GUEST COLUMN:
Garden’s FOGG provides education
By Suzanne Jarvinen
President, Friends of Garden of the Gods

       Friends of Garden of the Gods (FOGG) is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1991, whose mission is to promote, preserve and enhance the natural and historic assets of the Garden of the Gods for the area's citizens and visitors through interpretive, educational and administrative support.
       Led by an all-volunteer board of directors, FOGG provides educational venues for children as well as adults. A program for children in kindergarten through grade 6 is called Parks Plus. This program focuses on two aspects of the park: ecology (flora and fauna of the park and the three life zones located there) and geology (the three formations found in the park and the geologic processes that caused them).
       We serve 4,000 school children a year through Parks Plus. They come from around the state, but predominantly from El Paso County. Through our “Adopt a School Program,” FOGG each year sponsors an “at-risk” school in District 11 so its students can participate in the educational opportunities that are available.
       FOGG also coordinates periodic cleanups of the Garden of the Gods trails and along 30th Street near the park. Weather depending, the work is performed on the third Saturday of each month from April (as part of the Garden of the Gods Visitors Center's annual Earth Day event) through November. This effort is coordinated by Keith Roche. Please give him a call at 574-4303 to sign up for this.
       Membership dues and donations support all FOGG's activities. Benefits of membership are community and environmental involvement, the FOGG quarterly newsletter and social and educational activities.
       Help us preserve and enhance this place of geologic wonders and biologic diversity. To become a Friend or volunteer, call Bonnie Frum at the Visitors Center at 219-0101.

Barbara Scharrer of FOGG also contributed to this column.