Guided Hikes and Educational Events

Douglas Land Conservancy offers several guided hike and educational event opportunities throughout the year. All hikes and presentations are typically free and open to the public. DLC does suggest a small donation per person attending each hike or educational presentation (usually $10) to help us continue our mission of the protection of open space in our region of Colorado. All hike and presentation dates, times and locations are subject to change. Please check back often for updates or email [email protected] for more information or to reserve a spot for a certain hike.

Become a 2021 DLC guided hike sponsor


Tuesday, January 11th
Owl Presentation with Nature’s Educators
7:00 pm to 8:00 pm / Virtually

Douglas Land Conservancy is teaming up with our partners at Nature’s Educators and Douglas County Open Space to bring you a virtual presentation about owls in our region.
 
Our evening will begin with a special presentation by Nature’s Educators. There will be live owls to view and the experts will teach us about their special features used for hunting and the necessary role of the owl as predator in our local ecosystem. There will be time for Q&A.
 
Then Jackie Sanderson, Natural Resource Specialist for Douglas County Division of Open Space and Natural Resources, will share information on owl species that have been seen at local Open Space properties, as well as habitat types that would likely host certain owls. She will share recordings of owl calls that will help you learn what to listen for in your own neighborhood. Douglas County Open Space properties are not open after dark, but owls can be seen roosting in the daytime and moving in the twilight hours, if you know where to look!
 
Space is limited. The presentation is free, but a $10 per person or $20 per family donation to DLC is suggested.
 
 
We have a limited number of log-ins
Zoom link will be sent with confirmation of registration
 
In a Zoom webinar format attendees can see and hear presenters as in a lecture hall format and may type questions for the presenters.
 

Douglas Land Conservancy and Douglas County Open Space
invite you on a guided hike to view fall colors at Spruce Mountain.
Thursday, October 14, 9:00am-12noon
Spruce Mountain Open Space
Larkspur, CO

Spruce Mountain is a large, tree-covered mesa that is visible from Interstate I-25, Spruce Mountain Road, County Line Road, and Highway 105. It is part of an important wildlife corridor, allowing travel between the Pike National Forest and Greenland Open Space and Greenland Ranch.

The trail gently switchbacks up Spruce Mountain through a ponderosa pine and Douglas fir forest up to fabulous rocky overlooks and a loop around the fairly-flat, forested mountaintop. Bring your camera, the hike offers breathtaking views of Greenland Open Space, surrounding buttes, Pikes Peak, the Palmer Divide, Carpenter Creek and thousands of acres of protected open space. There are plenty of opportunities to gaze off rocky lookouts, ridges and meadows. The trail is rated moderately easy. Dress for the weather. Bring water and snacks. Your guides will be Elizabeth Taylor and Curt Frankenfeld.

Click here to register

The hikes are offered free of charge, but a $10 per person donation is suggested so that we may continue to offer community events. If the hike is full, contact DLC staff at [email protected] to be added to the waitlist.


Douglas Land Conservancy and Douglas County Open Space
invite you on a guided hike at True & Bald Mountains.
Saturday, October 2, 9:00am-2:00pm
True & Bald Mountains
Larkspur, CO

Please join Douglas Land Conservancy and Douglas County Open Space for a guided hike on the trails at True and Bald Mountains. This hike is best suited for intermediate to experienced hikers that are able to handle steep elevation gains as well as uneven dirt trails. The hike features wooded areas, beautiful views of Southern Douglas County and Pikes Peak, areas of geological interest, and a stop for a picnic lunch. Hiking is available on this conservation easement property only with guided access during special hikes with Douglas County Open Space. Please dress for the weather, bring water and pack your own picnic lunch. Your guides will be Jackie Sanderson, Cathy Fischer and Barb Harbach.

Click here to register

The hikes are offered free of charge, but a $10 per person donation is suggested so that we may continue to offer community events. If the hike is full, contact DLC staff at [email protected] to be added to the waitlist.


