Boulder County
Junior Ranger Adventures
Summer Challenge

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Challenge ends August 26.

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List of Challenges

Junior Ranger Wildlife Adventures

Hey kids! Do you love animals as much as the Boulder County Park Rangers? Join us on Saturday, June 2 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. at Walden Ponds to learn how rangers protect wildlife in the open spaces they patrol. You'll participate in a nature scavenger hunt, learn how to track, rescue an injured animal, and make a piece of nature art.

Complete this challenge to earn 200 points!

Your Challenge: Attend the Junior Ranger Wildlife Adventures event on June 2.

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Draw a Map of Your Hike

Maps are very important to have when you are going on a hike. They help you get to your destination and prevent you from getting lost. Rangers use maps to keep track of where different animals make their homes.

Complete this challenge to earn 200 points!

Your Challenge: Go on a hike at one of your favorite parks and draw a map of the area. Things you may include on your map are a compass that points north, the trailhead, trails, buildings, picnic tables, nearby roads, and the location of any animals you may have seen along the way.

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Explore Pella Crossing

Wildlife Challenge

Pella Crossing is a great place to explore with your family. It’s also a great fishing spot for people and wildlife alike. It’s important for the rangers to patrol this park to make sure that the animals that live there are safe.

Complete this challenge to earn 200 points!

Your Challenge: Help make Pella Crossing a safer place by exploring the ponds’ shorelines and cleaning up any fishing line you find. Fishing line is very hard to see and can hurt birds flying low to the ground and animals like raccoons, squirrels, and bobcats walking between the ponds. Watch out for hooks and lures. Ouch!

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Clean Up a Green Space

Wildlife Challenge

Rangers love insects, but hate litter bugs. Seeing trash in the parks can really put a damper on a hike or bike ride. It can be dangerous to wildlife as well. Animals eat trash, get stuck in it, and even use it to build their nests, which can be harmful to their young.

Complete this challenge to earn 200 points!

Your Challenge: Choose a green space that is special to you to clean up. It can be a trail, a neighborhood park, a greenway, or even your favorite playground. Ask a friend or family member to help. Remember to wear gloves and be careful not to pick up anything sharp.

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Investigate Insects

Rangers love to take time during our days to investigate some of the smallest critters that call our open spaces home… BUGS! Backyards and local parks are full of wildlife you may not see right away. If you take some time to investigate, you may start to see the small critters that call your yard home.

Complete this challenge to earn 200 points!

Your Challenge: Spend 30 minutes exploring your yard or a local park to find out who calls it home.

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Build a Home for a Bird, Bat, or Bee

Part of a ranger’s job is to protect the homes of animal families like birds, bats, and bees. Many birds live in holes in dead and dying trees or under the eaves of your roof at home. You can find bats living in old barns, attics, trees and caves. Bees need small spaces to raise their young. They seek out holes in wood to build their homes. Bees are very important to farmers because they pollinate their crops. If you like to eat apples, mangos and peaches, you have bees to thank!

Complete this challenge to earn 200 points!

Your Challenge: Build a birdhouse, bat box or pollinator box and find a special spot for it outdoors. If you need a little help getting started, check out these links.

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Visit a Zoo or Aquarium

Rangers work all over the world to protect animals and their habitat in the wild. Zoos and aquariums also work to conserve animals and help teach us how to help the world’s wildlife in our own backyard.

Complete this challenge to earn 200 points!

Your Challenge: Visit a zoo or aquarium and see how they are working to help wildlife.

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Mountain Bike with the Rangers

Going on bike patrol is a fast way for the rangers to patrol the parks. Plus, it’s really fun! Your challenge is to go on a bike patrol with the rangers and learn about bike skills, safety, and how to properly yield to other trail users and wildlife. Meet the rangers at Mud Lake on June 30 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. You will need to bring a bike and a helmet.

Complete this challenge to earn 200 points!

Your Challenge: Attend the Mountain Bike event on June 30.

Register
Registration is required through Discover Boulder County, Parks & Open Space's event registration system. Unfortunately, you'll need a separate account to register with Discover as the two systems are not integrated.
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Hike the Eagle Wind Trail

Wildlife Challenge

Rangers patrol Ron Stewart Preserve at Rabbit Mountain on a daily basis. It is an important park to patrol due to the abundance of animals that call the park home. Some of the animals you might see are golden eagles, bullsnakes, and elk.

Complete this challenge to earn 200 points!

Your Challenge: Hike the Eagle Wind Trail at Ron Stewart Preserve at Rabbit Mountain. The trail is a moderate 2.5 mile hike and is 0.5 miles from the trailhead. Read all of the interpretive signs along the way. The park can get very hot in the summer! The best times to go are early morning or early evening, which happen to be the best times to spot wildlife.

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Plant a Flower, Shrub, or Tree

Rangers work hard at home and in the parks to make the earth a more beautiful place by planting flowers, trees, and shrubs. These plants also provide food and shelter for many animals.

Complete this challenge to earn 200 points!

