Providing free nature outings and adventures to youth who would other wise not have such opportunities, Boulder Valley ICO is entirely volunteer run.

See our new website for more information on our program.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Trinity Alps Service Outing

This summer, Erik Gainey and three of our youth leaders participated in a week-long service trip in the Trinity Alps region of California's Sierra Nevada. The pulled up their sleeves to some serious trail maintenance but there was also time to hang out with the horses and enjoy the alpine lakes and Sierra summer.

This outing was paid for by our national directorate as part of a collaboration with the general outings program of the Sierra Club. It was, therefore, a privilege for our team to have been selected to participate. And it was great that Erik stepped up to the plate to help us seize this really cool opportunity.

Monday, September 19, 2011

9/17 Chautauqua Day Hike

On September 17th, BVICO provided a day hiking trip for Pioneer Elementary School kids. The kids did a day hike at Chautauqua Park in Boulder, CO. After the day hike, the kids also got to visit the Chautauqua Park Museum and learn the types of wildlife present at the park. Along with the great weather, the trip was fun for everyone!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bull Snake on 5/6 Water Sentinels Outing

On our 5/6 Water Sentinels outing, the kids spotted a lovely bull snake in the grass. Bull snakes mimic rattle snakes as a defensive mechanism even though they are not venomous -- they have similar patterning, will coil, will flatten and broaden their heads to look like a viper, and will shake their tail. But they have no rattle so they make their rattling sound by forcing air through a small opening just behind the tongue, causing the surrounding tissue to flap around. Gladly, we didn't get this particular snake sufficiently addled to put on such a display.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pioneer Elementary Braves the Cold for Some Awesome Birding on International Migratory Bird Day

It was chilly. It was grey. It was absolutely awesome! After a short introduction to birds, birding, and binoculars, we set about to find some birds. And almost right away, we saw two bald eagles though our spotting scope. Then we saw some other pretty things: yellow warbler, yellow-headed blackbird, killdeer, red-winged blackbirds, great blue heron, lesser egret, green heron, osprey, and, even, an American bittern. But the star of the show was a western tanager that just hung out by the side of the trail, showing off his plumage.

Thanks to Mary Claire Collins, Irene Won, Ira Star, Debra Lawsing, Caroline Hogue, and Michael Le Desma for helping to make this trip so much fun.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fruita Mountain Biking Trip: Big & Glorious

The 2011 edition of the Fruita mountain biking trip was big (15 kids, 2 youth leaders, and 9 adults) and glorious, owing to skilled support from Scot Colburn (BVICO), Catherine Powers (Casey Middle School), Andy Brannon (Trips for Kids), Andy Stephens (BVICO), and a small army of parents. Special thanks is owed Catherine for having planned many of the outing details even though she was not able to join us on the outing.

The red sandstone vistas were beautiful, the wind bracing, and the riding 100% Fruita perfection. Scot and Andy's photos are below.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Snowshoeing with Pioneer Elementary

Boulder Valley ICO led a single-day snowshoeing trip near in the Indian Peaks wilderness for kids from Pioneer Elementary School. Thanks to Mary Claire Collins, Ira Star, Andy Stephens, Caroline Hogue, and Michael Le Desma for organizing and leading this trip.

Here's a short video from the outing:

And here is a story book version of the outing, courtesy of Lukas Le Desma (age 5):

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Our First Camera-Trapping Outing Was A Huge Success!

Boulder Valley ICO's first-ever outing to combine camera-trapping with water sampling was a huge success. We took 12 kids from Casey Middle School (on the school's Science Day) water sampling, where they measured pH, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen, and took samples for nitrates and phosphates. Then we met Christian Nunes of the Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks agency who guided us to the best location to set up our motion-sensing camera. The camera works... well! Camera in place, we went for pizza before returning to the school.

Thanks to Jackie Esler, Kirk Cunningham, Mary Ellen McCarry, Christian Nunes, and Michael Le Desma for assembling and leading this outing.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Boulder Valley ICO & Place Bridge Academy at Dinosaur Ridge

Our recent trip to Dinosaur Ridge with kids from Place Bridge Academy was great. We had excellent weather and the dinosaur footprints were really cool. Thanks for Margaret Rohan, Carmen Kuri-Moeller, and Andrea Barriga, and Michael Le Desma for putting this trip together.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

President Obama on the America's Great Outdoors Project

The President commissioned a study of how better to promote conservation, outdoor recreation, and healthy lifestyles.  The President describes this report and this project in this speech.

The Report, itself, is here.

ICO is mentioned on page 152.  So, in case you are wondering, we really are part of a national movement to get kids outdoors and reconnected to nature.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hessie Scary Night Hike

On Oct 22, Volunteers from BVICO brought along 12 youngsters from several Boulder area middle schools on a great night hike in the Indian Peaks Wilderness.  We shuttled the group to the Hessie Trailhead after gearing everyone up in warm winter clothes.  When we arrived, it was dark and misty which made it perfect our adventure to the haunted abandoned cabins 1 mile up the trail. Hiking buddies in tow, we crossed an icy boardwalk, leaped over puddles, manned a bridge that crossed over the river and likely housed a troll or two, explored the cabins, played games, told scary stories and ventured to an amazing waterfall.

The kids learned about the importance of hiking with a buddy, staying on trail, and leaving no trace as litter destroys the beauty of our forests.

Everyone survived and had a great time!