I am happy to say that the winter storm that just moved through Colorado dropped 14" of snow on the Mountain Park. We're still way below an average year on our snowfall totals, but the snow's 1.26" of moisture should do wonders for greening up the landscape as the new spring unfolds.
The pond in the Mountain Park is officially free of its winter ice on March 10 of this year. Looking back over my records, this is over 2 weeks earlier than usual. Last year the ice free date was March 29, which is more typical, as it is usually the last few days of March when the pond's winter ice disappears. A dry winter so far, and an early thaw for winter 2009. Might we have a wet spring?
The last month has been full of many projects and activities at MPEC. One thing we haven't been doing is shoveling or plowing snow - less than 3" of snow fell in the park in February. We are all hoping that March delivers lots of wet snow, although the first few days of March have been so warm with lots of wind. Our fingers are crossed. Here's a picture of the park's "ready-for-lots-of-snow" landscape!
Along with lots of Earth Studies sessions (we're teaching the basics of birding this session), Thursday evening yoga, guided hikes and other programs, we've been working on our Interpretive Center. We've been building display booths and getting displays put together. Here is our bird display coming together. There are feeders outside the windows for up close viewing, which the birds have happily found.
I am most pleased to report that we have successfully raised the funds for Phase 2 of the Lodge Project. So, as the biomass boiler project progresses towards completion (I cautiously project that we'll be heating the lodge with our new biomass boilers by the end of March), we will begin construction on the west wing in just a couple of weeks. By this fall, the west wing's overnight rooms should be up and running, along with our kitchen and dining area. We are beginning to look at planning some multi-day programs for the fall, and, if you have an event (e.g. family reunion, business or other retreat, etc.), please give us a call if you'd like to schedule a rental. This photo of the west wing is one of the "before" photos, and I look forward to sharing the "after" photos in the not-too-distant future.