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Maintaining Trails, Volunteering, and Being Outdoors with Denver Audubon

Table at Denver Audubon's Nature Center.

“Love Your Trails Day” at Denver Audubon’s Nature Center took place during a crisp and cool morning in mid-September that gradually became a sunny and hot afternoon.

ACC volunteers getting started at the Denver Audubon Center.

Denver Audubon--about 5 miles southwest of our Littleton Main Campus--hosted yet another opportunity for ACC staff, faculty, and students to spend time outside while learning more about local flora and fauna and connecting with a long-standing community member.

Dr. Cheryl Calhoun and her wife Ester brought their Puma Pride to volunteer alongside ACC students on a beautiful Saturday morning.
Dr. Cheryl Calhoun and her wife Ester brought their Puma Pride to volunteer alongside ACC students on a beautiful Saturday morning.
ACC Physical Therapy Assistant students pushed wheelbarrows full of mulch to various spots in numerous gardens

Several ACC Physical Therapy Assistant students pushed wheelbarrows full of mulch to various spots in numerous gardens to cover up exposed hoses and patches of dirt, and to protect plants for the coming winter weather.

Kids volunteering and working in gardening efforts.

Families with kids of all ages from Littleton and beyond joined the gardening efforts on September 17, 2022.

Younger volunteers worked together with Denver Audubon volunteers to learn how to dig holes for new signs to be placed along the Nature Center’s trails.

Some younger volunteers worked together with Denver Audubon volunteers to learn how to dig holes for new signs to be placed along the Nature Center’s trails.

Volunteers with trash bags.Denver Audubon volunteers with boxes stop to pose for picture.

About 8 giant bags of invasive weeds, dead stems, dried out branches, and trash were filled by ACC students as part of their Service Learning assignments. These students dedicated 3 hours of their time and energy to learn more about nature, a local nonprofit, and their course learning outcomes.

ACC volunteers clearing the trails at Denver Audubon Society.ACC volunteers with trash bags, clearing the trail at Denver Audubon Society.

Clearing the trails was no easy task, and volunteers clipped and snipped and cut back massive amounts of native rabbitbrush.

Sign along the trail - Rattlesnakes live in this area

It was a little too chilly when we began our trail maintenance at 8:30am to see rattlesnakes, but quite a few have visited Denver Audubon this summer since the Prairie rattlesnake is abundant throughout the state of Colorado.

Chatfield State Park table and employees

Chatfield State Park’s staff educated volunteers about trash and household items that take time to biodegrade (which is different from composting). Did you know that Styrofoam does not decompose and is not biodegradable?

ACC student volunteers with shovels and rakes, ready to volunteer.

About 10 ACC students in total contributed with gloved hands and let’s-do-this attitudes, planting new native plants, seeding bare areas, watering trees and bushes, picking up trash, pruning dead branches from trees, digging holes for new signs, and spreading mulch.  

Please stay on the trail signtrail and building with mountains in the background

“Love Your Trails Day” was a success this Fall after more than 70 volunteers restored trails to their natural beauty, making them even more vibrant for future trail-goers. According to their website, “Denver Audubon is an independent chapter of the National Audubon Society. The ‘independent’ means that the national organization provides only a small fraction of our funding and that we direct our own mission and initiatives. This allows us to focus on local issues that matter to you, right in your backyard.” Hope to see you next time we volunteer in our backyard alongside this locally established community member!

To learn more about Denver Audubon, visit their website. If you would like to learn more about some of ACC’s community partners, volunteering with ACC, or our Service Learning Center, contact diana [dot] hornick [at] arapahoe [dot] edu anytime!

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