Category Archives: Events

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

Wild Earth Day

Wild Bear Earth15th Annual Wild Earth Day 

Sunday, April 24 2016 11:00 a.m-4:00 p.m

Held at the University of Colorado Museum, Boulder, Colorado

Running strong for the past 15 years, this year held at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History.  This Wild Earth Day celebration promises to be action-packed with leaders in the field of environmental education, climate science, and creative entertainment. Free and open to the public.

RIDE YOUR BIKE, RIDE THE BUS, WALK or CARPOOL!  Located at the CU MUSEUM, this is an easy to get to location for EVERYONE!

FullSizeRenderWhen you arrive, pick up your FREE “Goody Bag” and Scavenger Hunt card at the WILD EARTH DAY HEADQUARTERS. Get all of your stamps on your Scavenger Hunt and “dig” into Wild Bear’s treasure chest!  Enter your name into a drawing to win super cool earth prizes!

Enjoy the live performances on the Mary Rippon Theatre Stage, enjoy FREE admission into the Museum, catch informative presentations in the Paleo Hall and engage in leaders in the field of environmental science inside and outside the museum.  

We will launch this event with Shamwari Tamba, Teen Marimba as well as Weather Balloon Launches!  See schedule of events below!

11:00-12:00 Shamwari Tamba Get your feet stomping and your boogie on to launch our celebration of this magnificent planet EARTH!  Enjoy the talents of these young people who really know how to bring the house down with their superb Marimba talent! Shamwari Tamba! (“Friends, Dance!”) is a Boulder-based, evolving teen performance marimba ensemble consisting of high school students ages of 14-18. Mary Rippon Theatre

11:00-12:00  Weather Balloon Launches, with Vasalia Weather Instruments  Gather around scientists who launch the massive balloons to gather weather data!  Monitor the data collection throughout the day! Near Mary Rippon Theatre

11:15-12:15  Laurie Dameron – “What Can I Do?”  This is a question we should always ask ourselves, What Can I Do?  Laurie Dameron shares her multi-media environmental presentation integrated with photography, video, information and of course live music!  Let’s get inspired to make a difference! Paleo Hall

12:15-1:15: Live musical performance with Jeff and Paige!  Their exciting fun-filled concerts are filled with love of the outdoors and ecology, bringing concepts like insect anatomy, energy conservation and plate tectonics to the whole family.  Sponsored by the City of Boulder Parks and Open Space  Mary Rippon Theatre

1:45-2:30 John Fitch – Sustaining Tomorrow Today Institute  Dr. John H. Fitch’s career spans fifty years of teaching and leadership in ecology, environmental science, and sustainability.  This breadth makes Dr. Fitch uniquely suited to excite and inform people who care about our Earth and who want to learn more about how to understand, educate, and to act positively on behalf of all forms of life with whom we share this beautiful planet.  Paleo Hall

2:45-4pm Raptors with Nature’s Educators  Join this formal program and learn even more about the magnificent live Birds of Prey and Reptiles! Paleo Hall

GET YOUR FACE PAINTED WITH FACE FIESTA! at Wild Earth Day Headquarters. 

Engage in hands-on activities with wonderful organizations from throughout Boulder County.

AND, ENJOY 10% off your WILD BEAR SUMMER CAMP on this day only!

Booth Activities!

BBB Seed  This small family-owned Boulder Company would like to share their earth friendly seeds with you!  Visit their booth and make yourself a SEED BOMB!  NOTE:  seed bombs should be dispersed anywhere except for CU campus!

City of Boulder Parks and Open Space Visit with the master Wildlife Biologists and get your questions answered about how we can coexist peacefully with the amazing wild creatures that live within the City of Boulder!

Colorado Ocean Coalition  Where does everything lead to?  THE OCEAN!  Let’s take some time to learn more about Colorado’s connection to the ocean through hands-on activities learning more about microbead/microplastic.

Cool Science Engage in hands-on science and learn more about the earth’s atmosphere.

Colorado State University Extension  Meet up with the MASTER GARDENERS!  Learn about local pests, such as the Ash Borer, and how to identify them and what to do if you find them!

Eco-Cycle  Visit with the MASTERS in keeping things OUT of the landfill!  Learn more about recycling, why it’s important and what you can do EVERY DAY!

Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center  Meet with these amazing wildlife champions and find out what happens when humans and wildlife collide.  Make a special bird feeder to take home!

Girl Scout Cadet Troop 1970  They decided to sell trees instead of cookies this year!  Let’s support this troop who is dedicated to reforesting Colorado!  Dig deeper into pinecones and make a craft to take home.

