or let physical limitations control what was possible for Justin.

So when Justin heard about the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile trek through Spain, he wondered aloud to Patrick whether the two of them could ever do it. Patrick's immediate response was: "I'll push you."

I'll Push You is the real-life story of this incredible journey. A travel adventure full of love, humor, and spiritual truth, it exemplifies what every friendship is meant to be and shows what it means to never find yourself alone. You'll discover how love and faith can push past all limits and make us the best versions of ourselves.
Lisa Bardwell  
Lisa Bardwell receives the 2017

We are thrilled to share that our Board of Directors' Chair, Lisa Bardwell, will be receiving the 2017 Enos Mills Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE) conference to be held March 3, 2018 at Tivoli Turnhalle, Auraria Campus, Denver, CO.

Each year individuals and organizations from around the state of Colorado are recognized and honored for their hard work and dedication in the field of environmental education (EE). The Enos Mills Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor presented by CAEE each year to an individual for long-term, outstanding achievements and contributions to EE. This award is named after Enos Mills, whose passion for environmental protection and education, photographs and writings were largely responsible for the decision by Congress in 1915 to establish Rocky Mountain National Park. Enos Mills spent his life discovering and experiencing nature, and working tirelessly to preserve it, by sharing its benefits with others through guiding, writing and photographs. Like Enos Mills, the award recipient has demonstrated leadership and commitment to the field of EE through a body of work.

CAEE has over 850 members across the state in classrooms, non-profits, nature centers, government agencies, higher education, businesses, and more- all working to advance environmental education. 
A fieldtrip at Beaver Ponds:
Edith Teter Pre-School students from Fairplay participated in a late October, 2017 "Signs of Fall" program at Beaver Ponds. They explored the trails, creek, beaver ponds, and of course, said "hello" to the barn animals.

At the edge of the beaver pond, a young pre-school child pokes his plastic shovel into the frozen edge ice that has formed next to the bank. With delight, the child realizes that a whole piece of thin ice has broken away. A parent aide helps the child carefully pull the glass-like ice up to the bank. "It's a window!" both the child and parent yell out gleefully. Even though the ice soon shatters and falls to the ground, the child is still amazed that ice this thin and clear was at his fingertips.

While we would expect that pre-school children have limited attention spans, what we often don't realize is how early childhood education in a nature-based outdoor setting facilitates children's learning and development. Activities that stimulate curiosity, allows use of the senses (see, hear, smell, touch), and involves play, movement, and song, can keep a pre-school child's behavior focused and eager to learn more. Emilian Geczi, Director of the Natural Start Alliance, encourages parents to 
participate in outdoor learning activities with their young children. "Parents (can) appreciate how the ever-changing environment and the many colors, textures, and sounds of nature foster discovery, collaboration, and the imagination."

"Signs of Fall" started with children acting out squirrel behavior, singing a squirrel song, and collecting pine cones to prepare squirrels for winter. Holding fuzzy cloths in their hands, children then collected plant seeds by simply touching the cloth to dried wildflower heads or shrubs to which seeds "stuck" and could be observed inside a magnifying box. Children hiked the trail and hunted for animal tracks and animal "p _ _ p" (scat), rubbed their hands on the beaver chewed bark of aspens trees, smelled plastic jars filled with cones, sage, decayed leaves, and pine needles, and dug into the pond mud with small nets to collect the mucky stuff and pond water that could then be observed under a microscope. Children learned to use binoculars (starting with empty paper towel tubes) and tried to spot the camouflaged stuffed animals hidden near the creek. A lot of play and a lot of fun!

Beaver Ponds wishes to thank the Mosquito Range Heritage Alliance (MRHI) for sponsoring the Edith Teter Preschool "Signs Of Fall" program.
For more information visit.

Also, if you would like to know more, please check out our recommended reading for parents:
1. Last Child in the Woods / Saving Our Children From
Nature-Deficit Disorder
Author: Richard Louv
2. Children & Nature Network

EventsUpcoming Events at Beaver Ponds
Free Public Day
Every Fourth Saturday from 11:00am-3:00pm
Join us and visit the animals, hike and snowshoe-
dependent on the weather.
Next Dates:
January 27th & February 24th

Please support Beaver Ponds and help all of us become better stewards of the earth.

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