In This Edition - Quicklinks
Greetings from Beaver Ponds!
March Is a busy time at Beaver Ponds


Spring is just around the corner and the staff and I are busy preparing for the warmer weather. This time of year spring cleaning is underway in the greenhouse  and the compost bin material will be put to good use preparing the raised gardens. 

I am excited that our new Development Coordinator, Amity Vargas, is writing a section for the newsletter. This month, you can read the articles she contributed to OutThere Colorado. Click here  to go to her article. 

Also, we have added local recipes. Click here to read our zucchini bread recipe. 

Finally, please join us on March 24th for a  celebration of spring with our Planting of Seeds Ceremony, Sowing the Seeds of Change. We are beginning a new tradition of sharing seeds with our local community members by giving away an assortment of vegetable seeds to promote growth and sustainability.

When you attend the Open House event and plant 10 seeds with us, you will receive 10 seeds to take home to add to your own garden! Celebrate the age-old tradition of planting and sharing - helping all of our gardens prosper! Click here for more information.


Executive Director     

PS - Check the Beaver Ponds Facebook page, Website and  
kidscornerKids Corner -
Spring is fast approaching. Lets get out and explore! Below are some books to help guide your outside adventures!

Lets go Outside:

The Stick Book: Loads of things you can make or do with a stick (Going Wild)
by Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield 

Did you know that there are loads of things you can do with a stick? Totally natural, all-purpose, free, it offers limitless opportunities for outdoor play and adventure! In fact, you can transform a stick into almost anything! This activity-packed book from the team behind the Go Wild! and Make it Wild books provides you with masses of suggestions for things to do with a stick relating to adventures and bushcraft, creative imagination and play, games, woodcraft and conservation, music and more. From building a den to making a bow and arrows, from a game of 'capture the flag' to making a sun clock, the possibilities are endless. All you need to get started is...a stick ! 

Play The Forest School Way: Woodland Games and Crafts for Adventurous Kids

Help your child connect with nature, be adventurous and most of all have fun, with these woodland games, crafts and other activities from Forest School.

This woodland adventure book brings the activities and learning through nature ethos of Forest School to the parents of nursery and primary school-age children. It's packed full of ideas, from making nature jewelry and whittling a bow and arrow to building a shelter and foraging for food; it also celebrates the Forest School philosophy of encouraging self-esteem, confidence and social skills through engagement with nature. 

Activity variations target different age groups, and there are ideas for small groups (for play dates, for example, or children's birthday parties) as well as things to do with just one or two children. While the book is aimed at parents, who are encouraged to guide the play, the activity instructions are written in a simple style so that children can read them too, and the illustrations are also intended to be enjoyed by children. With a fun, child-friendly design, this book offers an immersive experience for all the family. 

The Wild Weather Book: Loads of things to do outdoors in rain, wind and snow (Going Wild)
by Fiona Danks and  Jo Schofield  

It's raining outside - let's get out and play! Don't huddle cooped up indoors on a bad weather day: wrap up in warm clothes or waterproofs and get out of doors for some fun. This book is bursting with wonderful ideas for having fun outdoors even in the most challenging weather! Imagine jumping in the biggest puddle you can find! Or running barefoot and feeling squidgy mud ooze up between your toes!  Or running up the nearest hill to feel the wind try to carry you away! Go on an animal hunt and find the creatures that come out in the wet, or fly a kite in the wind and catch falling leaves! Take your camera into a white wintry world and see how many different icy patterns and shapes you can find.  There are loads of exciting and creative things you can do in the natural world when the weather's don't wait for the sun, take this book with you and go outdoors for a wild weather adventure!

Beaver Ponds Greenhouse
The Scoop with Amity

My name is Amity Vargas and I recently joined the BPEEC team as the Development Coordinator. I have always been passionate about the environment and raising awareness of how we can all be positive earth stewards so Beaver Ponds is definitely the perfect fit for me! Shortly after joining Beaver Ponds I was invited to write two articles for OutThere Colorado highlighting some of what we do at the Center. OutThere Colorado has a large social media following (close to 200K) and is a division of the Colorado Springs Gazette, the largest publication for El Paso and Teller counties.

Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center is promoting healthy living through their farm-to-school programming and educational support. The community and schools can participate in learning about sustainable high altitude gardening at the organization's facility in Fairplay, Colorado.