Longmont Coalition for People and Pollinators Check out the enclosed observation hive of live honey bees and have people try to find the queen bee! Engage in a bee bag toss game or a bee/hornet/wasp/yellow jacket matching game!  Go home with your pesticide free pollinator friendly seeds to plant at home.

Naked Juice A SUN SPONSOR of Wild Earth Day, stop by their booth for a delicious FREE sample of healthy and delicious smoothies and cold pressed juices!

Nature’s Educators  Within the museum, get up close and personal with live Birds of Prey, Reptiles and other amazing creatures!

Renewal by Anderson: Do you know how to make your house more efficient?  Check in here!

Shepherd Valley Waldorf School Children will work with natural tactile materials to build “found treasure” gnome and fairy landscapes in sand trays. Children may paint their own take-away gnome

University of Colorado Museum of Natural History  Enjoy the museum!  Engage in a hands on activity in the NEW Becoming Butterflies exhibit, chill out in the BioLounge, explore the Discovery Corner and be amazed by the 13,000 year old stone tools found in a Boulder backyard!

US Environmental Protection Agency  Play a recycling game with us and learn more about this amazing planet!

Vaisala Weather Instruments Enjoy the scientific weather balloon launches and then head to the booth to see the weather data that is collected!  What can scientists do with that information?

Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center  THIS IS WILD EARTH DAY HEADQUARTERS!  Pick up your goody bag and program and enter into the hourly drawing to win cool prizes!  Pick up a scavenger hunt card to explore the grounds of Wild Earth Day!  Fill out your card, bring it back to Wild Bear’s booth and pick up your prize.  Be prepared to tell us your BEST nature joke!

GET YOUR FACE PAINTED WITH FACE FIESTA!  Located at Wild Earth Day Headquarters, transform into your favorite wild animal!



Would your organization like to be part of Wild Earth Day? Submit an e-registration form today.  If you are having trouble with the e-form, a pdf is available here.

Wild Bear also offers Sponsorship Opportunities for this event.  This is an amazing opportunity to connect your corporation with one of the most important causes of our time: the stewardship of planet earth.

Thank you from all of us at Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center downtown and remember to inspire each other to take care of the earth!


In the interest of this magnificent planet,  Please ride the RTD N bus, carpool, walk or ride your bike to Wild Earth Day!

Photos of 2014 Wild Earth Day
Photos of 2013 Wild Earth Day
Watch NCAR’s weather balloon launch from a Wild Earth Day!
Read an article in the Boulder Daily Camera about Wild Earth Day at Wild Bear


View the print program here: Wild Earth 2016 Program

School Year Programs

10314_640665649289090_257704087_nBear Cubs Ages 3-5
Wednesdays 10-11:30am
more information and pricing
Drop off your 3-5 year old at Wild Bear for this weekly nature workshop. Classes are hands-on, nature based, and always fun! Bring a snack for story-time, and join us on Wednesdays throughout the season (we follow all holiday and BVSD school days off).

NederRanger Afternoons Ages 5-6
Wednesdays 12:30-3pm
more information and pricing
Drop off your 5-6 year old at Wild Bear, or sign up for the shuttle* from Nederland Elementary (leaves at 11:30). Children in this Kindergarten Enrichment program explore the forest, play, sing and make crafts with our highly experienced Early Childhood Educators.

Afternoon Explorers Workshops Ages 5-12
Thursdays 12:30-3pm
more information and pricing
Fun and hands on natural science integrated with the arts! Enjoy outdoor studies at Mud Lake, at Wild Bear, and around the Nature Center. Enhance your child’s learning through nature exploration.

Nature Enrichment After School Ages 5-12
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays 3:15-5:30pm
more information and pricing
Wild Bear’s after school enrichment combines hands-on natural science with the arts. Enjoy outdoor studies at Mud Lake, at Wild Bear and around the nature center. Ride the bus from Nederland Elementary School to Wild Bear after

Nature Workshops on No School Days, 8am-4pm Ages 5-12 Learn-More-Button2/10, 2/20, 3/28, 3/29, 3/30
more information and pricing
Join Wild Bear for special nature workshops when school is not in session! These fun workshops include snowshoeing, mountain ecology, hands on science, and visits from special guests.

Register today!

Each Workshops Enjoys the Following Theme:
Activities are not repeated across workshops.
Come one day or all season!  We work with your schedule.

Winter Birds, Nov 29, 30, Dec 1 Who flies there?  Meet our feathered friends who remain during the winter snow.

