We lucked out with beautiful blue skies this Sunday, as the Greenway Leadership Corp (GLC) explored the many outdoor opportunities Barr Lake State Park has to offer. Before parking, we had already seen three Bald Eagles perched along the lake and a Kestrel flying overhead.
Barr Lake is home to 12 miles of hiking trails, archery ranges, a wildlife refuge, viewing stations and an interactive nature center!
To start the morning off, Michelle Seubert, a manager of Barr Lake and a Parks and Wildlife Ranger, put us to work restocking water, birdseed, and peanuts for wintering birds. We then had the opportunity to see our work in play as we sat inside the visitor center, which has a large gazing window and a speaker system that picks up the sounds of the birds outside. We sat in awe as the blue jays flew in and took their favorite snack, peanuts.
Then we were off on an open-air vehicle tour of the park, when we learned about the importance of the area. Barr Lake is not only a fantastic bird viewing area but also an important water source to local farmers and wildlife. Snow from the Rocky Mountains melts and converges into the South Platte River which is then diverted into the Burlington Ditch that feeds into Barr Lake.
Following our ride around the park, we stopped at the archery range to learn the safety and essence of the sport. Ranger Brian tested our skills as novice archers as we practiced hitting the target - which was harder than it looked! We all of walked away with a better understanding of archery and a sore shoulder.
We finished with a fun service project that included cleaning up their 3D hunting range, with targets shaped in various animals, including Jackalopes and Alligators!