Douglas Land Conservancy and the Town of Parker
invite you to an evening hike and BYO picnic dinner.
Friday, October 1, 4:30-7:00pm
Future Ray J. Harvie Park
Parker, CO

Join us for a private sunset hike and picnic at the future Ray J. Harvie Park. Be one of the first to get a sneak peek & learn about the history of the property. The hike is rated easy. Long pants are suggested as you will be walking through tall grasses. Bring a blanket & picnic dinner. You may want a camera and binoculars. Dogs are not allowed. Your guides will be Brian O’Malley and Leslie Clemensen.

Click here to register

The hikes are offered free of charge, but a $10 per person donation is suggested so that we may continue to offer community events. If the hike is full, contact DLC staff at [email protected] to be added to the waitlist.


Join Douglas Land Conservancy and the Town of Parker for family friendly outings to hike the future Ray J. Harvie Park.

Learn about the history of the property and future park plans. The hike is rated moderately easy. Bring plenty of water, a snack, sun protection. You may want to bring a camera and binoculars. Long pants may be preferable as there are no trails and you will be hiking in tall grasses. Dogs are not allowed on this hike.
There are two upcoming hikes…

Register here for the hike on
Friday, August 13 from 8:30-11:00am

or

Register here for the hike on
Saturday, August 28 from 8:30-11:00am

Space is limited. DLC hikes fill quickly. Contact DLC staff at [email protected] or (303) 688-8025 to be added to the wait list.

The hike is free, but a $10 per person or $20 per family donation to DLC is suggested so that we may continuing offering hikes to our community.


Join Douglas Land Conservancy and Douglas County Open Space for family friendly outings to discover the wildflowers blooming at this time. Year after year these hikes are very popular. For 2021 we are offering outings on four different days and at a variety of open spaces.
 
 
Douglas County is home to many varieties of wildflowers, shrubs, and trees as well as providing great habitat for wildlife. This year is particularly bountiful, due to all the moisture. Your guides are DLC & DCOS volunteers and Colorado Native Plant Masters. The pace on all of these hikes will be slow due to stopping to learn about the wildflowers (and ooh and aah at their beauty).
 
 
Bring plenty of water, a snack, sun protection, and a camera if desired. Long pants may be preferable as there is poison ivy in some areas, although we will definitely try to avoid where it grows. Dogs on leash are welcome.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Friday, June 11, 8:30-11:30 am
@Sandstone Ranch Open Space
Guides: Cathy Fischer
& Elizabeth Taylor
 
 
 
Saturday, June 12, 8:30-11:30 am
@Dawson Butte Open Space
Guide: Sharon Sjostrom
 
 
 
Wednesday, June 16, 8:30-11:30 am
at Spruce Mountain Open Space
Guides: Heather Koch & Barb Harbach
 
 
 

Sunday, June 20, 8:30-11:30am
(Note: this is Father’s Day)
at Dawson Butte Open Space

Guide: Sharon Hines

Register Here

Space is limited. The hike is free, but a $10 per person donation to DLC is suggested.

Donate

Our hikes fill quickly. If the event is full contact DLC staff at [email protected] or 303.688.8025 to be added to the wait list.


Memorial Day Birding Hike
Monday, May 31, 2021
7 am – 11:30 am
DuPont Open Space

DuPont Open Space provides great nesting habitats for many different, beautiful species of birds. This family friendly hike is moderately easy and there will be many stops to talk and witness wildlife. 2019 hikers spotted over 50 species!

The event will be led by three local birding experts. DuPont Open Space is located in Louviers, in a wonderful riparian area along Plum Creek. The hike will begin at 7 am at DuPont Park, 8020 Main Street, Louviers. There is plenty of parking, restroom facilities, and a picnic shelter at the park. Pack a picnic lunch for after the hike, if you wish.
http://www.douglas.co.us/dcoutdoors/parks/local-parks/dupont-park/

This open space was donated to Douglas County by the DuPont Company, and is protected by a conservation easement through Douglas Land Conservancy.

Bring plenty of water, a snack, sun protection, binoculars, camera, and wear long pants as there is some poison ivy in the area. Dogs are not allowed on this hike.

Register Here

Space is limited. The hike is free, but a $10 per person donation to DLC is suggested.

Donate

Our hikes fill quickly. If the event is full contact DLC staff at [email protected] or 303.688.8025 to be added to the wait list.

