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Lizzie works as a seasonal for City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, spending her days among the flora and fauna of Boulder both on and off the job. When it comes to knowing what to do and whats going on in the numerous open spaces around Boulder, Lizzie is your girl. After graduating from the University of Texas with a Geography: Environmental Resource Management degree, she came to Salida, CO to work in the San Juan National Forest and surrounding areas on a trail crew. Previously she has worked for Boulder County Parks and Open Space, other trail crews, and as an environmental educator. She has a passion for spreading environmental knowledge and bringing nature straight to the people.

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Something in the Air – Boulder’s National Center for Atmospheric Research

Humans have always had a complicated relationship with weather. Ancient cultures prayed and made offerings to gods in hopes of receiving conditions conducive to growing crops. Adverse weather, then, w…

Humans have always h…

Humans have always had a complicated relationship with weather. Ancient cultures prayed and made offerings to gods in hopes of receiving conditions conducive to growing crops. Adverse weather, then, was often interpreted as displeasure on behalf of those same beings—a punishment for failing to observe proper rituals. It doesn’t take a history scholar to understand this impulse. Weather, now as then, is both an enemy and ally. On one hand, it provides everything from the raw material for food—sunlight driving photosynthesis, wind the primary method of plants spreading their seeds—to …

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MidWinter: A Colorado Night’s Dream

Sometimes, writing about art and theater feels a lot like falling down the proverbial rabbit hole as I try to find the angle to write about wandering through a haunted-theater immersive experience, ge…

Sometimes, writing a…

Sometimes, writing about art and theater feels a lot like falling down the proverbial rabbit hole as I try to find the angle to write about wandering through a haunted-theater immersive experience, getting splashed in a Halloween horror show in the basement of a spaghetti emporium, sweating through a DIY D&D in a comic shop, savoring (har har!) Sweeney Todd’s enraged high notes, and trying to quiet my howling dog in a public house. I’ve found myself in some odd and awkward scenarios. To update the metaphor, writing this column is a lot like drunk-clicking through an endless algorithm o…

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5 Valentines Day Hikes to Take With Your Sweetheart & Making it Special

Looking to earn some points with your main squeeze for thoughtfulness and originality? Take your valentine on a hike this long weekend and make it special with these trips and tips. Snowshoeing…

Looking to earn some…

Looking to earn some points with your main squeeze for thoughtfulness and originality? Take your valentine on a hike this long weekend and make it special with these trips and tips. Snowshoeing Hikes 1. Hessie Trailhead: From the Hessie trailhead you can walk a short ways in to a waterfall or make it a 3 mile round trip to Lost Lake. Snowshoeing can be very tiring compared to regular hiking or walking, so be very considerate of your Sweetheart's energy levels. However it is a great way to see nature during the winter season. 2. Rocky Mountain National Park: The park might be a popul…

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Find Your Christmas Tree the Old Fashioned Way

"The most wonderful time of year" right? Shopping malls, crowded parking lots, traffic, long lines, people who have seem to forgotten the joy of the season.  I love this time of year but sometimes Ch…

"The most wonderful …

"The most wonderful time of year" right? Shopping malls, crowded parking lots, traffic, long lines, people who have seem to forgotten the joy of the season.  I love this time of year but sometimes Christmas gets too commercial, too much about spending money. Every magazine, blog, and "community" news piece is centered around listing the perfect gift ideas for the countless people in your life. Wouldn't it be better to actually spend some time doing something with those people? We all have so much stuff. It weighs us down. Why not make a memory rather than make them find space on a shelf. Mak…

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Where to Ski This Weekend

Well with Wednesday's snow, Colorado sure is feeling the winter magic now. Around Boulder grocery clerks and friendly folks keep saying "stay warm." Toes across the Front Range shiver in wool socks an…

