Last weekend, Greenway Leadership Corps (GLC) adventured to Vail Mountain Resort to try our hands at snowboarding. We left Denver at the crack of dawn to make our way up into the high country, where most of Colorado’s water starts. It was amazing to see how much an environment can change in just a few short hours’ drive. Big thanks to Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) and SOS Outreach for providing the transportation, gear, and snowboarding instruction for our GLC crew!
Perfect weather (sunny and warm) kicked off a day full of new experiences, overcoming challenges, and lots of laughs! Learning snowboarding can be a frustrating endeavor, even amidst beautiful mountain scenery. At the beginning, most of us were constantly falling. Luckily, Vail provided us with some great instructors; they gave constant encouragement and tips to help all of us improve. It was awesome to see the students showing resilience and perseverance when facing a challenge. As the day wore on, all the hard work the GLC crew put paid off with some serious shredding down the mountain.
Thanks to all the students who came out to try snowboarding with us (including some folks from ELK)! We look forward to working with SOS Outreach and ELK again soon.
The Greenway Leadership Corps took advantage of Colorado’s sunny winter weather last week, and went ice skating at the Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park! A big thanks to The Downtown Denver Partnership for providing an outdoor opportunity for community and fun during these winter months! We were joined by many familiar and new students, including an outdoor leadership student group from Westminster High School!
Greenway Foundation Supporters and Advocates:
Colorado Trout Unlimited (CTU) and The Greenway Foundation (TGF) are pleased to announce that the Colorado Trout Unlimited (CTU) 2020 River Stewardship Award is being awarded to TGF’s Executive Director, Jeff Shoemaker. As Executive Director of The Greenway Foundation, Jeff has led a true revival of Denver’s urban waterways for close to four decades. From promoting parks and responsible development along greenways, to raising funds for the Chatfield Reservoir environmental pool benefitting South Platte River stream flows, to developing environmental education programs that engage thousands of Denver youth every year, The Greenway Foundation, under Jeff’s leadership, has embodied the concept of river stewardship for an urban community.
The CTU River Stewardship Award will be presented during the course of CTU’s 2020 Stewardship Gala on Thursday evening, March 5, 2020. This annual gathering at Mile High Station in Denver is a fun evening of food and drink and raising funds for Colorado TU’s conservation work around our beautiful state!
If you are interested in being a part of this special evening honoring Jeff and TGF, the CTU Stewardship Gala regularly sells out early! Learn more by visiting this link. We hope to see you on March 5, 2020 as we celebrate Colorado’s rivers and fisheries and honor Jeff Shoemaker as CTU’s 2020 River Stewardship Award winner!
What started off as a chilly morning, only got colder as the day went on. That didn’t stop our campers from diving deep into the world of Denver’s Urban Animals! We had a packed day of fun and learning at SPREE HQ last Monday during our holiday camp.
The day started with our mission from Chompers who told us we would learn about nocturnal nature visitors, water fauna, and pesky park dwellers. The first activity was on a nocturnal animal….
Our Greenway Leadership Corps (GLC) adventures took us to Ft. Collins to discover what Colorado State University (CSU) and their Environmental Learning Center (ELC) has to offer college students.
The ELC is located on 300 acres of woodland and prairie, and works to connect people with nature through environmental education. We were lucky to have two CSU students as our educators–Aaron and Claire–who are studying at the Warner College of Natural Resources at CSU.
We started the day with a test of trust in our teammates and our leadership skills. After lining up along a rope we placed blindfolds over our eyes and set out to guide each other along a natural challenge course. After our daunting teambuilder concluded, we were ready to use our sight to help us conquer the next challenge.
The team at ELC had already placed flags around the woods and gave us a map with the locations of the flags, a compass, and a lesson on orienteering. When the whistle blew, all teams ran in opposite directions in search of orange flags. Some teams used their new orienteering skills while others leaned on good luck!
After our adventures through the woods we learned about and practiced stewardship by picking up trash and pulling up mullein, an invasive species found throughout Colorado. Mullein can overtake and displace native plants, and will take over areas when left unattended.
Congratulations and a big THANK YOU to Revesco Properties for being the first private sector business in Colorado to invest in Gutter Bins! The Water Connection introduced Revesco to the innovative Gutter Bin stormwater filtration device which, thanks to Revesco and Gutter Bin inventor Frog Creek Partners, will be installed at the new Meow Wolf site in Denver. This is the intended first phase of a roll out of gutter bins throughout The River Mile. These bins will capture trash and sediment before it enters the South Platte River.
Every year, local governments, nonprofit organizations and the Mile High Flood District spend over $1.5 million removing trash from the South Platte River by hand, one piece at a time. Much of that trash finds its way to our waterways through Denver’s storm drains. The Water Connection is thrilled to tap into this innovative technology to capture and remove the pollution before it reaches our waterways, and we’re grateful to our partner Revesco Properties for being a leader in waterway protection, and for prioritizing the South Platte River.
Thank you to Revesco Properties for taking a stand for the health of our River!
The Greenway Leadership Corps (GLC) got to try two days of indoor and outdoor rock climbing last week with the help of Colorado Mountain Club (CMC) and their Youth Education Program (YEP). On Wednesday, we travelled to the CMC headquarters (located within the American Mountaineering Association building), where we learned the basics of tying in, safety commands, belaying, and climbing! Everyone got a few chances to try out belaying each other and also climbing on the natural rock wall indoors. Though nearly everyone was new to the technique of belaying, they all picked it up quickly and confidently. We couldn’t wait to see them try out these new skills on real rock!
What a way to kick off the week! On Monday, SPREE ran Macroinvertebrate Mayhem holiday camp. What is a macroinvertebrate? If you break down the word “macro” means it can be seen with the naked eye, no need for microscopes. The second half of the word “invertebrate” means an animal that does not have a backbone or spine. So if we put the two together, a macroinvertebrate is an animal without a backbone that can be seen without any magnification. Many macroinvertebrates live in our South Platte River including crawdads, dragonfly larvae, leeches, clams and more! The day started off with a great surprise, Chompers came to visit and give campers the day's mission!