Evergreen Lake is a magnet for both outdoor recreation seekers and wildlife. Sometimes, these two interests do not intersect well, such as when golfers share fairways with bull elk or fishers stand between cows and their calves.
Recognizing the need to address these challenges, three organizations put together a new volunteer team to provide education and guidance for lake visitors. We called this new venture “Wildlife Watch.”
Wild Aware, Evergreen’s newest wildlife advocacy group, Evergreen Audubon Society and Denver Parks and Recreation came together to create Wildlife Watch. Dina Baker, Evergreen Audubon’s nature center manager, organized a cart with many of the teaching materials previously available in the Evergreen Nature Center. Due to Covid, the center had remained closed throughout the summer, so bringing the educational items out to the public seemed the perfect way to introduce visitors to the abundant wildlife in our area.
Starting in mid-September, Wildlife Watch volunteers began bringing out the Audubon cart and interacting with the folks who passed. The response was immediate and extensive. Over the course of 4 weekends, the Wildlife Watch team interacted with several hundreds of people.
The program will restart in the spring of 2021 in time for the elk calving season. If we are lucky, we might be able to help lake visitors see our bald eagles, ospreys, great blue herons and other wildlife.
Do you like animals? If so, you are already qualified!
The Wildlife Watch Team is also now offering a Wildlife Watch Virtual Program for Students in grades 1st through 8th grade. This program will focus on teaching students about our local wildlife and the issues that can come with living so close to humans and will be adapted to the learning levels of each grade and classroom. They will learn what animals live in their community, what issues arise when people come into close contact with wildlife and how we can help our local wildlife.
Students will come away with a greater awareness, connection, appreciation and deeper respect for our local mountain wildlife. Students will also be given the opportunity to create their own Wildlife Protection Campaign by creating their own sign for the wildlife and issue of their choice that we will share on our website, social media and at Evergreen Nature Center. Select campaigns will be turned into signs to be displayed on school grounds, neighborhoods, Evergreen Lake and other locations! We are so excited to be working with the future environmental stewards of our mountain community!
For more information or to schedule this program for your classroom, please contact Dina Baker, Nature Center Director, at encdirector@evergreenaudubon.