We completed our final Earth Studies session of the 2010/2011 school year a week and a half ago, when the 5th graders from Bessemer Academy hiked to the Fire Tower, learned of the fascinating history of Pueblo Mountain Park, and got up close and personal with some flowering plants. This culminated a school year of 1200+ 5th graders from Pueblo City Schools coming to MPEC six full days over the year for eye-opening outdoor-based education (not to mention programs for the Beulah School of Natural Science, PSAS, and several other schools). And now we are about ready to begin our summer camp season, when our first Wonders of Nature Camp for 3rd and 4th graders, and our Greenhorn Wilderness Backpack for 6th - 9th graders kick off a busy summer. Not to give the impression that we only have programs for youngsters, we have a great line-up of summer Nature programs for adults: digital photography workshop, summer solstice drum circle, full moon music hikes, a Women's Walking retreat...check out our website at www.hikeandlearn.org for all the details.
Speaking of Nature, the cool winds of spring seem to be morphing into the toasty winds of summer. We had a bit of moisture in April and May, but the winds, recent hot temps, and a winter of well below average snowfall have the landscape in the grips of a drought that has taken hold of much of the southwest U.S. I just read that this past winter's snowfall overall in the state of Colorado was 249% of average...for the high country. The front range mountains and eastern plains have been dry! In spite of all the dry, there are still some flowers blooming in the park. I've been thoroughly enjoying the low penstemon and golden banner that brighten up my walks back and forth to the office each day, and there's several others blooming out there as well.
Yes, it's dry...but, dryness seems to be a part of the new norm. Dry or wet, there's still much beauty to be found! And lots going on at MPEC this summer!