Meet your guides:

Sharon Hines
began watching birds when she was too little to hold binoculars. She has been a volunteer for what was the Colorado Division of Wildlife for about 15 years as a Wildlife Watch Instructor and has worked for a couple of tour companies as a naturalist and bird guide. Having moved to Douglas County 9 years ago, she is now a volunteer interpreter for Douglas County Open Space and Douglas Land Conservancy. Sharon has a BS in Biology and her Native Plant Master Certificate.

Jackie Sanderson
is the Natural Resource Specialist for Douglas County Division of Open Space and Natural Resources and lives just outside of Sedalia along Plum Creek. She has contributed to the Colorado Bird Atlas while living in Steamboat Springs and working for the Routt National Forest. While serving as the Naturalist at the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, she became more acquainted with Front Range birds while leading hikes and accompanying the Tuesday Birders. DuPont is her favorite Douglas County Open Space property for birding.

Curt Frankenfeld
Curt Frankenfeld is an Audubon Master Birder and serves on the board of directors for Denver Audubon. He also volunteers as a naturalist for birding, botany, and exploring nature in Douglas County, Colorado. He is an active volunteer with Denver Audubon, Rocky Mountain Bird Conservancy, Cherokee Ranch and Castle, Douglas County Open Space, and Douglas Land Conservancy


Beginning Birding Class – Virtual Program

Tuesday, May 25 from 6-8pm
Thursday, May 27 from 6-8pm
Tuesday, June 1 from 6-8pm

Want to identify birds in your yard and elsewhere? Join Douglas Land Conservancy for our third annual, Beginner Birding program.

The program, designed for birding beginners or as a refresher course for intermediate birders, consists of three virtual classroom sessions. Please be available for all three dates when you register.

Learn how to select an app, field guide and binoculars, bird identification and great regional birding locations for you to head out to on your own.

Space is limited. The Beginner Birding program is free, but a $30 per person donation to DLC is suggested due to the extensive classroom content being provided and so that we may continue to offer quality programs such as this.

Classes will be offered over Zoom. You will receive the link upon registration. Class times are:

Tuesday, May 25 from 6-8pm
Thursday, May 27 from 6-8pm,
Tuesday, June 1 from 6-8pm.
Please be available for all 3 dates when you register.

‌RSVP
Space is limited. Classes will be offered as a Zoom webinar. You will receive the link upon registration. Class dates and times are:

Tuesday, May 25 from 6:00-8:0pm
Thursday, May 27 from 6:00-8:00pm
and  Tuesday, June 1 from 6:00-8:00pm
Please be available for all three dates when you register.

Our events fill quickly, if the event is full contact DLC staff at [email protected] or 303.688.8025 to be added to the wait list.

DONATE
The Beginner Birding program is free, but a $30 per person donation to DLC is suggested due to the extensive classroom content being provided and so that we may continue to offer quality programs such as this.

Meet Your Instructors:
Cindy Kristensen
Cynthia (Cindy) Kristensen is an Audubon volunteer and Master Birder. She retired from the practice of medicine in 2014 and has subsequently been immersed in the out-of-doors. She is the chair of her HOA’s wildlife committee and a mentor for the current Audubon Master Birder program. Outside of birding and hiking she enjoys travel, gardening (especially chilis and tomatoes) and opera.

Curt Frankenfeld
Curt Frankenfeld is an Audubon Master Birder and serves on the board of directors for Denver Audubon. He also volunteers as a naturalist for birding, botany, and exploring nature in Douglas County, Colorado. He is an active volunteer with Denver Audubon, Rocky Mountain Bird Conservancy, Cherokee Ranch and Castle, Douglas County Open Space, and Douglas Land Conservancy


Discover Wildflowers Class – Virtual Program
May 4 and May 6, 6:30-8:30pm

It is easy to find beautiful wildflowers blooming along the trail when you are hiking on Douglas County Open Spaces or in other wild places in Colorado. Many of us may know common names of some of these flowers already. Would you like to begin to learn how to identify others?

If so, join us for this 2-session Discover Wildflowers class which will give you an introduction to plant identification. The first session will cover some basic botany information that is essential to know if you wish to learn to recognize plant families and identify wildflowers. The second session will help you learn the basic patterns of several of the common plant families found in Douglas County, as well as showing you examples of plants in each family. At the conclusion of the class, you will be given a list of plant names as well as a photo sheet of flowers that you can print at home. You will be able to go on a trip of wildflower discovery by yourself or with a family member or friend!

