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 2020 DLC guided hike sponsor

Saturday, September 26th
Mindfulness Series:  Aging Gracefully 
9:00 am to 11:00 am / Virtually

We will wrap up our summer program, Nature as Mindfulness Teacher with one final class. “Aging Gracefully” will be offered on Saturday, September 26 from 9-11am. We hope you can join us virtually!

The changing seasons and naturally occurring transformations in nature give great insights into our personal seasons of life. There is a good body of evidence supporting the fact that when we practice mindfulness as it relates to aging, we can live happier and healthier lives. Join us as we learn to take a mindful approach to growing older using nature as our guide.

 

Details: We will gather virtually via Zoom for an overview and instruction. There will be 20 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 20 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.

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.

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. 
 
Meet Your Instructor:
Leslie Clemensen, DLC volunteer, Mindfulness teacher and Audubon trained Naturalist with degrees in Education.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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. dlc[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. 

 

2019 Outdoor Photos with Santa

Saturday, November 23, 2019
at Philip S. Miller Park Millhouse
1375 W Plum Creek Pkwy
Castle Rock, CO 80109

Skip the mall and have your 2019 holiday photos taken outdoors! Enjoy a photo shoot with Santa and support Douglas Land Conservancy at the same time. DLC has teamed up with Santa again this year for a special morning of family photos at
Philip S. Miller Park, Millhouse.

The whole family is welcome, even four legged members. The cost is $30 (+ processing fees) for a mini outdoor photo session and is payable at sign up. Your photos will be emailed to you by Monday December 2 and will include 2-6 images, printable up to 8×10. Meet at the Philip S. Miller Park Millhouse for hot cocoa and enjoy the fire pit before pictures. Santa will be outdoors and waiting to meet your family.

Reserve your spot with Santa here!

Sandstone Ranch Guided Hikes – In Partnership with Douglas County Open Space

June 14, 2019 – Evening Guided Hike and a picnic (Bring your own picnic dinner) – All spots on this hike have been filled.

July 20, 2019 – Guided Day Hike and a picnic (Bring your own picnic dinner) – All spots for this hike have been filled.

August 16, 2019 – Evening Guided Hike and a picnic (Bring your own picnic dinner) – All spots for this hike have been filled.

September 21, 2019 – Guided Afternoon Hike and a picnic (Bring your own picnic) – All spots for this hike have been filled!

October 19, 2019 – Guided Day Hike and a picnic (Bring your own picnic) – Register here for this hike!


Open Space Day at Prairie Canyon Ranch – In Partnership with Douglas County Open Space

A guided hike through a canyon, hayrides, blacksmith demonstrations, live music and dancing, and a birds of prey exhibit — the annual Douglas County Open Space Day has it all.

All activities are free, and a barbecue lunch is available for purchase. Don’t miss your chance to visit historic Prairie Canyon Ranch at this family-friendly event.

Co-hosted by Douglas County Open Space and Natural Resources and the Douglas Land Conservancy, Open Space Day is scheduled for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. September 7 at Prairie Canyon Ranch Open Space, 4620 S. State Hwy 83 in Franktown.

Sign in for the guided hikes is at 10 a.m. and they will take off promptly at 10:15 a.m. starting the fun. Music, other activities and demonstrations, and lunch (available for purchase) will be available from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Register Here


Additional Douglas Land Conservancy Guided Hikes and Educational Presentations


Saturday, September 28, 2019
Night Sky Viewing at Sandstone Ranch
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm / Larkspur, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

Join Douglas Land Conservancy and Douglas County Open Space as we gather at Sandstone Ranch to view the night sky through telescopes. We will meet at the main house for refreshments and a brief presentation from amateur astronomers on the night sky. Then we will head outdoors where telescopes and binoculars will be set up for sky gazing on an evening when multiple planets will be visible.

Let’s keep it dark. No flashlights or phone lights. If you have them, please bring headlamps with red lights or a head lamp covered in red cellophane.
 
 
Dogs are not allowed at this event.
 
