This past weekend, we celebrated community with a campout at Johnson Habitat Park with Westwood Neighborhood families! Families came to SPREE HQ on Saturday afternoon where they were greeted by SPREE teachers and a pile of camping gear. We set up campsites before getting busy with crafts and critter crawl!
Observation skills came in handy during Critter Crawl. You woud never know that some of our guests had never looked for critters in our river before- they were pros! We caught so many crawdads, and even a large dragonfly larvae hiding under rocks!
As dusk came, and eventually night we went into our tents to enjoy the night under the stars! This annual campout is always so much fun, and we are grateful for the families that made it so special this year!
On Saturday we had a blast with friends from the Cole neighborhood of Denver with our annual campout celebration! This year was a bit different than other years- we packed all our fun into one evening when in a typical year we sleep over at Johnson Habitat park.
The shorter time did not mean any less fun! After welcoming neighbors to our space, we made some DIY first aid kits. These useful crafts can be taken into our city or into the mountains for safety during adventures.
After some crafts, we had a blast at our river with critter crawl. We caught dozens of crawdads of all different sizes, and many other macroinvertebrates like scuds, mayflies, aquatic sow bugs, and snails! We even caught a small fish!
It was almost too fun at our river discovering the life that lives below the water, but our bellies started grumbling so we knew it was time for dinner.
This was a campout after all, so we cooked our dinner over a fire. Hot dogs just taste better with some char from a fire’s flame! The patience it took to cook our hotdogs transferred really well when it came time for dessert…. S’mores!
For some of our Cole neighbors, this was the first time they got to make, and taste a s’more! What a special moment to share with our neighbors!
Where does the South Platte River water come from? Where does the water go after Denver? This week we found out during “Journey of the South Platte River” summer camp!
We kicked off the week on Monday by getting to know the world’s water and our fellow campers with a game. Campers took turns tossing a sticky hand at a world map, and tracking if the hand stuck to land or water. Not surprisingly, water covers most of the earth, and so most campers hit water!
The Greenway Leadership Corps (GLC) & SPREE's summer High School River Rangers were lucky enough to travel to Phantom Canyon, aptly named because it seems to appear out of nowhere as you are driving along the plains of the northeastern Colorado. The Canyon is one of the last roadless canyons on the Front Range last weekend, and it provides habitat for many wildlife species and native plants. Phantom Canyon is maintained by This Nature Conservancy (TNC) and it is closed to the public. We were fortunate to work yet again with TNC at Wildlands Restoration Volunteers (WRV) on this annual trip, for the opportunity to see this spectacular landscape along the North Fork of the Cache la Poudre River, while doing maintenance on the Phantom Canyon River Trail.