Standley Lake Regional Park Programs
Park rangers offer programs throughout the year for visitors of all ages. Additionally, rangers can work with schools to create customized programs to fit into classroom curriculum. Please check the City of Westminster online registration page to enroll or call the Standley Lake Nature Center for more information at 303-425-1097. Here are some examples of programs offered throughout the year.
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Standley Lake’s Nature’s Educators Series – Live Animal Programs
Standley Lake has partnered with Nature's Educators to bring you a series of FREE programs featuring live animals. Please register in advance as space is limited. These classes are held at the Standley Lake amphitheater and are weather dependent.
• Creatures of the Night – Nocturnal and crepuscular animals have different features and behaviors to help them be active at night. For this popular program, we will learn about snakes, bats, owls, insects, and other creatures that are active at night. We will bring an owl and a few other creepy-crawly critters to help show off their amazing adaptations!
• Talon Talk – In this program, we will dive into the characteristics that define raptors and why they are important to our ecosystems. Audiences will discover the various types of birds of prey found all over the world, what it takes to care for a bird of prey, and learn how Nature's Educators is permitted to keep raptors. Three to four of our ambassadors will be present based on length. The audience will learn about their personal histories, anatomy, hunting strategies, and habitats.
• Getting Wild! – This program features our non-avian ambassadors. Students will learn about the physical differences and how these creatures behave. The species at hand will represent different habitats, diets, physical appearances, sounds, defense methods, and more. Our "Getting Wild" program helps to dispel the idea that nature is scary and that all creepy-crawly creatures are dangerous. Every animal has its importance in the ecosystem!
Standley Lake’s Orginal Nature Programs
Owl Pellet Dissection Class - Learn all about owls and what they eat! You’ll get to dissect an owl pellet that will contain valuable clues to what the owl was eating and the habitat in which the owl was hunting. Each pellet contains a complete disarticulated skeleton that will be studied using bone charts. For ages 6-14.
Tree Ring Discovery Class - Learn about how to calculate the age of a tree, determine climatic change and adaptation through changing growth ring patterns, find fire scars or unusual growth patterns and identify tree anatomy. For ages 8-12.
History of Standley Lake Regional Park - Standley Lake Regional Park is a 3,000-acre park located in unincorporated Jefferson County. Ever wonder how it was formed or how it came to be a regional park? At the nature center, we have all that information and more! Join us and discover all about the fascinating history of this beautiful area. From the first homesteading claims in the 1800s to what it has become today! Please join us and learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the history of Standley Lake. This class is free and appropriate for all ages.
Pine Cone Bird Feeder Making Class - This class is typically held in the Spring. Join us in making a pine cone bird feeder. We will experiment with different recipes to attract different types of birds. All parts of the finished feeder are biodegradable, so if a clever squirrel makes off with one, the feeder will turn into compost! For ages 5-11.
Discovering Bald Eagles - Take a guided nature tour through Standley Lake Nature Refuge to get an “up-close” look at our resident eagles. This tour will discuss every aspect of an eagle’s life from cultural significance and mating rituals to what they eat for breakfast. This tour is interactive, fun and exciting, while at the same time, you will learn everything you want to know about the bald eagle. All ages.
School of Snakes Class: Learn about the different species of snakes that slither about the park. There are 28 different species of snakes that call Colorado their home, but only three of those are venomous. Out of those 28 species, only seven can be found in the area and four others have been found, but don't commonly live here. You will have the opportunity to handle a live bull snake if you choose to! All ages.
Kids' Fishing Derby: In this fishing class, you’ll learn many things like how to tie a hook, the anatomy of a fish, what it is to be an “ethical angler” and how to handle fish. Fishing poles will be provided to children only. Adults must have a fishing license and their own fishing pole. Bait will be provided. This class is for kids aged 6 to 12 and is limited to 30 children.
Birds of Standley Lake: Learn about the Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons and Cormorants - all which live at the park. You’ll get to touch a heron nest, see the bald eagles/eaglets from a spotting scope, go on a 1-mile hike and see how both the heron and cormorant hunt for food. This class is appropriate for all ages; space is limited to 25 people.
Prairie Dogs: Novelty or Nuisance?: Come join us at Standley Lake Regional Park’s Nature Center to learn about Prairie Dogs and the role they play in the park, positive and negative. Prairie Dogs are abundant in the area and seen by some as a nuisance, but they actually serve a purpose in the ecosystem and to the park. Come visit us for a short presentation describing the different ways they impact us, followed by a short walk (about 30-45 minutes) to view a nearby colony.
Skullduggery: Want to learn about how to identify different skulls? Many interesting and unusual relationships between animals are revealed by their skulls. Skulls also give clues about how the animal is adapted for survival in its environment and indicate how these adaptations may have led to the evolution of different species. When investigating skulls more closely, it becomes clear how skulls are used for mammal classification. Come and learn all about skull identification!
Edible Forage Walk: Summer is the season to welcome growth, longer days, and lots and lots of sprouting green stuff! But wouldn’t it be great to actually be able to identify all of that plant life in your neighborhood? And wouldn’t it be even better to be able to pick out those plants that are actually edible? Indeed, there are many wild edibles to be had in your own backyard, but it helps to know what they are and what they’re good for. Wild edibles are often the source of very valuable nutrients and can make a lovely, delicious, unique addition to your diet.
Timeline Cottonwood Display: The Timeline Cottonwood trunk section was originally taken from a diseased tree in Westminster open space in 2010. The slab is approximately four feet in diameter and weighs nearly four hundred pounds. Utilizing Dendrochronology (tree-ring dating), it has been determined that the tree first began growing in 1890. Significant historical dates have been marked on the tree, and they include many historical highlights relating to local, state, national and international events. The tree lived throughout the terms of twenty-two American Presidencies, the Spanish – American War and into the Iraq – Afghanistan Wars. Visit the Standley Lake Visitors Center to see this amazing “time capsule” and discover some new and interesting facts about our history. All ages.