Better stewards of the earth

Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Centers mission is “to provide environmental education that gives individuals of all ages the tools and knowledge to become better stewards of the earth.” (Photo by Walter L. Newton/The Flume)

The South Park Chamber of Commerce announced their business of the month for August. This month’s recipient is Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center.

BPEEC began their mission five years ago. The organization was started by Al and Terry Hershey.

According to BPEEC’s website, their mission is “to provide environmental education that gives individuals of all ages the tools and knowledge to become better stewards of the earth.”

Through the use of education, BPEEC reaches out to the community to teach sustainability.

BPEEC’s programs include beaver ecology, watershed ecology and stewardship, sustainable agriculture, greenhouses and gardening, medicinal and native plants, renewable energy systems, and healthy forest management.

BPEEC’s staff tailors the messaging for children ranging from kindergarteners through the twelfth grade.

The programs are based on Colorado State Education Standards for Science. The messaging is also tailored based on the age and interest of the visitor.

BPEEC also has an internship program with protocols and guidelines. These guidelines ensure that the interns are engaged to learn new skills as appropriate to their college class at BPEEC.

As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, BPEEC has been hard at work helping others to get out into nature, learn about sustainable living and become better stewards of our land.

One of BPEEC’s upcoming projects is the Sacramento Creek Protection Plan that is an initiative funded by a grant from the South Park National Heritage Area.

This is a citizen-science- community collaborative effort involving volunteers who are trained to collect data about Sacramento Creek.

Park County has beautiful watersheds, and this is a great way to get involved in understanding water quality issues and spend time in nature doing hands on scientific analysis in one of South Park’s watersheds.

Contact Krissy Barrett, program coordinator, for more information on how to get involved with this grass roots citizen science project.

Upcoming events at BPEEC include a plant hike Sept. 10, 9:30 a.m., a solar dyeing fiber workshop Sept. 16, and two classes on handmade felted boot liners Sept. 30 and Oct. 7, 1-4 p.m.

To get to Beaver Ponds, from the intersection of U.S. Highway 285 and Colorado 9 in Fairplay take Colorado 9 north for two miles to Park County Road 14 and turn left.

Follow CR 14 for 1.5 miles to Busch Run Road and turn left. BPEEC is the first drive on the right at the Sacramento Creek Ranch.

For more information on BPEEC or to volunteer, check out their website www.beaverponds.org, email them atoinfo@beaverponds.org or call 719-838-0143.

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