Changing programs at GoG Visitor Center

       A busy summer at the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center was winding down with Labor Day weekend nearing, but new programs are coming up.
       Scheduled each Friday in September will be a free Toddler Nature Program (ages 3 to 5 with parents), starting at 10:15 a.m. in the Red Rocks Room. Reservations are required at 219-0108.
       The privately owned center is at 1805 N. 30th St.
       Still in the planning stages for September are a series of Wednesday events in which knowledgeable local speakers will give presentations over lunch, according to Jeanne McElderry, who organizes many of the center's community programs.
       She said the center's summer outdoor offerings, which were expanded this year, proved popular. About 20 guided walks were led by local specialists to look at wildlife, wildflowers, in-sects, birds and geologic formations. “It's been abso-lutely amazing,” McElderry said. “We had requests that we continue them into the fall. We will try to do that as much as we can.”
       A big limiting factor is that after Labor Day the center will scale back its hours to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Also, some of the animal viewing (such as prairie falcons and bats) will no longer be possible because they will be gone, pointed out McElderry, who led the bat tours.
       The first two toddler programs (Sept. 5 and 12) will discuss butterflies. There will be a reading of the book, “Caterpillar Dance” by Will Grace, then the youngsters can work with crafts “to celebrate this beautiful insect, often seen at Garden of the Gods Park,” a press release states.
       On Sept. 19 and 26, attendees will read “Fletcher and the Falling Leaves” by Julia Rawlinson, then make leaf presses to celebrate autumn.

Westside Pioneer/press release