Unmatched in North America
Environmental Sciences For Kids
Summer – St. Sophia Nature Center, Environmental Science Programs
- The St. Sophia Nature Center’s Environmental Science programs are developed to engage children of all ages into learning about the natural surroundings of the Telluride area. Each week’s theme is specifically designed to relate an aspect of the environment to the child in a manner that is exciting and entertaining. All activities are accompanied by an experiment, hike, and/or creative artifact that allows the learning experience to be prolonged! Themes explored during summer, 2009 include: atmosphere, alternative energy, geology, botany: trees and flowers, Native American History, birds and biodiversity.
Winter – Snowshoe Stewards Program
- It is becoming more common than ever to see a disconnect between kids and the natural outdoor world. In this age of technology, there is a growing trend for kids to spend their spare time indoors in front of a computer or with an ipod attached to their ears. The staff at the Telluride Ski Resort believes that detachment from the natural world could translate into an uncertain future for our public lands and wilderness areas, which is why we developed the “Snowshoe Stewards” program.
- We thought it important to reach out to members of our community who might not typically spend much time in the woods or have an opportunity for a unique non-skiing experience here in Telluride. We contacted every group we could think of: One to One Mentoring Program, local Girl Scout Troops, Brownie Troops, Telluride Mountain School and Telluride High School.
- “Snowshoe Stewards” has involved nearly every kids group and ethnicity within the region in an attempt to promote awareness and appreciation of the environment with the goal of being lifelong environmental stewards. This program combines both physically and mentally challenging activities and creates a learning experience through safe, intentional outdoor instruction.
- We involved the older kids by offering to teach them about the outdoors through our staff interpreters and naturalists and then supporting them in guiding snowshoe tours on the ski resort. The YES Club, a Telluride High School environmentally-minded group of students, really stepped up to the plate and has become the foundation of the teaching portion of this project. Additionally, the Telluride Mountain School, a local private school energized the program by participating as students (Grades 3-6) and as teachers (Grades 7-8). The student teachers in the YES Club and Telluride Mountain School have each chosen a topic to learn about and then share with others…the San Miguel Watershed, lynx reintroduction program, bark beetle disease, geology. These are just a few topics they have chosen, became experts on and are now sharing on the snowshoe tours that they guide. In Joseph Joubert’s words, “To teach is to learn twice.”
- Additionally, each high school student in the Telluride School District must earn a total of 120 community service hours in order to graduate and they are able to earn those hours by volunteering their time in this program. The Telluride community has totally embraced and supported the “Snowshoe Steward” program!
Environmental Sciences For Kids
- The staff at the Telluride Ski Resort hopes to grow this program even further for the 2009/2010 season by involving students from neighboring communities and of course, visitors to the resort!