If you've ever tried to grow vegetables at high altitude, you know it can be tough. Here's everything you need to know about high altitude gardening to get your own garden started this spring.

Check back with me every month for the latest Scoop!
  Amity Vargas

Recipes From Fairplay

Zucchini Breadrecipe
Kathy Reeves
Fairplay, Colorado
Spring is just around the corner, and perhaps it's time to think about what to plant in the garden. As we know, zucchini grows (and grows, and grows), and most likely ripened zucchini squash is in such abundance at the end of the growing season, gardeners choose to give it away (but love doing it).
The following recipe came from Kathy Reeves, who not only grows zucchini in her high altitude garden, but also shreds and freezes pre-measured fresh zucchini in freezer bags.

3 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 ¼ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 cups finely shredded zucchini - fresh or frozen
1 ½ cups walnuts
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Grease and flour 2 loaf pans (4" X 8") OR 5 mini-loaf pans
1. Mix or sift flour, salt, baking powder and soda, and cinnamon.
2. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla, and zucchini
3. Add flour mixture and beat with electric mixer on Medium speed for 3 minutes
4. Stir in walnuts
5. Pour batter into loaf pans.
Bake for 40 - 60 minutes.

Beaver Ponds would like to thank Kathy for bringing her zucchini bread and the recipe to our "Harvest Thanksgiving" public day last November.
Ermines:  In the pines they are a changin'EricChatt
by Eric Chatt N.D.

Whether you are talking particle physics or pelt physiology, change is the only constant. The ermine or stoat (Mustelaerminea), is a weasel-like creature related to the ferret and pine marten. If you spend enough quiet, mindful time in the boreal forests at the edge of the tundra in Colorado with a perceptive eye, you will notice and hopefully get to appreciate the color changes in these critters throughout the year.
When I first saw an ermine, it was almost completely white with black eyes, scuttling  about, standing up and stopping to notice me, then continued vole or mouse hunting in the understory, near tree line on Hoosier Pass (elevation 11,500 ft.). The white color was striking, matching a snowy Rocky Mountain background. The next ermine encounter was in the summer and the brown coat was a stark contrast to its white winter pelt, allowing it to blend in with the brown understory of the forest.
As with the snowshoe hare, there are seasonal changes in the color of the pelt, helping these creatures maintain adequate seasonal camouflage in a boreal ecosystem. Boreal is a term associated with climate in the northern latitudes (long winters), or it can be used in the context of an ecosystem such as a boreal forest. Camouflage is a type of crypsis in ecological terms (evasive adaptations in looks, smell, or auditory concealment). Counter shading also exhibited by the ermine is another form of crypsis, which helps mask depth with shading. Can you imagine why, in an area with long winters, an organism would evolve to change color from all white in the winter to brown on the back and white on the belly in the summer. We are truly lucky to have such magnifi -cent biological diversity that is accessible to Colorado citizens. If luck is the crossroads of opportunity and preparation then special thanks go out to the Ute Nation and the ancestors of this land that lived in balance so that we can enjoy what we can today. May we do our part to honor and embrace sustainable and regenerative lifestyles?
Eric Chatt is the site manager of Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center.

EventsUpcoming Events at Beaver Ponds
Free Public Day - March 24th

Join Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center in a celebration of spring with our Planting of Seeds Ceremony, the Sowing the Seeds of Change. We are beginning a new tradition of sharing seed with our local community members by giving away an assortment of vegetable seeds to promote growth and sustainability.

Here is the deal: Attend our March 24 th Open House event and plant 10 seeds with us. In return you will receive 10 seeds to take home to add to your own garden! Celebrate the age-old tradition of planting and sharing - helping all of our gardens prosper!

Gardens are like learning - never underestimate the power of a planted seed.

Event Details:
Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center March Open House
Date:  Saturday, March 24 th 2018
Time:  11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Guided snowshoe tour at 2:00 p.m.
Bring your own ski/snowshoe sets or use ours for a recommended donation of $5.00 per set
2234 Busch Run Road (corner of County Road 14 and Busch Run) Fairplay, CO


Join us April 22 for a special Beaver Ponds
Earth Day Celebration!

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

Place article copy here. Be sure to make the articles short and concise as people tend not to read much more than a couple of paragraphs. Place article copy here.
  BPEEC| (719) 838-0143 | Email | Website | Donate | Facebook