Community Agricultural Alliance: Exploring the wonders of winter |

Community Agricultural Alliance: Exploring the wonders of winter

Winter is an extremely valuable time for getting outside and learning about our environment. If you live in the Yampa Valley, it’s important to find something you love to do outside each day during our long winter. Yampatika’s naturalists are busy getting students of all ages outside to explore such things as animal tracks as a way of understanding the many layers of life under the snow.

if you go

What: 4th annual Backcountry Film Festival
When: Doors at 6 p.m. and films start at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16
Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.
Cost: Tickets are $20, and $10 for students with ID

What: Blues Break Winter Camp
When: Feb. 19 to 22
Where: 925 Weiss Drive

This week, we had students from Mountain Village Montessori Charter, Soda Creek Elementary, Strawberry Park Elementary and North Park Elementary schools at Legacy Ranch.

It is also important for adults to get outside and learn about the Yampa Valley. It’s a great opportunity to renew that sense of curiosity we all had as children — and sometimes lose as adults. Our Ski with a Naturalist and snowshoe programs help people to explore all the activity around us in the Yampa Valley and how life adapts to the cold and snow.

In the next few days, Yampatika is running a couple important programs you won’t want to miss. Saturday, Feb. 16, we will be hosting our 14th annual Backcountry Film Festival at Chief Theater. This event is a fundraiser for Yampatika and Friends of the Routt Backcountry. This event is a series of short films highlighting the “Human Powered Experience.” Tickets are $20 ($10 for students with ID). Doors open at 6 p.m. and the films start at 7 p.m.

The other event we are running is our Blues Break Winter Camp. This is a new four-day camp at Legacy Ranch for youth ages 9 to 11 that runs from Feb. 19 to 22. This camp will be all about snow. Youth will be learning about snow science, animal tracking and survival skills to name a few topics. The highlight of the week is a snowshoe adventure on Rabbit Ears Pass.  For more information about the Backcountry Film Festival or the Blues Break Winter Camp, visit

Getting outside in the winter is just as important as the summer. There is so much life and activity going on, but sometimes, it just takes a little bit more effort in winter for some of us to find and appreciate it. What happens in the winter often sets the stage for activities in the spring and summer. This is especially true when it comes to snowfall. The success of farmers and ranchers are often dependent on winter snow fall. In addition, our recreation industry is impacted by winter snowfall.

When you are outside over the next several weeks, don’t just rush from one inside spot to the next. Find a few moments and stop, look and listen. What birds to you see? What animal tracks are near you? Is it snowing, and if so, what do the snowflakes look like? What do you hear in the wind? A great place to try this is on a Yampatika winter program. We look forward to you joining us soon.

Kellie Gorman, Shari Fryer and Joe Haines are with the nonprofit, Yampatika.

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