Road trip: Sustain Arvada and dinosaurs Discovery Day |

Road trip: Sustain Arvada and dinosaurs Discovery Day

Special to the Daily

Learn about Colorado’s geological past and how to protect our natural assets for the future at two events next weekend on the Front Range.

Sustain Arvada

Start your trip on May 11 with a stop at the Sustain Arvada Festival. Learn how Arvada is conserving resources, generating its own power, recycling and composting and how that translates to actions we can take here in Summit County.

“It reaches out for everyday living — how you can grow your own vegetables and fruit and recycle and what is recyclable,” said Brenda Berg, special events coordinator for the city of Arvada. “If people want different types of shingles for their home or solar — it applies to any area, not just Arvada.”

The event is focused on living sustainably and includes exhibits, activities, food, music and presentations. Berg said highlights include a Fast Tracks presentation that will show people how the community’s new light rail system will work and Colorado State University Extension workshops on residential gardening, backyard composting and canning fruits and vegetables.

Children can participate in art projects and earth-friendly games, pet alpacas and view award-winning Earth Day posters from local fifth- and sixth-graders.

“We are having some activities for children,” Berg said. “Recycling generally starts in the schools, with the children. They teach the parents how to do it. It’s important that children come. There are activities for them; they get the ball rolling.”

Learn how to cut your energy use, reduce your carbon footprint, reduce waste and be responsible about your environment.

“We can live healthier, reduce the amount of waste that we have and make it a cleaner environment for our children and grandchildren,” Berg said.

Dinosaur Discovery Day

On May 12, trek over to Morrison for Dinosaur Discovery Day, a free day of exploration at Dinosaur Ridge. This open house will celebrate Earth resources and history and International Astronomy Day and provide Boy Scouts a chance to earn geology and astronomy belt loops, academic pins and merit badges.

“We’ll have activities at the visitors’ center, volunteers who are scientists and geologists at every fossil site and will discuss fossils and geology on the ridge,” said Amber Cain, volunteer coordinator at Dinosaur Ridge.

Geologists and paleontologists will present hands-on activities including fossil, mineral and rock identification, metal detecting, sluice mining, map reading and analyzing groundwater.

“There will be a gold-panning station where kids will be able to pan for small minerals — pyrite and others,” Cain said. “We’ll have a rock and mineral identification station, along with a fossil identification station. Kids will learn how to identify rocks, minerals and fossils, and they’ll have examples in front of them that they can practice identifying.”

Astronomy activities will include solar observing, searching for iron meteorites and an interactive sundial.

“The Space Foundation is coming from Colorado Springs, and they’re going to have a 100-foot model of the solar system to scale and other space activities,” Cain said.

Cain said she would encourage Scouts to attend because they can earn their activities and badges and it’s an opportunity to talk to real geologists and scientists.

“You get to touch real fossils on the ridge still in place,” she said. “You’re surrounded by other Scouts; it’s an exciting Scouting environment, like a mini jamboree.”

For non-Scouts, Dinosaur Discovery Day is a chance to travel the Dinosaur Ridge Trail and learn about the geological history of the fossils that exists very close to our home in Summit County.

“The only thing you have to pay for is if you take the shuttle, which is an optional fee,” Cain said. “It’s a great free day to get excited about geology.”

Arts & Entertainment Editor Krista Driscoll can be reached at or (970) 668-4619.

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