RSVP
Space is limited. Classes will be offered as a Zoom webinar. You will receive the link upon registration. Class dates and times are:

Tuesday, May 4 from 6:30-8:30pm
Thursday, May 6 from 6:30-8:30pm
Please be available for both dates when you register.

Our events fill quickly, if the event is full contact DLC staff at [email protected] or 3030.688.8025 to be added to the wait list.

DONATE
The Discover Wildflowers program is free, but a $20 per person donation to DLC is suggested due to the extensive classroom content being provided throughout the two-day class and so that we may continue to offer quality programs such as this.

Meet Your Instructors:
Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor’s father was a botany professor, but much to his dismay, she pursued college degrees and a career in zoology, wildlife management, and technical communication instead of botany. It was not until she retired a few years ago that she finally started following in his footsteps and became a certified Colorado Native Plant Master® and an NPM instructor. Now she expresses her passion for land stewardship through volunteering as a naturalist for Douglas Land Conservancy (DLC) and Douglas County Open Space, coordinating the DLC/DCOS Bluebird Project, and serving on the DLC Board of Directors. However, one of her favorite pastimes is leading wildflower hikes and sharing her love of wildflowers with others! Don’t get her started talking about wildflowers though, or you may not be able to get her to stop!

Heather Koch
Heather Koch has a Master of Science in Cell Biology and is a Certified Public Accountant. Since retirement she has focused her learning on the macro rather than the cellular side of biology, plants! Her volunteer work included the CSU Master Gardener Program, the Jefferson County Diagnostic Clinic, Douglas Land Conservancy (DLC), Douglas County Open Space, and teaching in the Colorado Native Plant Master® Program.

Barb Harbach
Barb Harbach is a volunteer naturalist for Douglas Land Conservancy (DLC) and Douglas County Open Space. She is a wildflower enthusiast and a certified Colorado Native Plant Master®. She studied science in college, obtained a degree in commercial art, and worked for 25 years in that field. Now retired, she guides plant and naturalist hikes and monitors plants for Douglas County Open Space.


Signs of Spring Hike at Spruce Mountain Open Space

Wednesday, April 14, 1-4pm and Monday, April 19, 1-4pm

Spruce Mountain Open Space
“Signs of Spring”

Join Douglas Land Conservancy and Douglas County Open Space on a guided hike at Spruce Mountain Open Space. The hike will be approximately 3.6 miles long and is rated easy, although mud and snow may make conditions slightly more difficult. We will stay on the lower trail to avoid ice. Some early spring plants—like the Pasque flowers that are just starting to bloom at Spruce Mountain–might actually be buried in snow again, but we can always keep an eye out for birds, budding bushes, and other signs of spring.

Dress for the weather. Pack water and a snack. Masks will be worn at check in and when in close proximity on the trail. Dogs are not allowed at this hike.

Click here to register for the hike on
Wednesday, April 14.

Click here to register for the hike on
Monday, April 19.

Douglas Land Conservancy is able to offer these in person hikes to a limited amount of people. Please only register for one hike. More will be coming! If the hike is full, contact DLC staff at [email protected] to be added to the waitlist. The hikes are offered free of charge, but a $10 per person donation is suggested so that we may continue to offer community events.
DONATE HERE


Arbor Day Hike at DuPont Open Space
Saturday, April 17, 1-4pm and Saturday, April 17, 1:30-4:30pm

DuPont Open Space
“Arbor Day Hike”

Interested in learning more about the trees and shrubs in our region? Join Douglas Land Conservancy and Douglas County Open Space for a guided Arbor Day hike focusing on the trees and shrubs that grow along Plum Creek at DuPont Open Space. The hike is rated moderately easy. DuPont Open Space is home to a diversity of species of wildlife, including elk and black bear, as well as a wide variety of birds. The property contains a cottonwood riparian forest that will be beautiful in early Spring.

Dress for the weather. Pack water and a snack. Masks will be worn at check in and when in close proximity on the trail. Dogs on leash are welcome to join us.

