Bighorn Day at Garden Visitor Center Feb. 14

       Including guided walks, presentations, children's activities and viewing opportunities, the fourth annual Bighorn Sheep Day will be Saturday, Feb. 14 at the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center.
       The free event, sponsored by the center in conjunction with the Department of Wildlife (DOW), will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The center is at 1805 N. 30th St. Last year's Bighorn Day drew more than 3,000 people, according to Bret Tennis, the center's lead interpreter.
       Another activity, simulating what rangers sometimes do in the wild, will be a “high tech” hunt in which participants can use a radio telemetry device to track a radio collar (the kind placed on bighorns) that will be hidden in the park. This is scheduled as part of a 1 p.m. presentation in the Visitor Center's theater by Brian Dreher of DOW.
       Other presentations in the theater will be at 11:30 a.m., a City Forestry and City Fire explanation of the local Wildland Urban Interface program; and at 2 p.m., “Life at the Top: Colorado Above Timberline” with DOW volunteer and outdoors author Jeremy Agnew.
       Guided nature walks will be offered at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.
       For the entire five hours, it will be possible to scan for bighorns from the center's Visitor Center Observation Deck (which is equipped with telescopes) or from the pullout area on Mesa Road. The animals often congregate on the slopes in Queen's Canyon this time of year to feed on grass shoots. Binoculars are recommended.
       A free shuttle between the Visitor Center and the pullout will be provided. A shuttle will additionally take people between the center and the overflow parking across the street at the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site.
       Continuing throughout the event will be children's activities: face painting, appearances by costumed characters, a scavenger hunt, games and coloring opportunities.

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