Under a Colorado-blue sky on an idyllic day in June, 15 enthusiastic members of a youth group and their chaperones broke out shovels, rakes, and work gloves to give the Rehder Ranch Nature Preserve a well-deserved makeover for upcoming summer programming.
“The Rehder Ranch is so fun – I could definitely live out here!” exclaims 13-year old Aiden (below, right). “Nature and electricity; what more could you need? Here we have clean air and we get to run around and play with shovels!”
The youth group – representing churches from all across the state – came to Steamboat on a week-long service trip which led them throughout much of Colorado. The Rehder Ranch was a particularly special stop for these hard-working volunteers, who enjoyed the fresh air and beautiful setting as they planted flowers, pulled weeds, and prepped hiking trails for a scheduled bird walk at the Nature Preserve that weekend.
The group bonded while developing their gardening skills. Aiden and rest of the Orange Team spent the morning picking grass seeds out of flower beds in the garden, pouring and raking new dirt, and planting Jonquil bulbs as Harrison Creek gushed in the background.
“This place is really cool!” says Christian, who was working alongside Aiden that day. “I’ve been hanging out working, making new friends. I like to move around and get exercise – it’s better working outside than inside.”
The children also enjoyed seeing signs of wildlife at the Nature Preserve. Some even spotted a sandhill crane that morning, as well as bear paw prints embedded in a patch of mud near the creek.
Experiences such as this are so important in cultivating a lifelong connection with the natural world. A special thank you to the group for your help at the Rehder Ranch Nature Preserve!