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ESTES PARK, COLORADO

Restoring Native Forests and Plants: Service Learning in Rocky Mountain National Park

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Road Scholar
Program #21043RJ
7 Days | 6 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
Estes Park is at 7,522 ft, work projects will be 8,000-11,000 ft.

Equipment Requirements
Daypack, water bottles, good broken-in hiking boots, rain gear, layers for wind and cold, sunhat, leather work gloves

Itinerary for Sep 7 — Sep 13, 2014

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Type: Motel

Description: All 48 rooms are non-smoking, and no pets. They are always exceptionally clean, comfortable, and a great value. We are an older property, recently remodeled and well-maintained. We have a nice heated outdoor pool.

Contact info:
927 Moraine Avenue, US Hwy 36W
Estes Park, CO 80517 USA
phone: 970-586-4585
web: www.alpinetrailridgeinn.com

Room amenities: Wireless internet connection, balconies on rooms

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: Call for information
Call for availibility and prices

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, September 07 - Welcome/Safety Orientation/Introductions
Note: The three projects we have targeted for completion are detailed in the daily itinerary. Each day we will focus on a particular project but it is possible we may not have time or resources to accomplish all three

Arrive To: Arrival and check-in to hotel 3 to 5 pm. Required orientation at 5:00 pm.

Dinner: Catered Welcome Dinner at our motel.

Evening: Following dinner Group and leader Introductions, Introduction lecture to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Lodging: Alpine Trail Ridge Inn

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Motel

Description: All 48 rooms are non-smoking, and no pets. They are always exceptionally clean, comfortable, and a great value. We are an older property, recently remodeled and well-maintained. We have a nice heated outdoor pool.

Contact info:
927 Moraine Avenue, US Hwy 36W
Estes Park, CO 80517 USA
phone: 970-586-4585
web: www.alpinetrailridgeinn.com

Room amenities: Wireless internet connection, balconies on rooms

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: Call for information
Call for availibility and prices

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, September 08 - Training by Rock Mountain National Park Staff and...
Breakfast: Full Service Breakfast at the Restaurant next door to the motel.

Morning: Participants will be shuttled by van to the Rocky Mountain National Park Visitor Center for orientation and training by National Park Service experts. Participants will have adequate preparation and learn the aspects and importance of the work to be performed. After training-briefing each morning, participants will travel to work sites. Some projects require hikes to begin actual work. All tools will be provided by the National Park as needed. Participants will be working on a variety of Resource Stewardship and Science projects throughout the week. The three projects we have targeted for completion are detailed in the daily itinerary. Each day we will focus on a particular project but it is possible we may not have time or resources to accomplish all three.

Lunch: Box lunches eaten in the field with individual choice of sandwiches, fruit, chips, and dessert

Afternoon: After lunch in the field, participants will continue working until late afternoon, returning to the motel by 5 pm.

Dinner: We will dine tonight at a locally owned restaurant where you will have a variety of entrée choices to satisfy an appetite after a full day's work.

Evening: Free for reflection, relaxation

Lodging: Alpine Trail Ridge Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Motel

Description: All 48 rooms are non-smoking, and no pets. They are always exceptionally clean, comfortable, and a great value. We are an older property, recently remodeled and well-maintained. We have a nice heated outdoor pool.

Contact info:
927 Moraine Avenue, US Hwy 36W
Estes Park, CO 80517 USA
phone: 970-586-4585
web: www.alpinetrailridgeinn.com

Room amenities: Wireless internet connection, balconies on rooms

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: Call for information
Call for availibility and prices

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, September 09 - Rocky Mountain National Park Service Work Project
Breakfast: Full Service Breakfast at the Restaurant next door to the motel.

Morning: Each day will vary between three selected work projects. This description is for possible Exotic Plant Control: One of the biggest threats to the ecosystems of RMNP is the encroachment of invasive exotic plants. Aggressive noxious weeds may be carried into the park on the soles of visitors' boots, in the treads of tires, or from the waste of pack animals. Invasive exotics outcompete with the park's natives, reducing the amount of moisture, nutrients and space available, degrading habitat for wildlife such as elk, black bears, and bighorn sheep, and reducing the biodiversity of the park. Volunteers may help NPS staff manually control exotic plant infestations with hand tools by digging, cutting, pulling, and bagging for incineration these plant offenders. Expect easy to moderate trekking on and off trail and exposure to elements such as intense sun and heat or sudden winter like conditions. Maximum hiking up to 3 miles per day.

Lunch: Box lunches eaten in the field with individual choice of sandwiches, fruit, chips, and dessert

Afternoon: Continue morning work project returning to motel by 5 pm.

Dinner: We will dine tonight at a locally owned restaurant where you will have a variety of entrée choices to satisfy an appetite after a full day's work.

Evening: Return to Rocky Mountain National Park for Ranger talk on varying topics as scheduled by the Park.

Lodging: Alpine Trail Ridge Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Motel

Description: All 48 rooms are non-smoking, and no pets. They are always exceptionally clean, comfortable, and a great value. We are an older property, recently remodeled and well-maintained. We have a nice heated outdoor pool.

Contact info:
927 Moraine Avenue, US Hwy 36W
Estes Park, CO 80517 USA
phone: 970-586-4585
web: www.alpinetrailridgeinn.com

Room amenities: Wireless internet connection, balconies on rooms

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: Call for information
Call for availibility and prices

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, September 10 - Rocky Mountain National Park Service Work Project
Breakfast: Full Service Breakfast at the Restaurant next door to the motel.

