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Catamount Institute offers afternoon, evening events for 20-year celebration Sept. 24

       The Catamount Institute will celebrate its 20-year anniversary Sunday, Sept. 24 with events in the afternoon and evening.
       Both will be at the ecological stewardship nonprofit's location: the Beidleman Environmental Center in the 100-acre, city-owned Sondermann Park.
A file photo shows the first-ever Catamount Institute program (offered in conjunction with Colorado Springs Utilities) in Sondermann Park after the organization moved into the Beidleman Environmental Center in 2004.
Westside Pioneer file photo

       The center's address is 740 West Caramillo St.
       The events are:
       Afternoon: Family Fun Day, from 1 to 3 p.m., will include hikes, science-related activities and refreshments, according to a press release.
       “Explore nature with the whole family and learn about plants, critters, and trails that are right in the heart of Colorado Springs,” the release continues.
       A “suggested donation” of $10 per family is requested.
       Evening: 20th Anniversary Fundraiser, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
       “As we celebrate our 20th anniversary and honor the past, we would like to invite you to an evening in our park near downtown Colorado Springs,” the press release states. “We will ask you to help us build a foundation to continue connecting youth with nature and inspiring a future generation of environmental stewards.”
       The cost is $45, and open to ages 21 and up.
       Proceeds from both events will be used to “help support programs for low-income schools and provide scholarships for at-risk youth to summer camp and Catamount Institute's after-school club,” the release adds.
       Catamount started as a private foundation in 1997 “when Colorado College professors Julie Francis and Howard Drossman purchased 177 acres of the old YMCA Catamount Ranch on the north slope of Pikes Peak near Woodland Park and created a mountain campus,” states the organization's website.
       Catamount's presence in the Beidleman Center dates to 2004. The 1,500-square-foot building - originally a nursery - was vacant after City Parks closed (for budget reasons) the nature center it had operated there since the late 1980s.
       The institute's programs “serve over 7,000 youth and adults each year at schools, parks, camps and business locations all over the Pikes Peak region,” the website relates. “We use innovative research, current events, and lessons (consistent with Colorado Department of Education Science Standards) to fulfill our mission, and encourage people to think about their relationship to the environment.”
       An RSVP is necessary for either Sept. 24 gathering. For more information, call 471-0910 or go to catamountinstitute.org

Westside Pioneer/press release
(Posted 9/15/17; Outdoors: City/County Parks)

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