Well with Wednesday'…

Well with Wednesday's snow, Colorado sure is feeling the winter magic now. Around Boulder grocery clerks and friendly folks keep saying "stay warm." Toes across the Front Range shiver in wool socks and boots. And leaves? They are pretty much all gone. But this all means that ski and snowboard season is upon us! Several resorts are already open and the others will be opening very soon. Here's where you can check out the powder this weekend. Check out the links to the resorts' websites for more information about specific lifts and runs. Open Now Arapahoe Basin- They've opened 20% …

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4 Ways to Prep for Winter Adventures on Rainy Days

This rain is kind of a bummer. Well honestly for all of us east coast transplants its a bit of nostalgia filled relief from the glaring sun. I like these cold rainy days even if they keep us from the …

This rain is kind of…

This rain is kind of a bummer. Well honestly for all of us east coast transplants its a bit of nostalgia filled relief from the glaring sun. I like these cold rainy days even if they keep us from the sunshiney adventures were accustomed to - but of course I can only take it for a few days. So what do we do in Boulder on a rainy day? I mean all the amazing breweries are still open despite the rain (and the distilleries, the meadery, and all those bars) so there's always that. However, I propose doing those things you "save for a rainy day" to prepare for your winter adventures. Here's four i…

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5 Things To Do Outside This Weekend in Boulder

The beginning of this week it felt like fall. Chilly. The weather has been lovely today and yesterday and it looks like that will continue for the weekend. Yay!! So lets have some fun outside before a…

The beginning of thi…

The beginning of this week it felt like fall. Chilly. The weather has been lovely today and yesterday and it looks like that will continue for the weekend. Yay!! So lets have some fun outside before another rainy wet and cold spell hits. I've got a couple ideas for the weekend, although honestly my top choice is taking an afternoon nap under a tree after a long work week. Take a Fall Hike: Head to Ned, or the mountains, or now really any park you wish. The weather is perfect and all across Boulder the trees have at least some leaves turned golden. Remember layers and of course hello it…

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Outdoors Around Boulder This Weekend

Well it sure is hot outside. And this weekend will be no exception. So lather up in sunscreen, fill your Nalgene, and strap on those Tevas. You could always head out for a hike or a bike ride, or just…

Well it sure is hot …

Well it sure is hot outside. And this weekend will be no exception. So lather up in sunscreen, fill your Nalgene, and strap on those Tevas. You could always head out for a hike or a bike ride, or just hang creekside at Boulder Creek. In  Boulder in summer the options are endless! But here are some ideas for this weekend. Check out West Magnolia Trailhead in Nederland The flowers around Ned are seriously beautiful this time of year and this National Forest land is an easy access point to the mountains.  This site even has camping as well and all trails permit non-motorized recreatio…

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Take a Hike, Dad! The Top 4 Boulder Father’s Day Hikes to Take Your Dad On

Yup, that's right its Father's Day this Sunday, May 21. (That's also the first official day of summer!) Instead of another fancy tie or shave kit, give Dad some time together on a hike. The hikes lis…

Yup, that's right it…

Yup, that's right its Father's Day this Sunday, May 21. (That's also the first official day of summer!) Instead of another fancy tie or shave kit, give Dad some time together on a hike. The hikes listed below are my top Father's day hikes around Boulder, which means they have mild grades, wider trails, and great trailhead facilities like bathrooms, picnic areas, and ample parking which makes things easier for a family. 1. Betasso preserve Betasso is a boulder favorite for mountain biking, dog walking, and of course family day hikes.  A short drive up the canyon, Betasso is a quick ge…

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Outdoor Fun This Weekend

Well it's finally summer in Boulder! Time to put away the skis (well you have until A Basin closes), hit the farmer's market, lounge by the Rez, and dine alfresco. Honestly there is no shortage of …

