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Greetings from Beaver Ponds!

Spring is Coming:ED

Spring is coming to the high country and Beaver Ponds. The animal are coming out of hibernation, the spring flowers are popping up in the meadows and Sacramento creek is flowing higher and faster with spring run-off. 

The staff is busy preparing the greenhouse and getting the outdoor raised gardens ready for planting. Some seeds and lots of potatoes are already in the ground and many folks took advantage of our spring plant sale.

Spring and summer is also a good time to begin thinking about what you can do to your house to make it more efficient and less of a drain on the earth's resources.  Our guest columnist, Realtor Preston Guyton, tells us in a recent blog about the benefits of passive solar construction.  Don't wait until the cold settles in again and it is too late!

Amity has some great thoughts to keep Earth day alive all year - click here to read her thoughts. Eric is talking about E-volution -  click here to see what that is all about. Also, wild spring asparagus will be popping up along the streams -   click here to find a great asparagus recipe. 

June is also a great time to visit Beaver Ponds!  Keep your eyes on our website for up and coming events or email Eric to schedule a visit.

Executive Director
PS - Check the Beaver Ponds  Facebook page, Website and  

Kids Corner -
MORE Spring fun: Spring Facts, Cool Projects and Boredom Busters


Spectacular Spring: All Kinds of Spring Facts and Fun
by Bruce Goldstone

Spring is a season of beginnings, from blooming flowers to active animals. People spend more time outdoors, days grow longer, and umbrellas pop open as the weather shifts from snow to rain.
There's so much to see and do in spring - and this book will prepare you for all of it! With vivid photographs, lively explanations, and creative craft ideas. 

Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo

Little things can have a big impact, as in this funny Beginner Book by Dr. Seuss (writing under the name Rosetta Stone) and Michael Frith. When a little bug sneezes, he unknowingly sets off a hilarious chain reaction that wreaks havoc clear across town. From a toppled turtle to a sinking ship to a disrupted circus parade, Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo! takes a hysterical look at consequences in a way that only Dr. Seuss can.

Maker Lab: Outdoors: 25 Super Cool Projects

Twenty-five science projects and experiments to be done outside will spark kids' creativity and help them develop science skills through hands-on learning.

Projects focus on Earth and the environment, plants and animals, weather, water, and physics, bringing science learning home and into the backyard. Young scientists can build a wormery and learn about compost, crack rocks with water and learn about freezing and thawing, build and launch a water rocket to see Newton's laws in action, and more. 

1 Boredom Busters and Creativity Builders For Kids: Inspire your kid s to exercise their imagination, expand their creativity, and have an awesome childhood!

This is not a book of costly, highly sophisticated projects, which require an advanced degree in parenting. Instead,  these straightforward ideas require little planning  and encourage your kids to make the most of supplies they already have at home. 
Some activities are especially engaging. Others encourage increased responsibility. While the third category stretches the imagination.  Parents will gain new insights into the healing power of play, learn to let go of parenting guilt, and discover why free time is a secret ingredient to an awesome childhood.  Children will simply have a blast as they bust boredom and expand their imaginations along the way! 

The Scoop with Amity

10 Earth Day Takeaways You can Do Throughout the Year:

April 22nd brought us the 48th annual Earth Day Celebration with this year's theme being, 'End Plastic Pollution.' As important as this celebration is every year, it is just as vitally important for us to ensure that every day is Earth Day. The facts pertaining to plastic pollution are startling. 50% of the plastic we use - we use just once and then throw away. This is referred to as single use plastic. The average American throws away 185 pounds of plastic per year. We currently only recover about 5% of the plastics we produce. Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than all of the last century. It can take up to 1,000 years for plastic to degrade. Plastic constitutes approximately 90% of all trash floating on the ocean's surface and one million sea birds and 100,000 sea mammals on average are killed annually from this plastic. So what can we do? 

Here are ten take-aways from Earth Day you can do every day to reduce your plastic footprint.
1. Refuse single use plastics. Say no to straws. If straws are a must (yes, I have children) there are a wide variety of eco-friendly options to choose from now. Flexible paper, bamboo, compostable straws made from plants, glass and steel. Don't purchase bottled watered - buy a container that is reusable for your water? If you can't live without your soda purchase a Soda Stream and make your own in reusable bottles. Use reusable shopping bags. Waste management facilities say the largest plastic they see are plastic bags that often will blow away in the wind.
2. Rethink the plastics you buy on a regular basis. Instead of laundry detergent that comes in a plastic bottle, opt for the more earth friendly cardboard container.
3. Purchase food in bulk and place it into reusable containers. Not only will you save money, but this cuts down on plastic packaging. Bring your own container to restaurants as your personal 'doggie' bag.

4. Reduce through the art of 'Pre-cycling. This means reduce the amount of disposable products you purchase in the first place. Start paying close attention to the packaging that comes with a product. Don't support companies that use a large amount of plastics in their packaging.

5. Learn how to repurpose! Repurposing is easy - it just takes some out-of-the-box thinking. Shampoo bottle? Don't toss-decorate it in fabric and use it as a vase. Plastic packaging that comes in cookie packs? Use as a desk organizer. Dental floss container? Paint it and use it as a tooth fairy box for your child. Plastic bottles make awesome planters. A great way to come up with ideas is to do a quick internet or Pinterest search. If you are going to repurpose any plastic for food storage purposes make sure you check the resin level first to ensure it is safe.

