Category Archives: Adult Workshops

Colorado Butterfly Monitoring Training

Colorado Butterfly Monitoring Network (CBMN)
What: A statewide citizen science project to observe and count butterflies
Who: Butterfly Pavilion’s Science and Conservation Branch started this project in 2013. Volunteers from all over the state participate
Where: Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center
When: April 23rd: 12:30-4:30
Why: To raise awareness about Colorado butterflies and their habitats. To provide long-term data that can be used when making land management decisions.

Butterfly Pavilion has joined 11 other states and regions from around the country in using citizen science to monitor the trends and fluctuations of butterfly populations. The summer of 2013 was the pilot year for this project. Since then Butterfly Pavilion dramatically expanded the number of sites, from 9 locations to 97, and the number of citizen scientists, from 8 volunteers to over 100.
Over the course a field season, CBMN volunteers walk a designated census route at a specific location a minimum of six times. The “Pollard Walk” protocol is utilized, which requires volunteers to use pre-existing trails that cover multiple habitat types. Each volunteer is trained to identify 25 common butterfly species in their first year and encouraged to master more species over the course of the study.
Using a citizen science model with a standard monitoring protocol or methodology has proven to be a powerful tool to collect data on butterfly species and populations in a region. By monitoring the same census sites from year to year, the CBMN will be able to observe the fluctuations of butterfly abundance in different parts of the state. Over the long term, the information from these surveys will assist land managers in more effective conservation of Colorado’s butterflies and their habitats. This data will also be part of a national butterfly monitoring database, to assist scientists investigating larger trends.
One exciting aspect of this project is how it unites individuals, cities, counties and nonprofits in order to raise awareness about ecosystem health. Our partners made it possible for CBMN volunteers to monitor butterflies at a number of diverse sites and offered additional training materials and general consultation. We sincerely thank the following organizations and look forward to continuing our work with them over the long term: Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks, City & County of Broomfield Parks & Open Space, Jefferson County Open Space, Colorado State Parks, Colorado Natural Heritage Program, City of Westminster Open Space, Denver Botanical Gardens at Chatfield, Plans Conservation Center and USF&W.
To register for this training, please contact
If you have any questions regarding CBMN, please contact Butterfly Pavilion Lepidopterist Sarah Garrett at or CBMN Intern Morgan Kerr at

Backcountry Film Festival

Celebrating the Winter Human-Powered Experience

Thursday, February 9th: 7-9:30
at the Backdoor Theatre
Tickets available

Immerse yourself in a night of films that capture the spirit of winter. Adventure, environment and climate, youth outdoors, ski culture- you’ll find it all in this award winning lineup.

The Backcountry Film Festival is produced each year by Winter Wildlands Alliance as a celebration of the human-powered experience and a gathering place for the backcountry snowsports community. Winter Wildlands Alliance is a nonprofit organization working at the national level to inspire and educate the backcountry community to protect and care for their winter landscapes. Funds raised at each screening stay in the local community to support human-powered recreation and conservation efforts, winter education and avalanche/safety programs and to raise awareness of winter management issues.

The Backcountry Film Festival at The Backdoor Theatre of Nederland, Colorado benefits Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center. Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center is the only non-profit nature center in Boulder County. Since 1995, Wild Bear’s mission is to provide year round educational programs to people of all ages fostering a life-long appreciation of the environment and promoting an environmentally aware and ecologically sound community. Wild Bear’s passionate roots in science education and the preservation of Colorado began as a small program serving 24 children in the summer of 1995, growing to serve over thousands of people of all ages every year. Wild Bear’s inspirational vision was founded on the belief that learning occurs every day, all day and throughout our lives.

Wild Bear has been connecting people of all ages with snowshoeing in the high country since 2005. David “BigFoot” Felkley, local snowshoeing guru and guide volunteered for Wild Bear to set up programs for youth at Nederland Elementary School and later (since 2010) volunteered to take groups of all ages out to play on the snowshoes in the local forest.

His mantra was to wait until the day of the event to determine the “best snow” and the best trails. When BigFoot passed away in 2014, he left a legacy fund for Wild Bear to purchase its own supply of youth and adult snowshoes. Now, Wild Bear has become known in the region as a top notch Winter Ecology on Snowshoes youth program as well as a place to rent shoes and find out where the “best trail” is! Most recently, Wild Bear has partnered with Winter Wildlands Alliance out of Idaho to become an official “snow school” and serves schools from throughout the region.

Tickets available

Cultivating Compassion

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Ghandi

Are world events getting you down? Are you struggling to find inner peace in the midst of chaos? Are you seeking authentic connection with family, friends, and yourself? You are not alone.

Join Arwen Ek, for a free, public class introducing mindfulness techniques, healthy coping strategies, and how to cultivate authentic compassion for our friends, our enemies and the world.

Where: Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center
When: Every Sunday from 12:30 to 1:00
What to bring if you are so inclined: prayer shawl, cushion, small donation.
This is a nondenominational class and safe space.

About Arwen: Arwen Ek has been practicing and teaching meditation since 2004. She held monastic vows and lived as a Buddhist nun at Tara Mandala Buddhist Retreat Center in Pagosa Springs for 3 years. She is the founding director of The Holistic Homestead, a local nonprofit dedicated to improving health and wellness on every level of being.

Photo of Arwen

Photo of Arwen

High Altitude Herb Walk

Learn to identify local high altitude plants for their edible and medicinal properties!

Join us on Saturday, July 15, 2017 and Saturday, August 26, 2017 from 10 to Noon for this special program led by Brigitte Mars.

Brigitte Mars is an herbalist and nutritional consultant of Natural Health with over forty years of experience. She teaches Herbal Medicine at Naropa University, Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition, The School of Natural Medicine, Living Arts School, and Integrative Earth Medicine in Colorado. She has taught at Omega Institute, Esalen, Kripalu, and The Mayo Clinic, She blogs for the Huffington Post and Care2. She is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild.

Call 303-258-0495 to register or e-mail. $25/herb walk payable by check, credit, or cash.

Purchase tickets online here for July 15th:

Purchase tickets online here for August 26th:


Come prepared to walk on uneven terrain in the sunshine.  Water bottle and hat are recommended.