Vail Nature Center opens Saturday

By Real Vail
May 23, 2012

The Vail Recreation District's (VRD) summer activities lineup continues to expand with the opening of the Vail Nature Center Saturday (5-26). The Nature Center will join the Tennis Center, the Vail Golf Club, youth services summer day camps, youth sports camps, adult sports leagues and an array of other offerings taking place throughout the summer.

Considered one of Vail's best kept secrets, the Nature Center offers unique, world-class programs including plant and animal exhibits, wildflower and morning bird walks, evening beaver pond tours, a summer speaker series, a hiking club, fly fishing and stream ecology classes, nature photography classes, youth art in nature programs, creekside tours, campfire storytelling and stargazing. The Nature Center will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Labor Day weekend and is located adjacent to Ford Park and across the street from the Vail athletic fields.

Walking to Watch BirdsReturning this summer, the Nature Center will bring back several popular programs including the Wild Kids Nature Hike and Native Plant Workshops. The Wild Kids Nature hikes will take place from 12:30 to 2 p.m. on Saturdays for families with children five and older. Nature Center naturalists will take participants on hikes throughout Vail and explain the flora and fauna of it's surrounding environment. Parents are encouraged to join the hikes. Cost is $15 per participant. The Nature's Bounty Native Plant Workshops also will return and take place from 9:30 to noon on Saturdays for ages 16 and older. Workshop participants will learn skills for identifying local native plants, as well as how they have been and are prepared for medicinal uses. Cost is $30 per participant. The 2012 summer schedule is below with additional details available by clicking here.

Adult Full Day Nature Hikes, 7 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 5 to Sept. 17
$50 or $45 for Vail Residents
Adult Half Day Nature Hikes, 8:30 a.m. Fridays, June 22 to Sept. 7
$35 or $30 for Vail Residents
Nature's Bounty Native Plants Workshop
9:30 a.m. to Noon, Saturdays, June 16 to Aug. 11
Ages 16 and older. $30 per class.
Art in Nature for Kids, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays, June 29 to Aug. 17
Ages five and older, cost is $45 and includes materials
Morning Bird Walks
8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 19 to Aug. 16
$3 per person, $2 for Vail residents
Learn to Think Like a Trout: Fly Fishing for Adults and Children
Call for details:
Photo Safaris, 8 a.m. to Noon Mondays, June 18 to Aug. 27
Ages 16 and older, $45 per person
Wildflower Walks
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, June 18 to Aug. 15
$3 per person or $2 for Vail residents
Boy Fly FishingWild Kid Nature Hikes, 12:30 to 2 p.m. Saturdays, June 23 to Aug. 18
Ages five and older, $15 per person
Evening Beaver Pond Tours, 7 to 8:30 a.m. Mondays and Thursdays, June 18 to Aug. 30
$5 per child, $10 adults or $30 for a family of five
Guest Speaker Series, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
July 11, July 25 and Aug. 1
$5 per child, $10 adults or $30 for a family of five
S'mores and More (Family Campfire)
7 to 8:30 p.m. Fridays, June 22 to Aug. 31
$5 per child, $10 adults or $30 for a family of five
Stories in the Sky Stargazing
8:45 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays, June 19 through July 31
8:15 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Aug. 7 through Sept. 2
$5 per child, $10 adults or $30 for a family of five
Free Creekside Nature Tours, Departs From the Vail Farmers' Market
11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sundays, June 17 through Sept. 2

The Nature Center is also seeking volunteers to assist with facilitation of programs from early June through August. Volunteers are needed for trail work, gardening and greeting visitors. Volunteers will receive discounted access to the Nature Center's programs throughout the summer.

The Nature Center is operated by the VRD and is located on seven acres of land adjacent to the Gore Creek. The VRD is an equal opportunity service provider and operates under special permission from the White River National Forest.

Programs and activities are subject to change. To volunteer or for program rates and reservations, call 970-479-2291 or click here.

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