A Frosty Pueblo Mountain Park!

"One must have a mind of winter

To regard the frost and the boughs

of the pine trees crusted with snow."

~ Wallace Stevens


Horseshoe Lodge Construction Begins!

MPEC's Horseshoe Lodge Project is truly a grassroots effort. So many people donated hundreds of thousands of dollars for the first phase of this legacy project over the last 15 months, which is no small piece of change: real financial support from the grassroots. And now, grassroots support in the form of hard-working volunteers is accomplishing much of the initial demolition (several walls need to be removed to accommodate the new classrooms / multi-purpose rooms, Nature shop, and offices). We still have more demo work to accomplish, and we project several other facets of the project can be accomplished with volunteers, so if you'd like to help out, give (Ranger) Dave Van Manen a call at (719) 485-4444 for details. Photos from top: Christine Rochester dismantling an old bench; Jim Loseke enjoying his work; Hal Murray de-nailing a board (it's chilly in there); Erik Stulb removing a section of ceiling; Don Mourning, Larry Arns, Mary Twinem & Dan Clements taking a break!


Horseshoe Lodge Project Kicks Off in Grand Style!

Thursday, January 10, was a lovely sunny winter day in Pueblo Mountain Park. The day offered a perfect afternoon to kick off MPEC's Horseshoe Lodge Project, and about 85 people showed up to celebrate the Groundbreaking Ceremony. Nourished by hot apple cider and an assortment of cookies, attendees heard inspiring comments on the project by Pueblo City Council Member Barbara Vidmar, Pueblo County Commissioner Jeff Chostner, and MPEC Founder and Director Dave Van Manen. And then, fifth grade students from Bessemer Academy helped construct the wall frame of one of the new classrooms that will be built during this first phase of the lodge project. So, construction of Phase 1 of MPEC's new environmental education center is underway.
City Council Member Barb Vidmar and County Commissioner Jeff Chostner helped kick off MPEC's Horseshoe Lodge Project!

Conscious Consumerism

In our capital driven society, it is important to put your money where your mouth is. There a few databases to research products to be sure that the things in your home are not harming your health. We cannot leave it up to the FDA to protect us from harmful substances (remember toxic shock syndrome, red dye #5, lead based paint). Many ingredients are not regulated and some have minimum healthy amounts that are allowed to be in our food and other products.

Food: Did you know that you can eliminate up to 90% of the pesticide intake in your diet by avoiding 12 conventionally raised items of produce? Check out the website www.foodnews.org for a shoppers guide that you can easily fit in a wallet. Oh, buy the way, the 12 foods that you have the highest pesticide load (and that you should therefore eat only organic) are, in order of worst to really bad, 1.Peaches 2.Apples 3.Sweet bell peppers 4.Celery 5.nectarines 6.strawberries 7.cherries 8.lettuce 9.grapes (imported) 10.pears 11.spinach 12.potatoes

Cosmetics: Did you know that many of the things in the cosmetics we use are not regulated by the government but are harmful to our bodies and the environment that sustains our lives? This website covers soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, suntan products, etc... Check out this website to see where the products you currently use in your home rank in safety and to see what products are the safest for you and your environment: www.cosmeticdatabase.com

For a shoppers card look here:http://www.thegreenguide.com/doc/122/dirtydozen

Seafood: This is the shoppers guide that started the shoppers guide. Check it out to see what seafoods are safest for you to eat and least impactful on our worlds waters:

Home Cleaning Products: remember grandmas cleaning solutions? Back then they were "thrifty" choices, today they are "green" choices. Cleaning product companies are not required to disclose all their ingredients. Remember, words like "non-toxic", "eco-safe", and "environmentally friendly" are not regulated, meaning there is no legal definition for their use, meaning don’t trust them. Check out the website below for home recipes for cleaning. Hint, its all about white vinegar...

This article gives an overview on the topic:

Well, there you have it. Keep your home free of nasty chemicals and make the world and future a better place by making informed, conscious buying decisions. In many cases it's cheaper too!


Birdwatching in Beulah on New Year's Day 2008

2007 ended with a wintry December in Beulah, with many cold days and several very cold nights, plus about 28" of snow. 2008, and the beginning of MPEC's ninth year, began with a chilly and sunny day. The birds knew not that us humans were acknowledging the turn of the year, but they were busy at the bird feeders. My son-in-law Erik took plenty of good photos of some of them, including a very hungry male hairy woodpecker, a loud but camera-shy Stellar's jay, a busy mountain chickadee, and a red breasted nuthatch that just wouldn't stay very still.