Your Challenge: Make your yard a great place for animals by planting a flower, tree, or shrub. If you don’t have a yard, you can use a pot or a planter.

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No Tech Day

Wildlife Challenge

Animals go their entire life without technology. Can you last one day? Rangers love to be like the wildlife and leave technology behind to enjoy nature’s unique sights and sounds.

Complete this challenge to earn 200 points!

Your Challenge: Turn off the TV, cell phone, tablet, computer, and video games and have a no tech day! Instead, spend at least two hours outside.

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Nature Scavenger Hunt

Rangers are trained to notice and appreciate every little thing in the outdoors, whether it’s big or small, brightly colored or camouflaged, loud or quiet, rough or smooth, tall or short. What are some things that you’ve seen while outside? What are some things you’d like to find?

Complete this challenge to earn 200 points!

Your Challenge: Create a nature scavenger hunt and take a friend outside to find everything on your list. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • bird's nest
  • noisy squirrel
  • pink flower
  • smooth rock
  • feather
  • pine cone
  • something yellow
  • something fuzzy
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Hike Mud Lake & Visit the Wild Bear Nature Center

Wildlife Challenge

Mud Lake is one of the highest elevation parks in Boulder County and is located at the base of the Indian Peaks Wilderness. It is home to the county’s largest mammal - the moose! Even if you don’t see a moose on your hike, you are likely to see their track and scat on or near the trail.

The Wild Bear Nature Center in Nederland has lots of information on creatures that call the Indian Peaks home. They also have a few animals that you can meet in person!

Complete this challenge to earn 200 points!

Your Challenge: Take a hike at Mud Lake and visit the Wild Bear Nature Center in downtown Nederland. If you don't spot a moose at Mud Lake, you can take a ride on one at the Carousel of Happiness right next to the Nature Center!

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Go Fishing

Fish on! Boulder County has lots of great fishing ponds. The rangers patrol these areas often to check fishing licenses, bag limits, and what type of bait is being used. The goal is to protect the aquatic plants and animals while still allowing people to enjoy a peaceful day of fishing.

Complete this challenge to earn 200 points!

Your Challenge: Go fishing at a pond near your home. Use the Colorado Fishing Atlas to find a location. Make sure you know the rules before fishing.

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Go on an Evening Bat Hunt

Bats can eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes in an hour and often consume their body weight in insects every night. They also live in your neighborhood. If you take a walk around dusk you can often see bats whizzing around looking for their insect dinners. You can tell the difference between a bat and a bird by the way they fly. Birds tend to fly in straight lines, while bats dart up and down in order to catch bugs.

Complete this challenge to earn 200 points!

Your Challenge: Go on an evening walk to try and spot as many bats as you can.

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Learn Archery Skills

Archery is a fun way to enhance our strength, endurance, and focus. Archery hunting is also one of the ways Colorado Parks & Wildlife manages wildlife in Colorado. Learn archery skills by joining the rangers and Colorado Parks & Wildlife on Saturday, July 14 at the Crescent Meadows Trailhead at Walker Ranch. You'll learn the how to safely use a bow and arrow, and practice shooting at a target.

The Archery Skills program is one-hour long and there are three different time slots available.

Complete this challenge to earn 200 points!

Your Challenge: Attend the Archery Skills event on July 14.

Registration is required through Discover Boulder County, Parks & Open Space's event registration system. Unfortunately, you'll need a separate account to register with Discover as the two systems are not integrated.

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Ride the Bus to a Park or Trail

Wildlife Challenge

Animals travel from place to place using their own two wings, four paws, or eight legs - the ultimate eco-friendly transportation. Rangers try their best to be eco-friendly by planning the most efficient driving routes to get to and from parks and trails. There are many ways you can reduce the amount of driving your family does to get to a park. Taking the bus is a great example.

Complete this challenge to earn 200 points!

Your Challenge: Use the RTD Trip Planner to find a bus that takes you to one of your local parks or trails. If you’re feeling like a big adventure, you can take the bus from Boulder to Nederland and then take the Hessie Shuttle to hike in the Indian Peaks.

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Summit Bald Mountain

The summit at Bald Mountain Scenic Area reaches 7,160 feet. Its geographic location in between Sunshine Canyon and Fourmile Canyon gives rangers a bird’s eye view when scanning the mountains for smoke reports. In 2010, the rocky summit of Bald Mountain helped stop the Fourmile Canyon Fire from spreading further east.

Complete this challenge to earn 200 points!

Your Challenge: Hike to the summit of Bald Mountain. From your lookout spot at the summit, scan the areas that were burnt from the forest fire.

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Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation

Wildlife Challenge

When Boulder County Rangers find injured or abandoned wildlife, they bring the animal to the Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center outside of Lyons. You can help the injured wildlife at Greenwood by making nest boxes or warming socks. They also need materials that you can collect in your backyard.

Complete this challenge to earn 200 points!

Your Challenge: Make or collect something to donate to the center. Visit Greenwood's website to see how kids can help!

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