Outdoor program gives kids a chance to explore nature | PostIndependent.com

Outdoor program gives kids a chance to explore nature

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Getting kids in touch with nature. That’s what the Explore Program is all about, said Glenwood Springs youth recreation coordinator Eric Brendlinger.The program, a collaboration between the federal White River National Forest and the city of Glenwood Springs, gives local kids a chance to hike, camp and learn about nature. “We’ve been partners with the Forest Service for a while on this thing,” Brendlinger said. “We want to offer more and get more kids involved.”The program has three different parts: a summer hiking series, a weekend campout and the nature talk series. “Two of the programs are free of charge,” Brendlinger said, referring to the hiking portion of the program and the nature talks. The other part, a three-day, two-night camping trip at Chair Mountain Ranch on the Crystal River, costs $65. “At Chair Mountain Ranch, there’s horseback riding, a hike up to the marble quarry and a visit to an old schoolhouse,” Brendlinger said. “Last year we took 67 campers.”The program is mostly subsidized by the Forest Service and the city of Glenwood Springs, but it received a $2,000 grant from the Environment Foundation of the Aspen Skiing Company in April. “We feel it’s very important to expose these kids, and people of all ages, to our outdoor environment,” Brendlinger said. The hiking series will run on Thursdays from June 10 through Aug. 12; the nature talk series will be held at Centennial Park in Glenwood Springs on Tuesdays from July 6 through Aug. 10; and the Chair Mountain Ranch camping trip starts on Monday, June 21. Contact Greg Massé: 945-8515, ext. 511gmasse@postindependent.com

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