6. Be creative and become a DIY guru. Make plastic wrap a thing of the past for your food storage needs. Learn how to make Bees Wrap - the natural alternative you make from bees wax, cotton, and coconut oil. Another fun family craft would be to make reusable sandwich and snack bags. I made mine with my sons in 5 easy steps - no more plastic baggies. Make your own shampoo and keep it in a reusable container.

  7. Avoid buying frozen food. The majority of frozen food is packaged in plastic. Even packaging that looks like cardboard usually has a small plastic film covering it. This is also a great way to cut down on your processed food intake allowing for healthier nutritional choices.
8.Use cloth diapers (I know, I know - not the easiest). If cloth diapers are completely outside of your realm of feasibility then try a fairly new product that claims to be 100% eco-friendly- bamboo diapers that are disposable.
  9. Avoid plastics that may not be single use, but definitely have a short lifespan like toothbrushes and razors. Look at alternatives like bamboo toothbrushes and safety razors.
10. Recycle! Of course the tried and true method of reducing your overall waste footprint, however it is critical to recycle smart! Learn the resin levels on plastics (1 - 7) and what your local recycling facility will accept. If you are tossing plastics into your recycling that they can't process then you are basically creating trash and your efforts are futile. This is because a large amount of recycling facilities do not have the funds to pay someone to sort your recycling. Be smart about it up front.
We can all make the commitment to be better stewards of our Earth, but the vital part is continuing that commitment through our actions - it just takes a little responsible rethinking. It is up to us to reduce the plastic consumption in our own lives - just remember the 5Rs: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle!

      Until next time,

Recipes From Fairplay

Spring is the best time to forage for wild asparagus - if you can find it. It tends to grow in rural areas where there is water.   Look around irrigation ditches in the countryside (those with and without water in them). Avoid private property unless invited. However, it's very common to find the asparagus in ditches on the side of a road. Park and walk the ditch.

This asparagus recipe comes from the Trisha Taylor family of Park County, Colorado. It was originally printed in an Edith Teter Elementary student-made cookbook called, Eat Your Plants!

1 pound fresh asparagus, cleaned and trimmed (trim off thick bases)
2 + 1 Tbs. margarine or butter
1 Tbs. Half-and-Half
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ cup cashews
2 Tbs. finely chopped onion
¼ tsp. seasoned salt (or sea salt)
Dash of pepper
1 Tbs. pimiento (optional)

-Brown onions in 2 Tbs. of the margarine or butter. Set aside.
-Steam asparagus until tender. Place in casserole dish.
-Melt 1 Tbs. margarine or butter and combine with half-and-half. Add salt and nutmeg.
-Gently toss this mixture with the asparagus.
-In a separate bowl, mix the cashews, browned onions, seasoned salt, and pepper. (Add to this pimiento, if desired).
-Sprinkle the cashew mixture over the top of the asparagus.
May be served hot or cold.

We can call it E-volition 
by Eric Chatt N.D.

Our food and soil evolve with many of our choices. The seed we buy and grow, the produce we purchase, choosing to avoid pesticides, selecting for flavor, eating diverse, nutritious whole food, local food, or eating a rainbow diet are just a few of the types of choices that influence our modern food production. We as producers and consumers help select for certain genetics by voting with our dollars, as well as at the ballot box. We are able now to make more informed and sustainable food choices that are driving more sustainable agricultural practice. This is a healthy evolution or a food revolution of our collective choosing; We can call it a food e-volition. What these choices drive is creative collaboration between chefs, farmers, and breeders. Where fine dining, nutrition and medicine meet is with freshness, diversity, and flavor. 

Flavors that are enjoyable to people often contain healthy molecular constituents. Terpenes and terpenoid molecules (volatile oils) are one such group of molecules responsible for the smell of pine (pinene), or the smell of lemon (limonene). Many common herbs and spices contain flavor rich molecules that are also being studied by scientists for therapeutic value, nutrient value, and physiological mechanisms of action. We are all able to help create a more diverse and creative array of future foods by supporting local farms, seed banks, seed-sharing events, restaurants, seed breeders, as well as our grocery choices. Seed companies such as Row 7 represent a collaborative approach between farm to table chefs and seed breeders selecting for flavor rather than shelf-life, uniform appearance, and yield. This is a company that sells unpatented seeds (yeah for the creative breeders). 

If there is any room for creative collaboration, then sharing precious food genetics is one. At Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center, we have been sharing seeds with community members and diversifying our seed sources, this year to include Row 7, Native Seeds, and Seeds of Change companies. Using seed from responsible companies creates very exciting additions to the potential harvest and a great way to support the change you want to see in food. One inspiring gift in getting to know the small farmers and gardeners in Colorado is feeling the welcoming and sharing connection within the agricultural community. People invite you into their own personal victory gardens and share with you the fruits of their labor, their intention, and enthusiasm for healthy labor with our plant allies. Sharing seeds, sharing food, breeding new local varieties, and getting our hands in the soil is all good healthy activity. Gardening is a healing art. Wishing everyone a happy spring planting season.

Below are websites for the seed companies mentioned above: 

Eric Chatt is the site manager of Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center.

Upcoming Events at Beaver Ponds
No public events are currently scheduled for June. 
Check our website for event updates

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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