As the sunlight glistened on the surrounding mountains, families filed into Ridgway Elementary’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 and Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership.
Upon entering the school, families were greeted by the Welcome Table and a fun activity with Ridgway State Park. To celebrate the Year of the Bird, families learned all about raptors and created their own raptor decals to put on their windows.
Nearby, a local District Wildlife Manager 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.
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. They identified animals by their tracks and 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 array of native birds with Bird Conservancy of the Rockies. Kids smiled in awe at the diversity of shapes, colors, sizes, and sounds!
The Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership staff guided families through an activity about our most precious resource. You guessed it- water!
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. CPW staff and volunteers 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.