• Photo of golden aspen with Hallet Peak in the background. NPS Photo by J. Frank

    Rocky Mountain

    National Park Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park Lyceum Series Continues in May

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Date: April 27, 2010
Contact: Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363

2010 Lyceum Series “Wilderness: Of What Avail Are Forty Freedoms Without A Blank Spot On The Map?”

Saturday, May 1, 7:00 p.m. - Exploring Nature and Self

Join speaker Beth Davis, Executive Director for The Women’s Wilderness Institute, as she introduces ways to explore the whole-being connection to the wilderness and how outdoor experiences unleash the possibilities of individual potential. She will also explore experiential education as a tool to harness the power of a wilderness experience. She will share her work with The Women’s Wilderness Institute and point to research and experiences about young people’s current relationship with nature.

Ms. Davis has over 16 years of non-profit management experience. She holds a masters degree in management and health policy from Harvard. Her healthcare work experience focused on hospice care, with focus on end-of-life as an essential experience – a time of authenticity, depth and sacredness. Beth imagines a world where these gifts are learned and experienced early in one’s life and she is dedicated to pulling forth the strength of girls and women. Beth’s outdoor resume is highly impressive having climbed all 54 Colorado Fourteeners and experiencing adventures around the world. She and her husband are now focused on climbing the top 100 peaks of Colorado and have reached the summit of 83! She has taught outdoor education for avalanche, wilderness trekking, and ski mountaineering schools.

Saturday, May 8, 7:00 p.m. - The Many Meanings of Wilderness

Wilderness seems like an ethereal idea to some—remote and a little mysterious. But protected wilderness areas offer some very tangible benefits to people of all ages and all backgrounds. The wilderness areas in and around Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve have some special experiences for young people who attend “classes” in their local outdoor wilderness. Come on a special armchair tour of Rocky’s neighbor to the south.

Carol Sperling is the Chief of Interpretation and Visitor Services at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in southern Colorado. She has had the good fortune to work as a park ranger in eight different units of the national park system.

In March, 2009, President Obama signed legislation providing additional protection to Rocky Mountain National Park by designating most of the park’s backcountry as wilderness, which encompasses roughly 95 percent of the park. Park staff joined the gateway communities of Grand Lake and Estes Park in welcoming the passage by the Congress of the wilderness designation for the park’s backcountry. This was the culmination of an effort that began in 1974 by President Richard Nixon and was jump started in recent years through the efforts of many.

The theme of the 2010 Lyceum Series is “Wilderness: Of What Avail Are Forty Freedoms Without A Blank Spot On The Map?” the famous quote from Aldo Leopold. This year’s series will focus on how wilderness influences what we do as stewards of this incredible national park. Speakers will highlight what wilderness means spiritually, physically, as part of naturally functioning systems, as part of our psyche as a nation, and how it guides our decisions on management actions at Rocky Mountain National Park.

The Lyceum schedule runs through May. Financial support for the lyceum series is provided by the park’s nonprofit partner, the Rocky Mountain Nature Association. Programs are free and open to the public. They are held at 7:00 p.m. at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center auditorium in Rocky Mountain National Park.

For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please call (970) 586-1206.

Did You Know?

photo of wheelchair accessible trail

There are accessible trails which are good choices for visitors interested in adjusting to the park's higher elevations, groups that include young children, visitors with visual impairment and anyone who finds walking on level, relatively smooth paths attractive.