POUDRE LEARNING CENTER
A sense of wonder, a sense of place.
When the Poudre Learning Center opened in 2005, even executive director Ray Tschillard was surprised when 6,000 people had visited by the end the year. These days, that number’s well over 20,000. “All of our attendance figures are up,” he says. “More drop-in traffic, more repeat visits, more requests from larger groups.” And it’s not just locals, either. People are coming from all over the country.
What’s the attraction? Three miles of trails on 65 acres of short-grass prairie along the historic Poudre River, a waterway that’s been integral to the region’s economy since the mid-1800s – and its way of life for centuries.
While Tschillard has always viewed the center as a collection of “outdoor classrooms,” that definition is about to get a little broader with the addition of the new InSTEM Station on the Prairie in September. Interactive displays, historical information, and a wet lab will enable learning to continue in inclement weather when the 7,000-square-foot building is completed in September of 2017.
“InSTEM” stands for “Inspired by Nature STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).” The new facility will not only enable the center to provide water and natural resource educational opportunities, but also help inspire visitors to continue to preserve and protect the Cache la Poudre River – for generations to come.
Pulse of the Poudre Chuckwagon
Ever wish you could explore the roots of Greeley’s history through the eyes of a chuckwagon “Cookie”? Learn how to rope a steer? Enjoy traditional prairie meals – including “whistle berries” (AKA cowboy beans)?
Every Wednesday evening during July and August at the Poudre Learning Center, Pulse of the Poudre offers all of the above – as well as music by Vic Anderson, international-champion yodeler and whistler with authentic old west cowboy music.
Dinner is served by local 4-H members who are raising money to travel to Washington, D.C. for their annual national Citizenship Washington Focus conference. “It’ll be fun for the whole family,” promises Tschillard.
You’re invited to these monthly events
- Nature Café – various presentations and demonstrations for the whole family
- Astronomy Nights – tour the night sky guided by the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society
- F.I.S.H. – Families Investigating Science at Home
Plus . . .
- El Espejo and Boys of the Moonshell – June-July weeklong science research camps