A group of bird watchers stop along U.S. Highway 40 to view a great horned owl and its two young. The group was participating in the Yampatika's 10th annual Birdathon venturing throughout Routt County seeing the many types of birds making home in the area.
Field school schedule
(All sessions are on Saturdays, except for the one on Aug. 1; starting times vary):
¤ Wild horses of Sand Wash Basin fundraiser, June 14: Observe wild horses in the Sand Wash Basin, west of Craig.
¤ Summer solstice archaeoastronomy adventure, June 21: Travel to Canyon Pintado near Rangely with astronomer Bill Lawrence to learn about the summer solstice.
¤ Take a llama to lunch, June 28: Trek with llamas in the Routt National Forest.
¤ Local geology walk with Newell Campbell, July 12: Explore local geology.
¤ Windy Ridge archaeology hike, July 19: Take a five-mile hike around Windy Ridge.
¤ Photographing nature, July 26: Ken Lee leads a workshop on field photography.
¤ Historical/archaeological adventure, Aug. 1: Karen Vail takes the group to a number of Yampa Valley historical sites along Mad Creek Trail.
¤ Wild mushroom foray, Aug. 9: Local mushroom expert Bill Emerson points out safe varieties of the fungi, then cooks them up at the end of the day.
¤ Hike with a ranger, Aug. 16: A district ranger, district biologist and range conservationist lead a hike in the Zirkels.
¤ Paddle with the birds, Aug. 23: Yampatika Executive Director Sonja Macys and bird expert Dee Bolton start at 6:30 a.m. for a bird watching paddling trip.
¤ Yampatika adult field school
¤ Sessions run Saturdays through the summer; the first session, focusing on wild horses in the Sand Wash Basin, is Saturday
¤ Locations vary, but many of the trips leave from the Yampatika office at 925 Weiss Drive
¤ Most field school sessions are $40 for those who are not members of Yampatika; Saturday's session, which includes a catered lunch, is $90
Steamboat Springs For those looking for outdoor, nature-intensive entertainment this summer, or for those who would like to have lunch with a llama, Yampatika is expanding its adult education offerings with a series of field classes.
The series, which starts Saturday with a fundraiser at Sand Wash Basin, is presented in collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. It offers a variety of day programs geared toward locals and tourists, with topics ranging from geology to archaeology and activities ranging from mushroom hunting to bird watching.
"It's not just a 'Look at the pretty flower,' type thing. There's a little more meat to them," said Charlotte Jensen, a volunteer coordinator and board member for Yampatika.
Field school activities are built around Yampatika's mission of inspiring environmental stewardship through education, Jensen said. Some of the classes are previous summer offerings, but the organization has expanded its class schedule this year to include a wider variety of locations and subjects.
"We're just trying to up our offerings and do something different, and have more of an educational presence that really caters to adults," Jensen said. The classes, some of which already are starting to fill up, are meant to show what makes this part of Colorado special, as well as promote protection of the area's environmental and historical attributes, she said. Series organizers hope to appeal to Yampa Valley residents and visitors.
"They're not just the quick trip up to Fish Creek Falls," Jensen said of the field school outings. "They're designed to be meatier, so people who have lived here for a long time can learn things they don't know and see things they don't see."