Morning: Each day will vary between three selected work projects. This description is for possible Seed Collection: Rocky Mountain National Park strives to preserve the genetic integrity of its plant communities through the use of locally collected native plants for re-vegetation of disturbed lands within the park. Seeds collected from native plants close to areas proposed for future disturbance are propagated in the park's greenhouse in the winter to produce site specific and genetically pure plant material for restoration efforts. Volunteers can improve their plant identification skills and enjoy some easy to moderate trekking on and off trail while helping the park to hand collect a variety of native seeds. Maximum hiking up to 3 miles per day.

Lunch: Box lunches eaten in the field with individual choice of sandwiches, fruit, chips, and dessert

Afternoon: Continue morning work project returning to motel by 5 pm.

Dinner: Dinner on own to enjoy the downtown and varied restaurants of Estes Park.

Evening: Free for reflection, relaxation

Lodging: Alpine Trail Ridge Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Motel

Description: All 48 rooms are non-smoking, and no pets. They are always exceptionally clean, comfortable, and a great value. We are an older property, recently remodeled and well-maintained. We have a nice heated outdoor pool.

Contact info:
927 Moraine Avenue, US Hwy 36W
Estes Park, CO 80517 USA
phone: 970-586-4585
web: www.alpinetrailridgeinn.com

Room amenities: Wireless internet connection, balconies on rooms

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: Call for information
Call for availibility and prices

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, September 11 - Rocky Mountain National Park Service Work Project
Breakfast: Full Service Breakfast at the Restaurant next door to the motel.

Morning: Each day will vary between three selected work projects. This description is for possible Bear Lake Road Phase II Restoration: Bear Lake Road was completed in 1928. It provides a year round scenic drive into Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) and access to some of the best hiking in the park. No major road work had been performed on the lower sections of Bear Lake Road in over 80 years. The road did not conform to modern Federal Highway Administration standards and did not easily accommodate large buses and RVs. As the park moved toward encouraging more mass transit on BLR and as funds became available, initial phases of improvements to this historic road began in 2003. The final stages of this work are in progress. Road Scholar volunteers will participate in the ecological restoration of approximately 1,306,800 square feet of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa ssp. scopulorum) forest that have been disturbed by the Bear Lake Road Phase II Federal Highways Project. Out planting of native species salvaged from Bear Lake Road or grown in the park's greenhouse, seeding, erosion control, irrigation, and exotic plant removal will all be important components of the work needed to reconstruct self-sustaining plant communities along the disturbed sections of the Bear Lake Road corridor. Strenuous work along roadsides may be required using hand tools such as shovels, loppers, pry bars, etc.

Lunch: Box lunches eaten in the field with individual choice of sandwiches, fruit, chips, and dessert

Afternoon: Continue morning work project returning to motel by 5 pm.

Dinner: We will dine tonight at a locally owned restaurant where you will have a variety of entrée choices to satisfy an appetite after a full day's work.

Evening: Presentation in motel meeting room on Forest Ecology and Management of Wildfires

Lodging: Alpine Trail Ridge Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Motel

Description: All 48 rooms are non-smoking, and no pets. They are always exceptionally clean, comfortable, and a great value. We are an older property, recently remodeled and well-maintained. We have a nice heated outdoor pool.

Contact info:
927 Moraine Avenue, US Hwy 36W
Estes Park, CO 80517 USA
phone: 970-586-4585
web: www.alpinetrailridgeinn.com

Room amenities: Wireless internet connection, balconies on rooms

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: Call for information
Call for availibility and prices

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Six: Friday, September 12 - Field Trip in Rocky Mountain National Park
Breakfast: Full Service Breakfast at the Restaurant next door to the motel.

Morning: Today will be spent traveling with National Park experts to other parts of Rocky Mountain National Park to view the spectacular scenery and learn about the various aspects that encompass this National Treasure. Discover why it has been named both a UNESCO World Heritage Park and the rarer designation of World Biosphere Reserve. We will travel over spectacular and engineering marvel "Trail Ridge Road" the highest Federal Highway in the United States. Our expert instructors will add the finishing touches in interpreting the wonders being viewed.

Lunch: Box lunches eaten in the field with individual choice of sandwiches, fruit, chips, and dessert

Afternoon: Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous paved highway in North America, travels through the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park from Estes Park to Grand Lake. The road generally opens by Memorial Day and closes again for the winter when heavy snowfalls make the route impractical to keep clear, usually sometime between late-September and late-October. Traveling this route has always intrigued and thrilled National Park visitors. With 11 miles of pavement above treeline the road climbs from about 7,800 feet at the National Park headquarters on US Highway 36 to more than 12,000 feet at the summit. On this trip, travelers can view alpine tundra, which blankets a full third of the Park. At this altitude one finds a fragile environment of animals and aged, including dwarfed plants that have adapted to the arctic-like winter conditions. The road crosses the Continental Divide and the western portion of the Park is the headwaters of the mighty Colorado River.

Dinner: We will dine tonight at a locally owned restaurant celebrating our week.

Evening: Free for reflection and packing

Lodging: Alpine Trail Ridge Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Seven: Saturday, September 13 - Departures after breakfast; Motel Check-out by 10...
Breakfast: Full Service Breakfast at the Restaurant next door to the motel.

Morning: Independent departures after breakfast, end of program. Room check-out is 10:00 am.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
6 nights of accommodations
16 meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
6 Expert-led lectures
2 Field trips
8 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

4.2
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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