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

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.

 


Thursday, August 27, 2020
Third Annual Hop Hunter Hike
9:00 am to 11:00 am / Louviers, Colorado

Did you know that wild hops, a key ingredient in the beer making process, are native to this region?

We invite you to join DLC’s 4th annual hop hunting excursion.

Douglas Land Conservancy and 105 West Brewery are teaming up this summer to hunt wild-growing hops on conserved lands along Plum Creek. Join us as we learn a little about hops and brewing from a 105 West brewmaster, hike on a private conserved property in Louviers, and harvest local hops for a special brew.

Face masks are mandatory. Participants should also wear long pants, hiking shoes, bring water, and garden gloves. Bags will be provided. No dogs are allowed on this hike.

What happens to the harvested hops you ask? They will be brewed into a delicious, local beer, of course! All viable hops harvested will be turned over to the brewmasters at 105 West Brewery who, in turn, will use the bounty to create a special brew. Douglas Land Conservancy will host a special “hoppy hour” when it’s time for tasting. Cheers!

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.

 

If you cannot attend the hop hunting event, please watch your inbox for the special tasting to be announced in the coming weeks. Cheers!

Raptors Over the Rock
Tuesday, July 21st, 6:00 pm to 7:oo pm

Animals Around the Rock

Educational Programs

Are Returning for the 6th Year

Presented in partnership with the the Town of Castle Rock, join Nature’s Educators to discover more about the various types of animals that live over, under and around Castle Rock. Learn about the characteristics that define raptors, including where they live and how they hunt from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Amphitheater at Philip S. Miller Park.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please note, there will be some changes to the series this year to abide by State heath guidelines and accommodate social distancing. Based on current State health orders, attendance will be limited and registration is required. Additionally, attendees are asked to wear face coverings during the check-in process and while walking around the event. There will also not be a meet and greet with the animals. Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner to enjoy with their families. However, dogs are not allowed.

These programs are presented by the Town in partnership with Douglas Land Conservancy. Donations are appreciated to help further the program!
Raptors Over the Rock
Tuesday, July 21
6:00-7:00pm
Amphitheater at Philip S. Miller Park, 1381 Plum Creek Parkway
The rain date for this event is Tuesday, August 25
Please, no dogs at this event as they scare the birds.
for Raptors

 


Celebrating the Bicentennial of the Long Expedition Exploring the Front Range, 1820
Monday, July 13th, 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm

Celebrating the Bicentennial of the Long Expedition Exploring the Front Range, 1820

From Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains and back. Major Stephen Long’s U.S. Government expedition traveled by boat, horseback, and foot in 1819 and 1820. Along their way, the explorers met hardship and success in addressing various tasks assigned to them.

This 75 minute program celebrates the expedition’s bicentennial, while focus-ing on their adventures in the South Platte and Arkansas River valleys during the summer of 1820. Highlights are the company’s scientific, geologic, and geographic discoveries in today’s Douglas, Jefferson, and El Paso Counties. Quotes from the explorers’ journals and artwork from the exploration’s illustrators enrich this presentation by storyteller John Stansfield.

 

Did you know?

Many of the areas where the Long Expedition traveled in our region are lands that DLC permanently protects. Sketches and journal entries show that the group was at what is now Dawson Butte, Sandstone Ranch and Perry Park.

Register Now!

The event is offered free of charge, but as a nonprofit, DLC kindly requests a donation of $10 per person to continue offering quality programs.

DLC events fill quickly. If the event is full, contact DLC staff to be added to the wait list. [email protected] or (303) 688-8025.

Meet Your Presenter: John Stansfield

For forty years, storyteller and author John Stansfield has recounted stories from the American West and the world. He reenacts the lives of national park pioneers Enos Mills and John Otto, as well as Charles Fox Gardiner, frontier physician. He authored biographies, Enos Mills: Rocky Mountain Naturalist and John Denver: Man for the World (Filter Press 2005, 2008, respectively). His book Writers of the American West: Multicultural Learning Encounters (Teacher Ideas Press, 2002) earned a Colorado Authors’ League Award and was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. John’s latest book, a folkloric short story collection titled Rocky Mountain Stories To Read Aloud or Alone, is pending publication.