DLC and our partners at Douglas County Open Space will be joining together to offer a series of night sky viewing events in 2019. This is a new offering and is made possible by wonderful volunteers, supporter donations and the dark night skies at Sandstone Ranch.
 
Space is limited. The event 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.

Sunday, September 15, 2019
Pollinator Presentation and Craft Mead Tasting at Honnibrook Meadery
11:00 am to 1:00 pm / Castle Rock, Colorado

Join Douglas Land Conservancy’s Next Gen group for a Sunday morning mead sipping while your ears are a-buzz with information about land conservation and native bee populations. Without the bees, there would be no sweet, sweet mead!
Presentation by Colorado State Beekeepers Association. 21+ event.  One free tasting. Regular menu available.
 

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. 

 

$10 suggested donation to DLC so that our non profit can continue to offer programs such as this to the community.


Wednesday, August 28, 2019
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 3nd 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.

Participants should 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!

Monday, August 26, 2019
Hike at Prairie Canyon Ranch.  Cavities:  No Dentist
8:00 am to 11:30 am / Franktown, Colorado

Join Douglas Land Conservancy and our partners at Douglas County Open Space for a fun fact-filled walk through the Ponderosas. Learn about the residents who use snags and cavities for their home, and about forest dynamics. Long pants and closed-toed shoes are required, as there is no path and the vegetation is tall. Binoculars, insect repellent, sunblock, water bottles are recommended. Dogs are not allowed on this property.

 
This event is offered free of charge, but a suggested donation of $10 per person is suggested to Douglas Land Conservancy, a local non profit, in order to continue programs such as these.
 
 
Prairie Canyon Ranch – This 978-acre ranch is open by appointment only through Douglas County Open Space. Located two miles south of Castlewood Canyon State Park off of State Highway 83, the ranch has been protected since 2000 and was purchased by the County with assistance from Great Outdoors Colorado because of its diverse wildlife habitat and unique ranching history. Hawks, pronghorn antelope, coyotes, deer, elk and great blue herons are all known inhabitants. Until late 2015, it was a working cattle ranch.

Friday, August 9, 2019
Night Sky Viewing at Sandstone Ranch
7:30 pm to 9:30 pm / Larkspur, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

Join Douglas Land Conservancy and Douglas County Open Space as we gather at Sandstone Ranch to view the night sky through telescopes. We will meet at the main house for refreshments and a brief presentation from amateur astronomers on the night sky. Then we will head outdoors where telescopes and binoculars will be set up for sky gazing on an evening when multiple planets will be visible.

Let’s keep it dark. No flashlights or phone lights. If you have them, please bring headlamps with red lights or a head lamp covered in red cellophane.
 
 
Dogs are not allowed at this event.
 
DLC and our partners at Douglas County Open Space will be joining together to offer a series of night sky viewing events in 2019. This is a new offering and is made possible by wonderful volunteers, supporter donations and the dark night skies at Sandstone Ranch.
 
Space is limited. The event 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.
 

Batty about Castle Rock
August 13, 6:30 -8 pm
The Millhouse at Philip S. Miller Park

Join the Colorado BatCREW for a presentation on local bats, adaptations and the benefits they bring to our ecology. Afterwards we will head out to the pond to look and listen for bat activity. Due to Colorado law, there will not be any live bats at this event.  This event may be best for ages 8 and up. The presentation is factual with time for questions, so it may not keep the attention of younger children.

This is a free, family friendly program presented by the DLC in partnership with the Town of Castle Rock. Donations are appreciated to help further the program. Seating is limited and therefore registration is required:

Register Here


Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Sunset/Moonrise Hike at Prairie Canyon Ranch 
6:00 pm to 9:30 pm / Prairie Canyon Ranch, Franktown, CO.

Join Douglas Land Conservancy and our partners at Douglas County Open Space for a beautiful night on the ranch.
 