Click here to register for the hike from 1-4pm.

Click here to register for the hike from 1:30-4:30pm.

Douglas Land Conservancy is able to offer these in person hikes to a limited amount of people. Please only register for one hike. More will be coming! If the hike is full, contact DLC staff at [email protected] to be added to the waitlist. The hikes are offered free of charge, but a $10 per person donation is suggested so that we may continue to offer community events.
DONATE HERE


Earth Day Hikes at Spruce Mountain Open Space

Thursday, April 22, Evening Hike at 5:00 pm and Thursday, April 22, Sunset Hike, 6:15pm

Spruce Mountain Open Space
“Earth Day Hikes”

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than by getting outdoors on permanently protected open space? Join Douglas Land Conservancy and our partners at Douglas County Open Space for a guided sunrise or sunset hike at beautiful Spruce Mountain Open Space. Enjoy the early Spring sights and sounds on the trail, look for the first wildflowers emerging, view the return of migratory birds, learn about the unique geological features, and celebrate the beauty of nature.
Masks will be worn at check in and when in close proximity on the trail. Dress for the weather. Bring plenty of water and a snack. Dogs on leash are welcome to join us.

Click here to register for the Evening hike at 5:oopm.

Click here to register for the SUNSET hike from 6:15pm.

Douglas Land Conservancy is able to offer these in person hikes to a limited amount of people. Please only register for one hike. More will be coming! If the hike is full, contact DLC staff at [email protected] to be added to the waitlist. The hikes are offered free of charge, but a $10 per person donation is suggested so that we may continue to offer community events.
DONATE HERE


Curious Corvids: Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays with Denver Audubon

Tuesday, February 9, 2021
7:00-8:00pm | Virtual

Explore the special characteristics of this unique bird family including intelligence and social behavior. These charismatic species have long fascinated human culture!

Space is limited. The presentation is free, but a $10 per
person or $20 per family donation to DLC is suggested.

Our events fill quickly. If the event is full, please contact [email protected] or 303.688.8025 to be added to the wait list.

Click here to register for the presentation.

We have a limited number of log-ins.
One registration per household please.
Zoom link will be sent with confirmation of registration.

Your presenter: Kate Hogan

Kate Hogan is the Community Outreach Coordinator for Denver Audubon, whose mission is to “inspire actions that protect birds, other wildlife, and their habitats through education, conservation, and research”. She manages the Audubon Nature Center and Native Plant Gardens at Chatfield State Park, in addition to maintaining and growing community partnerships, and sharing her love of local wildlife and native plants with others through our outreach presentations and events.


Wildlife in Winter: Bird Feeders and Seed Eaters with Denver Audubon

Wednesday, January 20, 2021
7:00-8:00pm | Virtual

Photo credit: Wendy Marie Hernandez

Winter is the perfect time to get to know our year-round birding residents in Colorado. Many of them rely upon seeds and berries to sustain them through the colder seasons when insects are dormant! Learn about different bird seed varieties, plant recommendations for berry production, and practice your local bird identification with Denver Audubon.

Space is limited. The presentation is free, but a $10 per
person or $20 per family donation to DLC is suggested.

Our events fill quickly. If the event is full, please contact [email protected] or 303.688.8025 to be added to the wait list.

Click here to register for the presentation.

We have a limited number of log-ins.
One registration per household please.
Zoom link will be sent with confirmation of registration.

Your presenter: Kate Hogan

Kate Hogan is the Community Outreach Coordinator for Denver Audubon, whose mission is to “inspire actions that protect birds, other wildlife, and their habitats through education, conservation, and research”. She manages the Audubon Nature Center and Native Plant Gardens at Chatfield State Park, in addition to maintaining and growing community partnerships, and sharing her love of local wildlife and native plants with others through our outreach presentations and events.