 

 

 

 


Nature as Mindfulness Teacher | Classes 
Quiet your thoughts and connect with the healing gifts of nature.
Participants will be invited to observe native surroundings in new ways and learn practical skills to take these insights into daily living. The ancient practice of mindfulness is currently embraced across many sectors of society and research bears out the benefits. Whether it’s lessening anxiety or depression, dealing with insomnia, reducing reactivity or increasing compassion, practicing mindfulness on a regular basis gives us skills to more effectively deal with the storms of life as well as deepen our joyful experiences. Participants will learn life enhancing and research-based strategies by focusing on experiences in nature.
The upcoming mindfulness series was planned long before anyone heard of COVID 19. Originally planned as outdoor, in-person events, these virtual opportunities will offer much needed antidotes to our current situation.
Quieting the Mind – June 27
Nature is the perfect backdrop for learning essential skills to help quiet our minds and calm our souls. Discover how elements in nature can teach us to tap into the stillness within and reset our nervous system.
Unplug and Recharge – July 15 and 25
Americans now spend 93% of their time indoors and stimulated by electronics. Many times, we are more of human “doings” instead of human beings. Spending time in nature helps us to relax, lower stress levels and anxiety levels. By opening our senses, we can bridge the gap between our busy lives and the natural world. If these free benefits sound appealing, join us as we learn mindful approaches that counterbalance life’s challenges.
Logistics:
We will gather virtually via Zoom for an overview and instruction. There will be 30 minutes when we leave Zoom and participants will practice the skills taught in a natural setting of their choice – it could be your backyard, a quiet walk near your home or you may choose to drive to a location with cell service for the entire class experience. After the 30 minute practice in nature, we will conclude the class by gathering via Zoom to discuss our experiences in small groups and questions will be answered by the facilitator. Participants will need a timing device such as a cell phone or watch. Each class will take place from 9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. The program is not cumulative and you may participate in one or both classes.
 
Saturday, June 27
9:00-10:45 am
 
Wednesday, July 15
9:00-10:45 am
 
Saturday, July 25
9:00-10:45 am
Space is limited. The Nature as Mindfulness Teacher classes are free, but a $10 per person/per class donation to DLC is suggested so that we may continue to offer quality programs such as this.
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.
Meet Your Instructor:
Leslie Clemensen, DLC volunteer, Mindfulness teacher and Audubon trained Naturalist with degrees in Education.

Discover Wildflowers Program | Offered Virtually

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 3-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. The third session will take you on a virtual wildflower hike through Dawson Butte Open Space. Through photographs and descriptions of the flowers that bloom there in June, you will become familiar with the wildflower species that you can discover for yourself if you choose to do so. At the end of the class, we will give you a list of plants as well as a flower sheet with photos of many of them 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!

Space is limited. The Discover Wildflowers program is free, but a $30 per person donation to DLC is suggested due to the extensive classroom content being provided throughout the three day class 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 dates and times are:

Tuesday, June 9 from 6:30-8:30pm
Thursday, June 11 from 6:30-8:30pm,
Saturday, June 13 from 9-11am.
Please be available for all 3 dates when you register.

Click Here to 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.
Meet Your Instructors:
 
Barb Harbach 
Barb Harbach is a volunteer naturalist for Douglas Land Conservancy (DLC) and Douglas County Open Spaces. She is a wildflower inthusiast and a certified Colorado Native Plant Master®. She studied science in college, obtained a degree in commercail art, and worked for 25 years in that field. Now retired, she guides plant and naturalist hikes and monitors plants for Douglas County Open Spaces.
 