Well it's finally su…

Well it's finally summer in Boulder! Time to put away the skis (well you have until A Basin closes), hit the farmer's market, lounge by the Rez, and dine alfresco. Honestly there is no shortage of things to do in Boulder in the summer. (I'm personally very excited to be using my Boulder Passport for 2 for 1 tasty beverages around town). Without a doubt you gotta be outdoors for summer in Boulder; unless its a thunderstorm when you are given the excuse to get comfy indoors. Here's some ways to spend this weekend outside: 1. Take a hike! Scan through City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain…

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Wildflowers of Spring

So I'll admit it, I am a plant nerd. Plants are neat! For those of you who also wonder about the little spots of yellow popping up across Chautauqua meadow and elsewhere I've got a few wildflowers you…

So I'll admit it, I …

So I'll admit it, I am a plant nerd. Plants are neat! For those of you who also wonder about the little spots of yellow popping up across Chautauqua meadow and elsewhere I've got a few wildflowers you can see around Boulder now. Tulips and daffodils on Pearl Street Mall don't count!   Golden Banner (Thermopsis spp.) Golden banner is like the welcome banner of summer. This legume is scattered in large patches across the foothills and some in the plains.   Sand Lily (Leucocrinum montanum) This pretty lily is all over the foothills spread out like little white …

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Adventurous Opportunities for Young People This Summer

Two words: TRAIL CREW. Or you could call it youth corps, trail corps, sustainability corps, etc. Whatever you call it, it is awesome and life changing. If you are a young person who has a summer break…

Two words: TRAIL CRE…

Two words: TRAIL CREW. Or you could call it youth corps, trail corps, sustainability corps, etc. Whatever you call it, it is awesome and life changing. If you are a young person who has a summer break between college years or you're simply between the ages of 18-25 and love the outdoors in some aspect (enjoying camping is a must), then you should try a trail crew out for a few months. You may already have a ton of backpacking and outdoor skill experience and in that case, why not get paid for what you love? And if you don't have the experience but do have any interest in challenging you…

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Outdoor Activity Idea: Kite Flying!

It's officially spring! Even if it snowed yesterday (and will likely snow a few more times before summer), it is spring and the weather in Boulder has been mostly beautiful. We've also had some pretty…

It's officially spri…

It's officially spring! Even if it snowed yesterday (and will likely snow a few more times before summer), it is spring and the weather in Boulder has been mostly beautiful. We've also had some pretty great weather for kite flying. With the breezy spring air and access to many wide-open open spaces, Boulder is a great place to fly a kite. Non-motorized or passive recreation is allowed at most open spaces in the area.   I flew kites this past weekend at the Greenbelt Plateau area. While this City of Boulder trailhead is a fee area, there is a second access point to the trail f…

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Free Fun with Your Local Parks Department

Entertainment is rarely completely free these days, as the performers on Pearl Street frequently remind passerby during their shows. Hanging out in your locals parks is of course free, but unless you'…

Entertainment is rar…

Entertainment is rarely completely free these days, as the performers on Pearl Street frequently remind passerby during their shows. Hanging out in your locals parks is of course free, but unless you've taken the initiative to bring a bunch of books to study and are yourself already a skilled observer, you might not learn anything new. Fortunately many park departments in the area are happy to provide you with experts and educators to lead you through the outdoors. There are free nature programs for everyone, and most parks departments host programs throughout the year to suit different…

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For the Outdoors-Men (and Women) Who Have to Spend This Weekend Indoors

Wow. It is snowing. And has been snowing. And will continue to snow. I know there are the Boulderites with their intense training schedules who will brave the cold and snow to run up mountains or brav…

Wow. It is snowing. …

Wow. It is snowing. And has been snowing. And will continue to snow. I know there are the Boulderites with their intense training schedules who will brave the cold and snow to run up mountains or brave the disastrous, car wreck inducing ski resort traffic on I-70 to freeze their buns off on the slopes; there is still plenty to do indoors for the outdoors enthusiast on the rare weekend that Boulder doesn't have pleasant weather. Here are some of my options this weekend.   Planning Trips as well as many outdoor activities take planning. Even if you are the most experienced back…

