by Chloe Forsman, Community Adventure Program Student at New Vista High School in Boulder, Colorado
You are walking along your favorite open space trail, the sky is clear, and you are distracted by a great view of the Flatirons. You step over a rock and
By Community Adventure Program students, 2nd Quarter 2003
You are walking along your favorite open space trail, the sky is clear, and you are distracted by a great view of the Flatirons. You step over a rock and—SQUISH—right into a fresh pile of dog poop.
It is estimated that Boulder’s open space and mountain parks host thirty tons of dog waste every year, which is equivalent to fifteen Ford Explorers. Not only has this become a problem in Boulder, it has become an issue that needs to be addressed nationally. In fact, one Boulder resident was so passionate about this issue that he used his GPS unit to plot the coordinates of 1,492 piles of dog feces along one of his favorite hiking trails – yikes!
Dog waste has severe environmental and aesthetic effects on an ecosystem. Studies in Boulder County have revealed the presence of dog waste has chemically imbalanced the ecosystem by depositing high levels of nitrogen, making it difficult for native plants to grow, while causing some “weeds” to flourish. Dog waste also releases harmful compounds into creeks and ponds. It upsets algae growth and may harm fish and other animals dependent on that water source. A single gram of dog waste contains up to twenty-three million infective bacteria, including E. Coli. Contaminated water can also pose a threat to humans because when the water is used for recreation, infections and gastro illness become more probable.
Ben Lawhon, Education Manager of the Boulder-based organization Leave No Trace (LNT), recognizes dog waste as a significant problem on public lands. While LNT does not currently have any programs in place to address this specific problem, they are making plans to address the issue nationally in the near future.
So what’s the Solution? The Community Adventure Program at New Vista High School in Boulder, Colorado proposes that land managers encourage people to compost their pet waste instead of throwing it in the trash. Composting is a more sustainable solution because throwing away pet waste will still allow harmful bacteria to enter our watershed. There are several composting products on the market including the Doggie Dooley, available through petstreetmall.com.
So pet owners, please pick up your pet’s waste and dispose of it properly. Other hikers will appreciate it, our watershed will appreciate it, and so will our environment!
WEBSITES TO LEARN THE SCOOP ON POOP:
To learn about dog feces, click here.
To purchase pet composting products, click here.
To Learn about the Community Adventure Program, click here.
As the inaugural quarter of the Community Adventure Program comes to a close, it is important to reflect on what we did as a class during the past nine weeks. This has been an extraordinary group of students to work with and I hope that this class has had a positive impact on their lives. Here is a quick recap about what we did and what I hope each student will take away from their participation in the CAP:
CAP in Review:
* Read a variety of outdoor and environmental quotes each class from a variety of authors.
* Read the Lorax by Dr. Seuss to talk about environmental impact
* Met Laura Nilo from Leave No Trace
* Learned about Expedition Behavior
* Met Garth Schaffer from Service Learning Colorado to learn about community service projects
* Met Michael Jospe from the Earth-Based Institute to learn about nature awareness and tracking skills
* Learned how to communicate from the heart by using a technique called the Way of Council
* Discussed and debated 2003 Colorado ballot issues pertaining to the environment
* Participated in the CAP Community Action Process to brainstormed local outdoor and environmental issues affecting the Boulder community, conduct research, and complete a project as a class to have a positive impact in Boulder.
* Completed weekly journal entries to reflect on what we did each week, identify what we learned, and transfer that information to our lives
* Attended a local outdoor clinic or slideshow
* Learned about the 12 Essentials
* Learned how to make our own survival kits
* Met Gary Neptune from Neptune Mountaineering to learn about his mountaineering experience and gain a historical perspective for how outdoor gear and equipment has evolved over the years
* Learned how to create a menu and shop for our own food for our first overnight trip
* Went on an overnight trip to Camp Ora-Penn outside of Nederland, CO to learn basic camping skills, friction fire, knife safety, more nature awareness activities, and how to build natural shelters
* Explored our sense of place in Boulder, CO
* Learned about how to interpret weather patterns
* Met Lynne Sullivan from City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks to learn about the cultural history of Chautauqua Park, the Colorado Front Range, and edible and medicinal plant identification
* Watched a documentary called Endurance to learn about the 1914 Shackleton expedition to the South Pole
* Learned about leadership traits and decision-making skills
* Participated in leadership and teambuilding initiatives with Garth Schaffer from Service Learning Colorado
* Learned about winter camping basics, clothing selection, winter safety concerns, and how to stay warm
* Practiced trip planning skills by identifying number of miles, elevation gain, and estimated hiking time for trip scenarios
* Met Chris Barge, Outdoor Writer for the Daily Camera, and learned tips about how to write an article to be published and research tips
* Went rock climbing at The Spot Bouldering Gym
* Went on a winter camping overnight trip to St. Mary
“Listen to the musn
Beginner Snow Shoeing Clinic
Where: REI Boulder
* The considerations to take when buying snow shoes
* The mechanics of snow shoes
What I Learned:
This clinic at REI in Boulder was a lesson on getting set with snowshoes. We learned all the considerations for when buying and renting snowshoes, such as length, width, frame type, and the different kinds of teeth set in the bottom. These are all depending on things like the user
Evolution of Women
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
* Worked on Community action project
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
* Learned how to navigate using compasses
* Talked to Rocky Mountain Rescue dude in bear creek park.
Friday, December 19, 2003
* Worked on community action project
“Follow your dream
“All people dream, but unequally. Those that dream at night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake the next day to find that their dreams were just vanity. But those who dream during the day with their eyes wide open are dangerous folk; they act out their dreams to make them reality.”