 
 
 
 

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. It was not until she retired that she finally started following in his footsteps and became a certified Colorado Native Plant Master® and a NPM instructor. Now she expresses her passion for land stewardship through volunteering as a naturalist for Douglas Land Conservancy (DLC) and Douglas County Open Spaces, coordinating the DLC/DCOS Bluebird Project, and seving on the Board of Directors.
 
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 Spaces, and teaching in the Colorado Native Plant Master® Program.

Beginner Birding Program | Offered Virtually

Want to identify birds in your yard and elsewhere? Join Douglas Land Conservancy for our second 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 throughout the three day class 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 26 from 6-8pm
Thursday, May 28 from 6-8pm,
Tuesday, June 2 from 6-8pm.
Please be available for all 3 dates when you register.

Register Here to 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.

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 a long-time birder and naturalist. He is currently in the Audubon Master Birder program with expected graduation in August, 2020. He 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.

 

 


Leap Day Hike at Sandstone Ranch
Saturday, February 29th, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
                                             

Sandstone Ranch, Larkspur, Colorado

Spend the extra day in 2020 out on the trail! Join Douglas Land Conservancy and Douglas County Open Space for a guided hike at Sandstone Ranch.

All ability levels are welcome. Guides will take you out in search of signs of wildlife, winter vegetation and share some of the history of Douglas County’s newest open space.  Dress for the weather. There are currently no maintained trails at Sandstone Ranch. The hike will be on ranch roads, through open fields and wooded areas. Consider boots and pants that work well in snowy, icy conditions.  Bring water and pack your lunch. We will stop during the hike for a winter picnic. Dogs are NOT allowed at the ranch. There is spotty to no cell service at the ranch.

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

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

Register Here for this Hike

Your guides for the Leap Day hike are experts on flora and fuana of Douglas County and are all familiar with Sandstone Ranch.

Ann Weaver
Barb Harbach
Curt Frankenfeld
Elizabeth Taylor
Jack Simmonds
Sharon Hines

Valentine’s Day Hike at Dawson Butte Open Space
Friday, February 14th, 9:00 am to 12:30 pm
                                             

Dawson Butte Open Space, Larkspur, Colorado

Join Douglas Land Conservancy for a special Valentine’s Day Hike as we celebrate what we love; conserved land, the great outdoors, and DLC supporters. Bring your special someone, best hiking buddy, or canine pal. There will be a Valentine surprise.
The 5-mile loop trail at Dawson Butte Open Space travels through mostly forested areas with open meadows and views of the Colorado Front Range. The trail follows gently rolling terrain and is rated easy, but may have icy patches. There is no access to the top of the butte.
Dress for the weather. Boots with yaktrax and/or hiking poles are recommended.
Bring plenty of water and a snack.
Dogs on leash are welcome to join us.

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

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

Register Here for this Hike
Meet Your Guide:
Elizabeth Taylor is a volunteer naturalist for Douglas Land Conservancy and Douglas County Open Space. She has a Master of Science in Wildlife Management and is also a certified Colorado Native Plant Master. Throughout her career, Elizabeth has done many things including teaching zoology and working on wildlife parasite and disease research through the South Dakota Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit. Now “retired”, Elizabeth expresses her passion for land stewardship through her volunteer activities such as leading nature hikes, monitoring bluebird houses, and presenting programs on wildlife species.

Mid Week Hike at Lincoln Mountain Open Space
Wednesday, January 15th, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
                                                 Lincoln Mountain Open Space, Larkspur, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

Take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and hit the trail with DLC!  Join Douglas Land Conservancy on a guided hike at Lincoln Mountain Open Space this Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 9 am – 12:00 pm, Lincoln Mountain Open Space

Lincoln Mountain Open Space Highlights:
The 876-acre Lincoln Mountain Open Space is located along the upper reaches of West Cherry Creek with meadows and rolling grasslands that are backed up by forested rocky cliffs and the taller mesa of Lincoln Mountain. Miles of trails are open to the public for hiking, horseback and mountain biking.