Hot and Cold Science, Dec 6, 7, 8 Explore weather with cool experiments that will bring out the scientist in you and help develop a better understanding of our earth.

Herbal Crafts, December 13, 14, 15 Arts and crafts with the earth in mind.  Join us to make dip candles, herbal blends, and more!

Snow Science, Jan 3, 4, and 5 Crystals, Ice, and snow! Explore our Winter wonderland through snow science and ice and snow creative arts!

Oooy Gooey Experiments Jan 10, 11, and 12-What do you know about polymers and gels? Did you know they occur naturally in the world around us! Let’s explore the world of polymers & gels with fun hands-on experiments. Create silly putty, Oobleck, and other gooey fun!

Moon Cycles, Stars, and the Night Sky, Jan 17, 18, and 19 Let’s get up close to those distant stars that bedazzle the night sky. Create your own constellation and learn some mysteries of the night sky.

Food Science Jan 24, 25, and 26 Do you like to cook? Explore with us the world of chemistry in our food as we mix, stir, blend, and cook our way to deliciousness with the things we like to eat everyday!

Recycled Art, Jan 31, Feb 1, and 2 Get your creative juices flowing and use your imagination to create amazing pieces of art with what others might view as trash.

Animal Art, Feb 7, 8, and 9 Have you ever looked closely at animal patterns? Whiskers, stripes and the veins of an animal? Create a masterpiece as you mold, shape, create, or brush stroke your animal inspired art piece.

Landscape Art, Feb 14, 15, and 16 Be inspired by the panorama of the natural world around! Mold, shape, create, or brush stroke your landscape inspired art piece.

Self Portraits Feb 21, 22, and 23 Be inspired by YOU as you mold, shape, create, or brush stroke your YOU inspired art piece.

Worms & other Decomposers, Feb 28, March 1, and 2 Dig into the earth to discover those busy creatures that feed the earth with what was once alive.

Fossils, Rocks & Dinos, March 7, 8, and 9 Dig into the past to discover those mineralized creatures that once roamed the earth.

Wild Wind Crafts, March 14, 15, and 16 We can give some respect to our wild Nederland winds and create art pieces that dance and twirl in the air around us. Test your skills with air science experiments.

Spring into Spring! March 21, 22, and 23 Time to dust off the snow, take in the sunshine, and get ready to emerge into springtime. Observe and discover the signs of Spring happening around us.

All about Eggs, April 4, 5, and 6 Did you come from an egg? We will discover what animals come from an egg as we explore life cycles of all these unique creatures and what makes them special egg-laying creatures.

Natural Dyes, April 11, 12, and 13 Blueberries, beets, onion peels, and turmeric. Using organic materials we will create dyes to embellish our fabrics.

Help the Earth Do One Thing, April 18, 19, and 20 It’s amazing that this is the only planet in the universe with LIFE on it! We must protect it and encourage others to do the same! Celebrate Earth Day every day!

Hummingbirds & other Migrators, April 25, 26, and 27 Get ready to welcome back the birds who left for the Winter! Spring is in the air, look up and see who’s coming back for a visit. Let’s learn about these amazing creatures who visit us every year.

Indoor Gardening, May 2, 3, and 4 We will explore what we can grow under our grow lights indoors. Flowers, veggies, and fruit: let’s plant some seeds that will be ready for transplanting in the outdoors.

Metamorphosis, May 9, 10, and 11 Metamorphosis means Change. Let’s discover the metamorphosis of Amphibians and Insects! Learn the difference between incomplete and complete metamorphosis and get a closer look at the animals that rely on this process to survive.

Mud Lake Excursions, May 16, 17, and 18 Celebrate Spring at Mud Lake! Hike, explore the water, smell the air to welcome changes at Mud Lake.

End of the Year Celebration, May 23, 24, and 25 Time to wrap it up! It’s time to take home garden projects and get ready for summer. Let’s celebrate!

Register today! Sign up for one or more days!


SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE TO QUALIFYING FAMILIES and are providers included in CCAP, Boulder and Gilpin County’s Child Care Assistance Programs.  Please contact us for more information at If you’d like to support our scholarship program, please consider a donation today. Thank you.

Contact us for a complete catalog and to register. 303-258-0495 or

Wild Bear is proud of its reputation of providing highly engaging, creative and age-appropriate workshops, integrating music and craft into most of its programs. Wild Bear staff hold Bachelors and Masters degrees in the field of Education, Environmental Education, Biology or related fields and have worked with children for many years. All instructors are CPR/First Aid trained, and receive full training in educational philosophy, group management and teaching strategies.