Dillon’s Nature Nights series kick off tonight | SummitDaily.com

Dillon’s Nature Nights series kick off tonight

Amanda Roberson

DILLON – With warmer nights and seemingly endless hours of daylight, summer is an ideal time to spend an entertaining evening outdoors. Dillon’s Nature Night series returns this year with a lineup of presentations and performances spanning a range of environmental and historical topics, from wolves and raptors to mining, storytellers, and Native American dancers.

A family favorite, the free Nature Nights begin at 7 p.m. each Thursday through Aug. 22 at the Lake Dillon Amphitheatre.

Nurseryman Neils Lunceford and the Summit County Weed Coordinator kick off the series tonight with “Summit County Weed Control,” a presentation about noxious weeds. Lunceford will share his knowledge of Summit County’s effort to reduce noxious weed infestation and suggest ways homeowners can aid in the efforts.

Tom Neils and Robin McEachern from Neils Lunceford will join in to share the secrets of a thriving garden and teach how to revegitate land once noxious weed removal has begun.

In addition to dealing with unwanted plants, the Nature Nights series will educate the public on living peacefully alongside animals. “Living with Wildlife in Summit County,” will focus on dealing with bears, mountain lions, deer, elk, raccoons, fox, and other species when the animals come onto personal property.

“We need to communicate to people how their lifestyles have to change out here. We all live in the mountains to enjoy nature and wildlife, but we have to understand that we have a good amount of wildlife to protect,” said Kirk Oldham, Summit County wildlife manager for the Colorado Department of Wildlife.

Local wildlife rehabilitator Julie Blevins will be on hand to answer questions from the audience.

Some Nature Nights will be more entertaining than educational. The Aztec Indian Dancers will illuminate the lake with the music and dance of their Native American and Mexican heritage. A family that performs together to convey its heritage, the group has been known to attract more than 1,000 visitors in years past.

Storyteller John Stansfield will bring two of the West’s pioneer conservationists, John Muir and Enos Mills, to life. Through narration, Stansfield uses audience participation, vocal balance, audience sing-along, and poetry to convey each conservationist’s story and how their paths crossed.

Stansfield said he chose to tell Muir’s and Mills’ stories because they are two of his heroes.

“I think everybody needs heroes,” he said.

“Nature Nights are great for families because they appeal to all ages. We get everyone from little kids up to grandparents,” said Dillon marketing and events manager Sally Croker.

Dillon Nature Nights is sponsored by The Summit Daily News, Krystal 93.5, KSMT The Mountain and KTUN The Eagle.

For more information about Nature Nights, call the Dillon Event Hotline at (970) 262-3400 or pick up a Dillon Events brochure at the visitors centers around the county or at the Dillon Town Hall located at 275 Lake Dillon Drive.

A concession stand, benefitting the Lake Dillon Foundation for the Performing Arts, will be selling non-alcoholic beverages and light foods during events. Dogs are no longer allowed in the facility during Nature Nights.

2002 Nature Night Schedule

(all dates are Thursdays)

June 20 Summit County Weed Control

June 27 Storyteller John Stansfield

July 11 Storyteller Red Tail the Mountain Man

July 18 Living with Wildlife in Summit County

July 25 Clear Creek Cowboys

Aug. 1 Aztec Indian Dancers

Aug. 8 Young People’s Theatre Workshop production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”

Aug. 15 Raptor Education Foundation

Aug. 22 Mission: Wolf

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