Winter 2022 Educational Programming

Winter is officially in full swing! We had a slow start with minimal amounts of snowfall early on, but Ullr has now delivered and brought us feet of snow in the last two weeks of the year. 2021 was a strange year and we’re hoping that 2022 brings deep snow days and more of a sense of normalcy.  Here at FDRD we are so happy to have more community events and educational opportunities lined up for the winter season. We are thrilled to be able to get together, learn together, catch up and create community connections.  COVID is obviously still a threat, so we will make sure to follow local protocols to keep everyone safe.

Below are the events that we have on the calendar for the winter which include snowshoe hikes and our winter speaker series. We are offering a wide array of topics this year in our educational offerings. There’s something for everyone! Please note that all events are free. You can access more information as well as register for events where it is necessary to by heading over to our calendar. Events are listed here in chronological order.

*Don’t have snowshoes? No problem! FDRD will loan you a pair. Just let us know in advance of the tour.*

Full Moon Snowshoe Tour

Wednesday, January 19th, 6pm – 8pm
Old Dillon Reservoir

Come join us on a leisurely paced two hour snowshoe tour under the glow of the rising full moon. Dan Schroder, CSU Extension agent, and FDRD friend will be leading this interpretive tour of the wonders of the natural world in the seemingly silent winter while taking in spectacular moonlit views of Dillon Reservoir and our iconic mountain landscape. Total mileage for this outing will be around one and a half miles.

Winter and Warming: Educational Snowshoe Tour

Wednesday, January 26th, 9am – 12pm
Location is TBD based on conditions

Longtime FDRD educators, Dan Schroder and Troy Wineland will lead this leisurely paced snowshoe tour. We will explore the wonders of winter, take in spectacular views, and explore and discuss how a warming climate will impact winter in the high country. Dan Schroder is the Colorado State University Extension Director in Summit County and Troy Wineland is a Water Commissioner for the State of Colorado. Together, they will explore the impacts of climate change on our water, forests and ultimately, our communities locally and globally.

Backcountry Snow Tour with Eric Erslev

Monday, February 7th, 9am – 12pm
Rock Creek Rd. Winter Trailhead

Come spend a morning with geologist Eric Erslev on a relaxed, educational backcountry tour on an easy winter trail. You can think of this trip as a backcountry version of the Ski With A Ranger tours that FDRD runs at the downhill ski areas. Our educational theme will be to explore the strategies used by wildlife and recreationalists to access our beautifully-snowy backcountry in the winter.

These tours are open to people using backcountry skis/split boards or snowshoes. While participants will be provided with a suggested gear list with some general suggestions, you will be expected to be self-sufficient, responsibly choosing and adjusting your own gear. We will not be traversing avalanche terrain, so no protective avalanche gear will be necessary.

Climbing the Seven Summits (Speaker Series)

February 9th, 7pm – 8pm
Broken Compass Brewery (Airport Road location)

Join FDRD longtime volunteer and alpinist John Peterson as he speaks on his experiences ascending The Seven Summits. The Seven Summits are the seven highest peaks on each continent. (Mount Everest, Mount Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Mount Elbrus, Mount Vinson, & Puncak Jaya.) Enjoy some tasty brews and listen to tales of the mountains!

Where Does the Snow Go? XC and Snowshoe Tour

March 2nd, 10am – 1pm
Location TBD

Join FDRD and Water Commissioner Troy Wineland on an educational cross country ski/snowshoe tour! We will go for a leisurely paced adventure on the local trails, take in the beautiful views, and learn about water in the west. We’ll discuss the current state of the snowpack as well as water level outlooks for the remainder of the year.

“Moving Day” A History of the Migration of the Ute Native Americans (Speaker Series)

March 16th, 6pm – 7pm
Summit Historical Society, 1883 Schoolhouse

Join us for a unique learning experience with the Summit Historical Society! This is not your average speaker presentation. Get ready to be actively engaged while learning about the Native American tribes of Colorado and their migrations around the area. The “Moving Day” program focuses on six groups of indigenous people that lived in what we now call Colorado. We will explore the culture, traditions, and tools of different groups through artifacts and activities. Space is limited for this event. This event is first come first serve and you can reserve spaces by signing up on our calendar page.

Backcountry Snow Tour with Eric Erslev

March 24th, 9am – 12pm
Mayflower Gulch

Come spend a morning with geologist Eric Erslev on a relaxed, educational backcountry tour on an easy winter trail. This trip is a backcountry version of the Ski With A Ranger program that FDRD runs at the downhill ski areas. Our educational theme will be to explore the strategies used by wildlife and recreationalists to access our beautifully-snowy backcountry in the winter.

These tours are open to people using backcountry skis/split boards or snowshoes. While participants will be provided with a suggested gear list with some general suggestions, you will be expected to be self-sufficient, responsibly choosing and adjusting your own gear. We will not be traversing avalanche terrain, so no protective avalanche gear will be necessary.

Alpine EcoFlora Project (Speaker Series)

April 13th, 6pm – 7pm
South Branch Library – 103 S. Harris St, Breckenridge

Calling all nature warriors! Are you passionate about high-elevation Colorado plants? Join Betty Ford Alpine Gardens’ new Alpine EcoFlora Project! This citizen-science botany project is powered by iNaturalist, and is an opportunity to contribute meaningfully to our understanding of alpine plant distributions. Alpine ecosystems are home to some of the world’s toughest plants and animals, who have evolved adaptations to this cold, inhospitable environment. However, global climate change is affecting alpine areas even more significantly than other ecosystems, threatening many species! Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, located in Vail, CO, developed and recently published the North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Alpine Plant Conservation (the Alpine Strategy), a blueprint for protecting and conserving alpine plants and habitats. Emily Griffoul, the Conservation Scientist at the Gardens, will be presenting an overview of the Alpine Strategy and the progress made so far to preserve alpine areas here in Colorado. She will also introduce and demonstrate the Alpine EcoFlora Project, and invite participants to help conserve the alpine through citizen science!

Photo by Dominique Taylor

Photo by Ruth Carroll

Spring Birding Guided Hike

April 27th, 10am – 12pm
Dillon Nature Preserve

Join FDRD and local birder Carolyn Tiller as we welcome some early spring birds back to the High Rockies. We will go for a hike along the Blue Bird trail in Dillon. Carolyn has been monitoring the Blue Bird trail for the past year and had been helping a friend with this project for the past 15 years. She has a bachelor’s degree from the university of Wisconsin Madison and is very passionate about our local birds. Join Carolyn and FDRD as we observe some of our flying friends and learn about habitat, migration, bird boxes and history. You won’t want to miss this learning opportunity!

Sign up for all educational programming on the Calendar Page

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