From the trail head, we will take the 4.2 mile Upper Loop Trail. Rated moderate in difficulty, this trail has an elevation gain of 400′. It traverses up the open hillside of Lincoln Mountain through Gambel oaks and a scattering of pines and rhyolite rocks. The 7,394′ top offers views of Pikes Peak, Palmer Divide, and ranchlands of the Upper Cherry Creek Valley.

Space is limited. The hike is free, but a $10 per person donation to DLC is suggested.
Our events fill quickly. If the event is full, please contact
Amy Graziano at [email protected] or 303.688.8025 to be added to the wait list.

Your guide for the hike will be Elizabeth Taylor. Elizabeth is a volunteer naturalist for Douglas Land Conservancy and Douglas County Open Space. She has a Master of Science in Wildlife Management and is also a certified Colorado Native Plant Master. Throughout her career, Elizabeth has done many things including teaching zoology and working on wildlife parasite and disease research through the South Dakota Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit. Now “retired”, Elizabeth expresses her passion for land stewardship through her volunteer activities such as leading nature hikes, monitoring bluebird houses, and presenting programs on wildlife species.


Friday, January 10th, 2020, or Saturday, January 11th, 2020

Full Moon Hike at DuPont Open Space
Friday, January 10th, 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, on (includes owl presentation from Nature’s Educators)                                                                                         
or Saturday, January 11th, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, (no presentation, hike only)                                                                                                                                  DuPont Open Space, Louviers, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

Join Douglas Land Conservancy, in partnership with Douglas County Open Space, for a unique, full moon hike at beautiful DuPont Open Space in Louviers. We will meet at the Louviers Clubhouse, 7865 Louviers Blvd., Louviers, 80131.

On Friday evening we will begin with a special presentation by Nature’s Educators. Live owls will be present to view up close. The experts from Nature’s Educators will teach us about their special features used for hunting and the necessary role of the owl as predator in our local ecosystem. Saturday’s event will not include the presentation and will be a hike only.

Guides will lead us on the trail along Plum Creek to enjoy a hike through the woods under a full moon. With luck we may encounter known regional owls such as the Great Horned Owl, the Eastern Screech-Owl, the Long-Eared Owl, and the Northern Saw-Whet Owl.

Dress for the weather. Wear appropriate winter boots. We will not be hiking on trails. There may be snow and ice in the wooded areas. Bring plenty of water and your sense of adventure. Please register only if you are able to hike through the woods in semi-darkness. This is a family friendly event. Dogs are not allowed on this hike.
Space is limited. The hike is free, but a $10 per person donation to DLC is suggested.
Our events fill quickly. If the event is full, please contact
Amy Graziano at [email protected] or 303.688.8025 to be added to the wait list.
Register Here for Friday’s Hike
(including an owl presentation from Nature’s Educators)
1/10/2020 5:30-8:30 pm
 Register Here for Saturday’s Hike
(no presentation, hike only)
1/11/2020 6:30-8:30 pm

Following the hike we will reconvene in the clubhouse for complimentary hot chocolate.

DuPont Open Space was donated to Douglas County Open Space by the DuPont Company and is protected with a conservation easement held by Douglas Land Conservancy.

Meet your guides for these hikes:
Tom Halverstadt is the expert when it comes to birding in the Louviers/DuPont area. He has lived with his family in Louviers for many years and knows where the various species are most likely found. He is a Douglas County Open Space Volunteer, keeping an eye on the DuPont Open Space properties as he leads the Christmas Bird Count there and often takes other birders or rookies in search of elusive species throughtout the year. Tom posts his findings on the CO-Birds mailing list and had birded throughout Colorado, the United States and in far corners of the world. Tom is the General Manager of Arbor Valley Wholesale Nursery, which specializes in native plants, located north of Franktown.
 
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.