Supporting Refuge infrastructure maintenance with fundraising efforts and participation in clean-up and repair activities
Rather than offer occasional opportunities to experience nature on the Refuge, we have developed a schedule of activities that offers monthly opportunities to learn about nature and engage in activities at the Refuge. Many of our efforts are conducted in partnership with other groups (e.g. City of Arvada, Majestic View Nature Center, Standley Lake and Arvada Libraries, and the Butterfly Pavilion), and are closely coordinated with the Two Ponds Refuge Manager. Due to staffing and funding shortages at our national wildlife refuges, an increasingly important role of Friends groups is to secure external funding, and develop sustainable programs in partnership with other community organizations.
To achieve our mission our efforts are organized around sustainable programs that will lead to more partnerships in the community. These programs focus on:
Conservation of Refuge wildlife through habitat improvements
Monitoring and protection of wildlife populations on the Refuge
Increasing public awareness of the Refuge and the national wildlife refuge system
Expanding neighborhood outreach to include under-served populations in Arvada and other areas within Jefferson County
Engaging the public in Refuge events, volunteer opportunities, and service projects
Supporting existing Refuge events and enhancing the number and type of other events that occur at the Refuge by identifying new user groups, identifying experts to lead these events, and forming partnerships with other organizations with similar missions
Detailed Program Information
Restore and Enhance Native Habitats
Kelly Grummons, an accomplished and well-known horticulturist in Colorado and neighboring states, volunteers as an advisor to the Habitat/Wildlife Program of Founders and Friends, sharing his expertise and providing guidance on habitat improvement for the benefit of wildlife.
It has been over 20 years since an inventory of trees growing at Two Ponds was conducted. Because this area was farmed and used for grazing horses, there are many non-native trees located on the Refuge, including a very rare pear tree. This project updates the existing inventory and includes additional information about the trees.
Noxious Weeds Awareness
Weeds not indigenous to Colorado, known as noxious weeds, can have a serious negative impact on wildlife and their environment. Attempts to eradicate these invasive plants and restore native habitat at Two Ponds are ongoing and includes efforts to educate the community about the identity and harmful effects of noxious weeds.
Prairie Garden / Woodland Garden
An area of the Refuge has been set aside as an interpretive garden. Plants, both native and non-native to the Colorado High-Plains Eco-system exists in the garden for the purpose of educating school groups and visitors about the area habitats and the impacts of plants that have been introduced to the area over many decades. Volunteers assist refuge staff with maintaining the area.
Wildlife: Monitor/Protect and Experience/Learn
Doug Shoffner, an experienced birder and member of the Denver Field Ornithologists, volunteers for Founders and Friends as coordinator of our Birding Program which promotes birding opportunities at Two Ponds and surrounding areas. Working in partnership with other groups, he provides information, organizes birding events, and encourages participation in established programs.
Great Backyard Bird Count
The Great Backyard Bird Count is held during four days in February every year to provide a real-time snapshot of where birds are. Anyone can participate. Just go birding anytime during this specific time period at Two Ponds and then enter your data in eBird (http://ebird.org/content/ebird).
World Turtle Day
The purpose of World Turtle Day is to “bring attention to, and increase knowledge of and respect for, turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to help them survive and thrive.” It is celebrated at Two Ponds in partnership with Majestic View Nature Center, and Standley Lake and Arvada Libraries. Learn how to take care of turtles, and view them in their natural habitats at Majestic View and Two Ponds NWR.
Butterfly Habitat / Population
Volunteers are assigned to monitor sections of the Refuge and submit their observations to a national database (BAMONA/PollardBase) as part of the Colorado Butterfly Monitoring Network directed by the Butterfly Pavilion. The Butterfly Pavilion will provide Service volunteers training in identifying butterflies common to Colorado, and in developing skills needed to perform the data recording for this task.
Promote Awareness and Appreciation of the National Wildlife Refuge System
Linda Curran, a Board member of Founders & Friends, serves as Director of Community Outreach, working to engage a diverse population and build stronger connections to nature within our community.
Refuge Block Party
Refuges located in rural areas may extend the available habitat for wildlife beyond their borders by forging agreements with adjacent landowners. The focus of the Refuge Block Party is how this concept can be implemented at Two Ponds. If your property borders Two Ponds or the canals that pass through the Refuge, please join us to learn how you can be a good neighbor to the wildlife on the Refuge. Meet other Refuge neighbors and take a walk on the Refuge to observe wildlife.
Junior Refuge Manager Program
Each refuge in the National Wildlife Refuge System has a refuge manager responsible for the welfare of the wildlife and the quality of their habitat. The Junior Refuge Manager Program is an activity-based program designed to engage elementary school-aged children to learn how they, too, can be responsible stewards of the Refuge. Upon completion of their activity book, participants receive a Junior Refuge Manager badge.
Fillup A. Can Days Litter Cleanup
If you cannot help clean up the Refuge on Earth Day, consider participating in Arvada’s Fillup A. Can Day any time between April 22nd and the first weekend in June. Pick up trash at Two Ponds and along the roads bordering the Refuge. Contact the Refuge manager for specific details.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) Events and Projects
Janet Torma-Krajewski and David Jamiel, board members of Founders & Friends of Two Ponds NWR, work closely with the Refuge Manager of Two Ponds NWR to support common goals for environmental education and wildlife conservation through cooperative efforts. For more information about USFWS activities, contact the Refuge Manager at 303-289-0867.
National Trails Day
This annual event began over 20 years ago in partnership with the City of Arvada and Majestic View Nature Center. It is part of a nationwide recognition of recreation and nature trails that exist through the United States. The event includes a variety of family oriented nature- related activities held at the Refuge and at Majestic View. This event is held on the first Saturday in June.
Eagle Scout Projects
Scout projects are ongoing activities at Two Ponds.Over 50 projects having been completed, and include improving habitat, constructing benches, constructing/restoring trails, repairing bridges, installing markers for self-guided tour, building bird blind, constructing a gazebo, etc.For more information about Eagle Scout projects, contact the Refuge Manager for Two Ponds NWR.
Junior Duck Stamp Program (JDS)
The JDS Program is a dynamic curriculum that teaches wetland and waterfowl conservation to K-12 students . The program encourages students to explore their natural world, invites them to investigate biology and wildlife management principles and challenges them to express and share what they have learned with others. The winning artwork from the national art contest serves as the design for the Junior Duck Stamp. The Refuge Manager at Two Ponds is the program coordinator for Colorado.