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Walden Ponds

Walden Ponds Park, owned and managed by Boulder County, is a small gem nestled into Gunbarrel, on the outskirts of Boulder. The park hosts anglers, bird-watchers, walkers, runners, and many a natur…

Walden Ponds Park, o…

Walden Ponds Park, owned and managed by Boulder County, is a small gem nestled into Gunbarrel, on the outskirts of Boulder. The park hosts anglers, bird-watchers, walkers, runners, and many a nature program. While the park sustained some flood damage, the majority of the trails are open as well as the fishing areas. The park is popular throughout the year for bird watching, with many migratory birds stopping over, such as white pelicans. The park is much quieter than some other parks on the plains around Boulder, which is especially true in winter, making it a great place to take a break fr…

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Christmas Fun Around Boulder County

It's clear around Boulder that the holidays are in full swing. Just look toward that giant lighted star in the foothills and you know its time to do something festive. So here's a list of many festive…

It's clear around Bo…

It's clear around Boulder that the holidays are in full swing. Just look toward that giant lighted star in the foothills and you know its time to do something festive. So here's a list of many festive things going on right here in Boulder County. Boulder Christmas with the King Singers, Mackey Auditorium on Thursday December 11, 7:30 p.m. A Broadway Christmas Carol, University Theater CU starting on Friday December 12, at 7:30 p.m. and reoccurring on December 13th, 19th, 20th, 21st "If Charles Dickens had huddled with Rodgers and Hammerstein, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Matt Stone a…

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Christmas is Coming, and the Festivities are Beginning!

As you're getting ready for Turkey day, preparations for Christmas are already in full swing. It seems like everyone starts getting ready earlier and earlier each year. But can you blame them, Christm…

As you're getting re…

As you're getting ready for Turkey day, preparations for Christmas are already in full swing. It seems like everyone starts getting ready earlier and earlier each year. But can you blame them, Christmas and all the festivities it brings are a lot of fun! So here's a couple of events coming up in Boulder County to get you in the Christmas spirit. Boulder -Switch on the Holidays, November 23, Sunday 5pm, Downtown Boulder Join Santa and the City of Boulder for a free holiday music performance and the lighting of the Boulder County Courthouse -Winter Sidewalk Sale, Friday November 28- Su…

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Walker Ranch
Try Walker Ranch for Your Next Fall Hike or Bike

Located just past the summit of Flagstaff Mountain, a short scenic drive from downtown Boulder, this large Boulder County Open Space park sports over 10 miles of trails as well as fantastic natural an…

Located just past th…

Located just past the summit of Flagstaff Mountain, a short scenic drive from downtown Boulder, this large Boulder County Open Space park sports over 10 miles of trails as well as fantastic natural and cultural history. Check out Walker Ranch on BoulderCounty.org The Walker Ranch Loop is a 7.8 mile loop that meets South Boulder Creek multiple times and takes you through diverse terrain of a foothills ecosystem.  From singletrack sections through thick pine trees to sprawling meadows complete with views from all directions, this trail will take you on quite a journey. The best part a…

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Happening Halloween Festivals

Its that spooky time of year again and if you're looking for ghouls, ghosts, and goblins, look no further than your local parks! This upcoming weekend and Halloween weekend are sure to be filled with …

Its that spooky time…

Its that spooky time of year again and if you're looking for ghouls, ghosts, and goblins, look no further than your local parks! This upcoming weekend and Halloween weekend are sure to be filled with festivals and fun activities in and around the parks and public areas in Boulder county. Here's my list of where to check out the frightful and fun fests: Boulder Halloween Carnival Oct 24 3-5pm at South Boulder Recreation Center This indoor family fun carnival has lots of activities for the little ones! Halloween Havoc Skateboard Contest Saturday Oct 25 10am-4pm Scott C…

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Boulder Colorado Air Quality

A Day on Boulder Creek

Featured Boulder Song

Community Partners