HPEC Wild Wonderful Weekend* Events                                                                            Saturday, September 25, 2021

                                         Join us for a full day of wild events as part of Centerra’s Wild Wonderful Weekend! 


Already known for its environmental conservation and stewardship, Centerra is Colorado’s first Certified Community Wildlife Habitat, and that’s the reason to get a little wild. Join the inaugural weekend celebration!   

In collaboration with the High Plains Environmental Center (HPEC), Centerra registered with The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) to become the first Community Wildlife Habitat™ in Colorado. The NWF Community Wildlife Habitat program, started in 1997, empowers citizen leaders to take action for wildlife in their own communities. The program provides these leaders with a framework to restore wildlife habitat and educate and engage community members while working to attain NWF’s esteemed certification as a wildlife‐friendly community. As the official stewardship organization of Centerra, HPEC is joining in, and benefitting from, Centerra’s inaugural celebration of this achievement.

                                             See schedule of activities below and check back later for more details regarding children’s activities.

Interested in volunteering with HPEC for this event?  Register here!

*All events listed below are on Saturday only. High Plains Environmental Center’s Visitor’s Center will be closed on Sunday. The public is welcome to visit our gardens and trails from dawn to dusk 365 days a year.  

Wild Bird Banding 8:00 - 9:00 AM

Scott Rashid, Director of the Colorado Avian Research and Rehabilitation Institute (CARRI), will join us for a lively bird-banding demonstration. This is a wonderfully interactive and educational citizen-science opportunity for the whole family. Songbirds are caught in mist nets, and carefully measured and banded. Depending on the number of birds that arrive, attendees may have the opportunity to hold the birds and observe them up close before releasing them.  Bird banding is a national program administered jointly by the US Geological Survey and the Canadian Wildlife Service to support avian research. The information recorded at our bird bandings is sent to the USGS Bird Banding Laboratory in Laurel, MD to be utilized for scientific research. No registration is required. All ages are welcome. Meet at the HPEC visitor's center 5 minutes before 8:00 a.m.

Wild Garden Tour 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Join our Executive Director, Jim Tolstrup for a guided tour of the native demonstration gardens at HPEC, or tour on your own throughout the day.  Take in the allure of native wildflowers around our nature center, visit the medicine wheel garden to view plants used by Plains Tribes for food, ceremony and medicine, and tour our nursery and greenhouses were it all begins. No registration is required.  All ages are welcome. Meet at the HPEC Visitor's Center at 5 minutes before 11:00 a.m.

Wild Garden Appreciation & Scavenger Hunt - Chapungu Sculpture Park 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Join our Horticulture Manager, and Certified Interpretive Guide, Sabrina Kershman for informal garden chats throughout the native botanic gardens and natural areas of Chapungu Sculpture Park, or tour on your own throughout the day. We invite you to view the artistry of Zimbabwean soapstone sculptures amidst the back drop of a multitude of beautiful water-saving Colorado native perennials, shrubs and grasses, that are carefully managed by HPEC.  Kids can enjoy a scavenger hunt throughout the park, and visit the HPEC booth at the Promenade between 2:00 - 5:00 to claim their prize for the Scavenger Hunt completion. No registration is required.  All ages are welcome. Begin at entrance #5 near the canal bridge to pick-up  Scavenger Hunt instructions anytime between 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Wild Bird Walk 9:00 - 10:00 AM

Sheila Webber, seasoned birder of Ft. Collins Audubon, will lead a casual bird walk at Equalizer Lake.  Fall migration is underway, so you will likely see song birds, raptors, shore birds, and waterfowl. Birders will be given a bird checklist of species typically seen in our area, and the bird count for the day will be sent to eBird. Binoculars, water bottle and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.  Easy walk on natural-surface trails. No registration is required. All ages are welcome. Meet at the HPEC barn 5 minutes before 9:00 a.m.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Wild Flower Plant Sale 9:00 AM- 12:00 PM

Come browse our end of season native plant selections at this pop-up live plant sale. HPEC's native plant nursery operation and On-line Native Plant Sale is our primary restoration ecology outreach and education program throughout the growing season from January through September. Native plants not only use less water and are adapted to our arid and variable climate, but they are also the best for attracting native pollinators which have evolved with native plant species. Through this program, we are restoring nature by onsite cultivation and distribution of native plants, throughout the front range landscapes, educating gardeners, landscapers, developers, and government agencies on the importance of native plants, thereby supporting pollinators and water conservation. All proceeds of the ongoing sale go to support HPEC's ecology and horticulture programs. Please bring plant flats or bags to transport your purchases. Bank cards only. No cash transactions.

Wild Interpretive Trail Walk 10:00 - 11:00 AM

Join us for a fun and casual interpretive walk between Hout Reservoir and Equalizer Lake, guided by our staff Restoration Ecologist and Certified Interpretive Trail Guide, Kristin Oles. Learn about the restoration work that has been accomplished, the wild life that lives here, and HPEC's role of ongoing stewardship to preserve our wildlife habitat. What might you see?  Native wildflowers, shrubs and grasses, butterflies, native bees, dragonflies and damselflies, songbirds, raptors, waterfowl and the occasional jumping fish!  Binoculars, water bottle and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.  Easy walk on natural-surface trails. No registration is required. All ages are welcome. Meet at the HPEC barn 5 minutes fore 10:00 a.m.

Wild Play All Day!

Kids love unstructured play in nature. Children of all ages will be able to make their own experiential discoveries using all of their senses during a wild scavenger hunt in our Wild Zone nature play area, explore our authentic tipi, and much more!

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