Partners and Projects

The Nature Center is a perfect learning laboratory for many scientific studies and community projects.

If you would like to use the Nature Center for research, trail work, or a special project, please contact Site Manager, Emily Schaefgen, at 970-749-1140 or emily@durangonaturestudies.org.

Below are a list of past projects that have been conducted at the Nature Center.

Fort Lewis College Archaeological Field School – The Durango Nature Center is home to a Prehistoric Dinetah Gobernador Phase Site. This is a very exciting discovery that was excavated by Mona Charles and her students.

Fort Lewis College Biology Department – Field Ecology classes have a long-term weather station and water sampling projects going on at the site each spring.

Fort Lewis Geology Department – Geology classes sample water along the Florida River at the site each fall.

The Lions Club – The Lions Club paid to construct a beautiful all-season pavilion where most of our programs gather.

High Noon Rotary – The High Noon Rotary built a footbridge that crosses the Florida River and leads to the heart of the site.  Upon crossing the bridge, visitors step into the beauty of the Nature Center.

Southwest Conservation Corp (SCC) – Durango Nature Studies has been a community partner with SCC for several 12-13 year old crews. We also serve as a training site for other adult crews.

Eagle Scouts – The site hosts various projects that are a result of scouts partnering with DNS to obtain their eagle scout badge. Recent projects have been the completion of a floating dock in our pond, a foot bridge across the Florida River, and bird house project for nesting birds.

Colorado State University – Graduate students conducted a study on boreal chorus frogs based on the large number of frogs at the site. The study involved obtaining cotton mouth swabs for genetic analysis and recording audio samples.

Animas High School – Students conducted a bullfrog study and came up with plans to eliminate this invasive species so the native leopard frogs could thrive.

Colorado Breeding Bird Atlas – Because of our excellent riparian habitat, field studies were conducted at our site for the atlas. Findings included 42 species, including three that had not been seen before in the area. .

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