In June, the WSCC hosts our annual Float Trip and River Festival. The location of the float and post-float celebration has varied over this 16 year old tradition, but with the development of the Paonia River Park, we foresee the park being the primary location of the River Festival for years to come. The float allows hundreds of guests the opportunity to get on a raft, kayak, or canoe and float the North Fork of the Gunnison River. The River Festival is a time to celebrate the value of the river and access to recreation in public lands. It also serves to celebrate the wonderful people of the North Fork with food, games, music, and fun. Tickets sell out quickly, so stay posted for next year’s float next Spring!
Each year, WSCC collaborates with Paradise Theatre to host a series of films from the Wild and Scenic Film Festival. At the festival, film-goers are transformed into a congregation of committed activists, dedicated to saving our increasingly threatened planet. We show environmental and adventure films that illustrate the Earth’s beauty, the challenges facing our planet and the work communities are doing to protect the environment. Through these films, Wild & Scenic both informs people about the state of the world and inspires them to take action.
Hosted in February, the annual meeting allows WSCC membership to gather for a celebration of the previous year’s accomplishments. At the meeting, we discuss major highlights of the previous year, plans for the year ahead, and thank our supporters for their invaluable contributions.
Western Slope Conservation Center hosts field trips that take students from five Delta County public schools out of their classrooms and into nature for a multidisciplinary hands-on environmental education experience. Hundreds of fourth graders (10 year olds) from Cedaredge Elementary, Crawford P-6, Delta’s Lincoln Elementary, Hotchkiss K-8, and Paonia Elementary gather at the Paonia River Park to explore the river while learning about conservation.
Throughout the years the Conservation Center has consistently heard from teachers that they need three things to educate their students about the environment and conservation: opportunities to bring kids outside; teaching materials to help kids observe their natural environment; and experts to teach kids about local conservation issues. We organized field trips at the River Park to meet all of these needs at once.
Seven structured learning stations set up around the park engaged students in fun, creative, activities such as games, demonstrations, and artwork. Stations were run by local environmental educators, artists, and regional conservation experts.