Prairie Canyon Ranch is fascinating any time of year, but when the sun is setting behind the wooded cliffs, and the moon is rising over the plains, it’s a treat to experience the sights and sounds of the evening. Bring a picnic dinner to enjoy at 6:00 pm. We will start to assemble at 7:00 to tour the barnyard, and then start our hike to the cliffs for sunset. After the sun disappears, we will turn around and make our way through the savanna Ponderosas to watch the full moon rise in the east (of course, if no clouds get in the way). Weather/fire restrictions permitting we will have s’mores around the campfire near the pond following the hike.
 
 
This event is offered free of charge, but a suggested donation of $10 per person or $20 per family is suggested to Douglas Land Conservancy, a local non profit, in order to continue programs such as these.
 
Space on the hike is limited. Our hikes 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.
 
Prairie Canyon Ranch – This 978-acre ranch is open by appointment only through Douglas County Open Space. Located two miles south of Castlewood Canyon State Park off of State Highway 83, the ranch has been protected since 2000 and was purchased by the County with assistance from Great Outdoors Colorado because of its diverse wildlife habitat and unique ranching history. Hawks, pronghorn antelope, coyotes, deer, elk and great blue herons are all known inhabitants. Until late 2015, it was a working cattle ranch.

Raptors Over the Rock
July 10, 6-7:30 pm
Rain Date July 24, 6-7:30 pm
Amphitheater at Philip S. Miller Park

Join us for this popular one-hour presentation featuring the birds that share our home. Learn about the characteristics that define raptors, including where they live and how they hunt. There will be time for Q & A and to get up close to the animal ambassadors.

Register Here

Reptiles Under the Rock
July 17, 6-7:30 pm
Millhouse at Philip S. Miller Park

Join us for another one-hour presentation featuring some of the amazing reptiles and amphibians that live in our area. Up to 6 reptile ambassadors will be present. Meet them and learn about their habitats, diets, defenses, conservation and more.

Register Here

Batty About Castle Rock
Tuesday, August 13, 6:30-8 pm
Millhouse at Philip S. Miller Park

Join us for a presentation on local bats, adaptations, and the benefits they bring to our ecology. Following the presentation we will head out to the pond and look and listen for bat activity. Due to Colorado law there will not be any live bats at this presentation.

Register Here

These events are free, but a $10 per person or $20 per family donation to DLC is suggested.


Sunday, June 30th, 2019
Brews and Views Guided Hike 
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm / Glendale Farm Open Space, Castle Rock, CO.
 
We’ve got a perfect Colorado summer afternoon planned for you!

 

Join Douglas Land Conservancy and our partners at Douglas County Open Space for a guided hike at beautiful Glendale Farm Open Space. Post hike you are invited to an optional meet up at Lone Tree Brewing Company. It doesn’t get much more Colorado than a great hike followed by a craft beer! If you want dinner to be easy, LTBC also has food trucks on site daily.

Glendale Farm Open Space is a truly valuable community resource that preserves scenic views and provides a natural buffer between rapidly developing Lone Tree, Castle Pines, and Castle Rock. Visitors at the top of the trail get a feel for the Colorado Front Range by looking at majestic panoramic views of Pikes Peak, Devils Head and Longs Peak, while only minutes from the highway. Dogs on leash are welcome to join the fun. Dogs are even welcome at Lone Tree Brewing Company!

Your guides for the hike will be Brian O’Malley and Jessica Fenske. The hike is rated moderately easy with some short climbs that may be more challenging. The natural surface trail is 1.6 miles long.

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

 
This event is offered free of charge, but a suggested donation of $10 per person or $20 per family is suggested to Douglas Land Conservancy, a local non profit, in order to continue programs such as these.
 
 

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019
Wildlife Myths and Mysteries 
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm / Philip S. Miller Amphitheater, Castle Rock, CO.
 
Join Douglas Land Conservancy and the Town of Castle Rock as they partner to bring you a presentation from local wildlife rehabilitators and Colorado Parks and Wildlife on living with wildlife. The presentation will include; Safely viewing wildlife. How to keep wildlife wild. What to do if you find baby wildlife? What to do if you find an injured animal? There will be time for Q&A.
 
