Denver Kids

Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR
By Linda Collison & Bob Russell

East of Denver there's a piece of land 27 square miles in size that was once the site of a chemical weapons facility and later a pesticide-manufacturing plant. Over the last decade it's been cleaned up and reclaimed and is now, once again, home to mule deer, coyotes, jackrabbits, reintroduced bald eagles, and hundreds of other indigenous species. (So far there have been no reports of two-headed animals.) If you want to see the wonders of reclaiming a chemical waste dump, sign up for one of the weekend tours on a double-decker bus. However, don't count on seeing toomany animals at close range. Bring binoculars, a pen and notepad to record what you see andlearn, and plan on spending between one and two hours. This activity is best for schoolchidrenand adults with a reasonable attention span — and a strong interest in reclaiming the environment.

Where: Quebec and Seventy-Second Avenue near Commerce City.
When: Weekends, year-round; Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon, usually. Reservations are required.
Activities: Free guided bus tours and special events such as full-moon hikes, nature films,eagle-viewing. Call for upcoming activities, and to reserve your spot.
Facilities: 27 square miles of cleaned-up chemical dumping grounds — anencouraging experiment in environmental reclamation. Nature center, eagle observation point,double-decker buses.
Be sure to bring: Binoculars and a notebook — and a few Snickers bars in the pocket.

© Article copyright Pruett Publishing.


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