Recently, high school interns from Denver School of Innovation and Sustainable Design (DSISD) attended one of our holiday camps! They got to see how camp is run and experience the different activities that take place. They also interviewed some of the kids and staff about the holiday camp and SPREE.
It always seems that when school is out in Denver, we have a snow storm. Denver was a tropical forest during the time of the dinosaurs, however on Monday and Tuesday we experienced a very different climate when campers learned about dinosaurs and the prehistoric Denver landscape.
Monday it snowed all day as campers dug deep into Colorado’s past and the prehistoric creatures that roamed it. The first activity, campers broke down the 640 million year animal history of earth into 100 ft. This made it a bit easier to visualize when events took place in the past. While walking the 100 ft. timeline, we learned that some dinosaurs- like Stegosaurus and T. rex- would have never met each other in real life while others like Triceratops were around throughout most of the Mesozoic Era!
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Recently, our two DSISD high school interns met up with Trevor, a student from Metro who has a degree in wildlife conservation. As we took a walk down the South Platte River in downtown Denver, Trevor pointed out different types of trees and plants that live alongside the river that are both native and invasive to Colorado. He talked to us about the importance of the river to the wildlife that lives alongside it, and how the invasive plants are harmful to the riparian ecosystem. After our walk, we sat by the confluence and asked Trevor a few questions; some about his love of fly-fishing, and others about what he does at Denver Trout Unlimited (DTU). We also asked him what he does in college and what advice he could give us about college.
Happy Valentine's Day! Did you know many animals that live in Colorado are monogamous? In honor of Valentine's Day, discover some of these adorable animal pairs.
Sandhill cranes are the ultimate in relationship goals - they stay together for years. To keep this bond, sandhill cranes perform courtship displays, remaining in close proximity to each other and calling in unison. Sandhill cranes prefer to breed on tundra, in marshes, and on grasslands. Here’s a link to see a Sandhill Crane’s mating dance!
Bald Eagles are a very mature species but are also sentimental. When they are ready to mate, they will often go back to the place they were born in. They usually are mates for life but if one of the mates dies or disappears then the surviving mate will find a new one. The bald eagle courtship involves a flight show and calls. The flight includes swoops, chases, and cartwheels, in which they fly high, lock talons, and free fall, separating just before hitting the ground. The bald eagle sure knows how to show off for their mate! Here’s a link to the Bald Eagle’s wild mating ritual that happens in the air!
On Friday, local SPREE Ornithologists gathered to investigate the raptors of Denver that rely on our River to survive. Campers put their skills to the test as they competed Olympics style against the biggest, fastest raptors around, built the best adapted raptor imagined, and tried their luck at falconry!
In the first activity, campers found themselves training among the best Aves (bird) Olympians around. The Olympic games are less than a week away, and campers were put to the test to see if they could run faster than a Golden Eagle, smell better than a Turkey Vulture, hover in the air longer than a Kestrel, among other challenges! Most found out they have some training to do if they want to compete against these amazing birds, but some were able to beat select raptors in the wingspan competition!