Pack a picnic dinner.  Bring the whole family.
 
 
 
This event is offered free of charge, but a suggested donation of $10 per person or $20 per family is suggested to Douglas Land Conservancy, a local non profit, in order to continue programs such as these.
 
 
 

Wednesday, June 12th, and Saturday, June 15th
Guided Wildflower Hike at Dawson Butte Open Space
8:00 am to 11:00 am / Dawson Butte Open Space, Larkspur, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

Join Douglas Land Conservancy at beautiful Dawson Butte Open Space for a family friendly event to discover the wildflowers blooming at this time. Year after year this is one of our most popular hikes. Therefore for 2019 we are offering the hike twice – on Saturday and again on Tuesday. We hope that you are able to attend one of these days.

This open space is home to many varieties of wildflowers, shrubs, and trees as well as providing great habitat for wildlife. Your guides are DLC volunteers and Colorado Native Plant Masters. The trail is rated moderately easy and the pace will be slow due to stopping to learn about the wildflowers (and ooh and aah at their beauty).

We will meet at Dawson Butte at 8:00 am. Registrants will be informed of parking later, as we will be in an overflow area, open just for our group. Bring plenty of water, a snack, sun protection, and a camera if desired. There are picnic tables at the trail head. Feel free to bring a sack lunch to enjoy with your family after the hike. Long pants may be preferable as there is poison ivy in some areas of the open space, although we will definitely try to avoid where it grows. Dogs on leash are welcome.

 
Space is limited. Our hikes 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.
 
 

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


Monday, May 28, 29, June 2, 2019
DLC Beginning Birding Program

Beginner Birding Program offered by Douglas Land Conservancy in partnership with Denver Audubon

Want to be able to identify birds in your yard and elsewhere? Join Douglas Land Conservancy for our first ever, Beginner Birding Program.  The program, designed for birding beginners or as a refresher course for intermediate birders, consists of two classroom evenings and a field trip.  Learn how to select an app, field guide and binoculars, bird identification and great local birding locations. Then we’ll head outdoors to practice our new skills.  This program is offered through a partnership with Denver Audubon.  Your instructors are local birding experts;  Curt Frankenfeld, Douglas Land Conservancy volunteer and Cindy Valentine, Denver Audubon volunteer.

When & Where:

Class #1
Tuesday, May 28
6-8pm
@Philip S. Miller Library, CR Bank Room West

Class #2
Wednesday, May 29
6-8pm
@Philip S. Miller Library, CR Bank Room West

Field Trip
Sunday, June 2
7:30-11:30am
@DuPont Open Space in Louviers

Participation in all three sessions is encouraged.

Registration Here for Beginning Birding

Space is limited. The Beginning Birder program is free, but a $20 per person donation to DLC is suggested


Monday, May 27, 2019
Annual DLC Memorial Day Birding Hike
7:00 am to 11:30 am / DuPont Open Space, Louviers, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

Join Douglas Land Conservancy and Douglas County Open Space on our Annual Memorial Day Guided Birding Hike at 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. Last year’s 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.

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.

Space is limited. Our hikes 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.

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

Meet your guides:
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 throughout 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.

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.


Friday, April 26, 2019
Guided Arbor Day Hike at Columbine Open Space
2:00 pm to 4:30 pm / Larkspur, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

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 East Plum Creek at Columbine Open Space. We will observe the effects of beavers in the riparian area and get a special preview of a new segment of the Colorado Front Range Trail. The hike is rated easy, with a few short climbs, on the south side.

Columbine Open Space is protected for its important wetlands along Plum Creek, pine forest and Gambel oak habitat. The trails are comprised of two 1.5 mile loops that follow through the upper grasslands and shrublands. An old red barn and rock springhouse are located on this property. Sorry, no dogs are allowed. The trail is rated easy, with a short climb on the south loop. There is a picnic shelter located at the open space if you would like to enjoy lunch prior to the hike.

