• cpwsole

Another Perfect Family Nature Night at Paonia Elementary


Despite the rain trickling from the sky, families were all smiles as they arrived at Paonia Elementary School’s second annual Family Nature Night. Before them lay an array of activities with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) educators, Rangers, and District Wildlife Managers as well as our wonderful partners: Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, The Nature Connection, and U.S. Forest Service.

Upon entering the school, families were greeted by the CPW Southwest Education Coordinator to get information and their raffle tickets.

Nearby, our CPW Volunteer Program Assistant led the Wildlife Trivia Wheel. With each spin of the wheel, she asked a question from various categories. True or False? A pronghorn’s eye is as big as an elephant’s.

It’s true!

After learning about wildlife, kids tested their own abilities compared to wildlife. At the Generation Wild table, families perused the 100 Things to Do Before You’re 12 list. A local District Wildlife Manager helped them to identify animals by their tracks. They also checked off No. 70, See who can jump the farthest, by leaping through the air and comparing their jumps to animals’. Did you know a Western Jumping Mouse can jump five feet?

Down the hall, guests explored a wondrous world of Sage Grouse with Bird Conservancy of the Rockies. They learned that these birds can see ultraviolet (UV) light, which gives them a huge advantage when selecting healthy sagebrush to eat (which conveniently glows in UV light!). Students also explored everything that makes a healthy Sage Grouse habitat.

Kids loved getting their hands dirty at the Nature Connection Table, where they created seed balls. As students rolled native seeds into the clay and soil mixture, it was clear that they were eager to watch their plants grow.

Nearby, kids got their hands dirty again with the U.S. Forest Service. They created their very own paper and discovered all of the ways that trees, wood, and cellulose help humans. Did you know that cellulose if found in all of the day-to-day items below?

In the gym, students tried their hand at archery. Guided by CPW staff, many even succeeded at getting a bulls-eye!

On the other side of the gym, Backyard Bass was a hit! Kids cast their line out over and over, catching plastic “fish” that were strewn throughout the lawn. A CPW District Wildlife Manager and Angler Education Assistant. happily helped them be the best fisher-kids they could be.

When 6:00pm rolled around, everyone gathered for our the raffle. Kids shouted with joy every time they heard their number called, then ran up to retrieve their prize. In the end, one lucky family went home with the Grand Prize: An annual State Parks pass.

Thank you to all who made Family Nature Night a spectacular event! SOLE appreciates the support from families, school staff, teachers, partners, and statewide CPW staff.

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