Tuesday, January 26th
Stories from 38 Years with the National Park Service
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm / Virtually

Join DLC for an evening with author, Sheridan Steele, as he shares stories and photos from his book, “From Bear Dens to the Oval Office – true stories from my 38 years managing national parks”

Tuesday, January 26, 2021
7-8:30pm | Virtual – Sheridan Steele

Book Description
“From Bear Dens to the Oval Office” is a collection of true stories relating to national park operations involving wildlife management, search and rescue, visitor orientation and educational services, amusing visitor incidents and staff recollections, land conservation, and working on special projects to expand or improve the national parks. During the course of his career, the author met or hosted numerous dignitaries including President Clinton, President Obama (and the First Family), the Emperor and Empress of Japan, Pope John Paul II, and Members of Congress. Stories are organized by park assignments and are told in a conversational tone. Many of the stories are illustrated with photos from the author’s photo library of more than 100,000 slides and digital photographs taken during his 38 years working in America’s national parks.


About the Author
Sheridan Steele retired from the National Park Service in 2015 after 38 years working in seven different national parks around the United States. He had extensive experience managing all aspects of national park operations including resource management, interpretation and visitor services, facilities management (buildings, roads, and trails), as well as ranger operations such as search and rescue, law enforcement, emergency medical services and wildland fire fighting. His last assignment was Acadia National Park in Maine where he was superintendent for 12 years. He also served as superintendent of Saint Croix Island International Historic Site, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Curecanti National Recreation Area, and Fort Scott National Historic Site and deputy superintendent of Rocky Mountain National Park. He began his NPS career at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio. During those 38 years working with the National Park Service, he paid special attention to land conservation, youth engagement in nature, promoting a quality visitor experience in the parks and improving gateway community relations. He has been married to Barb, a registered nurse, for 48 years. Together they have two children and two grandchildren and seven grand dogs, all now residing in Colorado. They have visited numerous national parks in the US and around the world.

Space is limited. The presentation is free, but a $10 per
person or $20 per family donation to DLC is suggested.

Our events fill quickly. If the event is full, please contact [email protected] or 303.688.8025 to be added to the wait list. If the event fills, and there is enough interest, Sheridan has offered to present again to the DLC community.

Click here to register for
Sheridan Steele’s presentation.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021
7-8:30pm | Virtual

We have a limited number of log-ins.
One registration per household please.
Zoom link will be sent with confirmation of registration.


Tuesday, January 5th
Owl Presentations with Nature’s Educators
7:00 pm to 8:00 pm / Virtually

Douglas Land Conservancy is teaming up with our partners at Nature’s Educators and Douglas County Open Space to bring you a virtual presentation about owls in our region.
 
Our evening will begin with a special presentation by Nature’s Educators. There will be live owls to view and the experts will teach us about their special features used for hunting and the necessary role of the owl as predator in our local ecosystem. There will be time for Q&A.
 
Then Jackie Sanderson, Natural Resource Specialist for Douglas County Division of Open Space and Natural Resources, will share information on owl species that have been seen at local Open Space properties, as well as habitat types that would likely host certain owls. She will share recordings of owl calls that will help you learn what to listen for in your own neighborhood. Douglas County Open Space properties are not open after dark, but owls can be seen roosting in the daytime and moving in the twilight hours, if you know where to look!
 
Space is limited. The presentation is free, but a $10 per person or $20 per family donation to DLC is suggested.
 
Our events fill quickly. If the event is full, please contact [email protected] or 303.688.8025 to be added to the wait list.
 
 
We have a limited number of log-ins
One registration per household please
Zoom link will be sent with confirmation of registration
 
 

Tuesday, September 15th
Batty about Castle Rock
6:30 pm to 7:30 pm Followed by Q&A / Virtually

Learn about bats found in our region and their role in our ecosystem during a one hour virtual presentation hosted by
Douglas Land Conservancy and the Town of Castle Rock.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020
6:30-7:30pm
Followed by Q&A

The 5th annual Animals Around the Rock educational program series will continue on Tuesday, September 15 with a virtual presentation for the whole family about local bats. Bats are beneficial as pollinators and help control the insect population. Join us and learn more about these important, but sometimes misunderstood mammals. A representative from Denver Audubon will give the presentation. There will be time for Q&A.

Register Here

Our events fill quickly. If the event is full, please contact Amy Graziano at 303.688.8025 or [email protected] to be added to the wait list.

Batty about Castle Rock is free, but a $10 per person/$20 per family donation to DLC is suggested so that we may continue to offer quality programs such as this.