Please dress for the weather. Bring plenty of water and a snack.

The hike is free, but a $10 per person donation to Douglas Land Conservancy is suggested. You may donate online here or in person on the day of the hike. 

Space is limited. Our hikes 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.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Guided Earth Day Hike at Prairie Canyon Ranch

9:00am to 12:00pm/ Prairie Canyon Ranch, Franktown, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

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 hike at beautiful Prairie Canyon Ranch 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.
 
 
Prairie Canyon Ranch – This 978-acre ranch is open by appointment only through Douglas County Open Space. Located two miles south of Castlewood Canyon State Park off of State Highway 83, the ranch has been protected since 2000 and was purchased by the County with assistance from Great Outdoors Colorado because of its diverse wildlife habitat and unique ranching history. Hawks, pronghorn antelope, coyotes, deer, elk and great blue herons are all known inhabitants.
 
 
Bring plenty of water and sun protection. Dress for the weather. Pack a lunch for after the hike if you wish. Dogs are NOT allowed on this hike.

The hike is free, but a $10 per person donation to Douglas Land Conservancy is suggested. You may donate online here or in person on the day of the hike. 

 
Space is limited. Our hikes 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.
 
Your guides for the hike will be Sharon Hines and Cathy Fischer.
 
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 10 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.
 
Cathy Fischer
is a volunteer naturalist for Douglas Land Conservancy, Douglas County Open Space, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. She is a Certified Interpretive Guide and is currently working on her certification as a Colorado Native Plant Master. Cathy is an accomplished nature photographer and wildflower enthusiast and recipient of two Crested Butte Wildflower Festival photography awards. She is an avid hiker whose travel adventures have taken her across Colorado and the world. Cathy has lived in Douglas County for over half her live and loves sharing her appreciation of nature through public hikes and programs. Her two favorite Douglas County Open Space areas are Spruce Mountain and Dawson Butte.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Guided Early Spring Hike at Spruce Mountain Open Space
9:00am to 12:00pm / Spruce Mountain Open Space, Larkspur, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

It was a long winter! Need to get outside? Douglas Land Conservancy’s Cabin Fever Pop Up Hike is just the cure. Join us this Wednesday, from 9 am- 12 noon at Spruce Mountain Open Space. We’ll keep the pace brisk with some stops along the way to investigate what nature has to offer in early Spring.
 
The Spruce Mountain trail gently switchbacks up Spruce Mountain through a Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir forest to fabulous rocky overlooks and a loop around the fairly-flat, forested mountaintop with beautiful views.
 
The 5.5 mile loop trail is rated moderately easy. The natural trail surface may have snow and ice.  Bring plenty of water and snacks. Dress for the weather. Dogs on leash are allowed to join us.

The hike is free, but a $10 per person donation to Douglas Land Conservancy is suggested. You may donate online here or in person on the day of the hike. 

 
Space is limited. Our hikes 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.

Saturday, March 23, 2019
Guided Early Spring Hike at Bald Mountain
9:00 am to 12:00 pm / Larkspur, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

Please join Douglas Land Conservancy and Douglas County Open Space for a morning hike up Bald Mountain. Hiking is available at this private property only with guided access during scheduled outings with Douglas County Open Space.

Guides will lead you through wooded areas on trails that are not maintained for winter conditions. This hike is best suited for intermediate to experienced hikers. The peak offer beautiful views of Southern Douglas County and Pikes Peak.

Upon completion of the Bald Mountain hike, we may offer a brief break for a picnic lunch and an opportunity to then hike nearby True Mountain depending on interest and the weather. If you think you may be interested in the extended hike, pack a lunch and plenty of water. This hike would conclude by 3:00 pm.

Please dress for the weather, bring water and snacks.  Dogs are not allowed at this event.

The hike is free, but a $10 per person donation to Douglas Land Conservancy is suggested. You may donate online here or in person on the day of the hike.

RSVP for this Guided Hike

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.