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The 2019 Bird Banding program will be open 9/14/19 - 11/9/2019 in the HPEC Demo Garden!

Fall Community Lecture Series

The High Plains Environmental Center & Grimm Brothers Brewhouse will be hosting a Community Lecture Series this Fall, running Bi-Weekly from 9/24/2019 - 11/19/2019!

Registration Required.

See Below for More Details!


A group of students from Front Range Community College conducted a Bio-Blitz at HPEC on April 26th. The students gathered a lot of great information about our wildlife and also raised concerns about the number of dogs off leash.
“Preliminary review of camera traps from February through April were very disappointing. Human tampering and significant dogs off leash were a major problem…it is clear that the intense human use and significant dogs off leash issue will greatly reduce all wildlife use.”
Pet owners need to know that some people are afraid of dogs or may have health issues where even very friendly dogs approaching or jumping up on them can be extremely distressing. Dogs off leash are a threat to wildlife and can reduce the number of species in our open space.     
In order to protect the rights of everyone at HPEC (wildlife included) TRAILS WILL BE PATROLLED RANDOMLY BY A PRIVATE SECURITY COMPANY.
Trails users should be advised that the City of Loveland leash laws (Loveland Ordinance 6.20.010 & 6.20.050) apply to all parts of the City, including HPEC, and violators can be fined up to $1000.



Bird Banding Program

Join us bi-weekly on Saturdays for a Bird Banding program with Scott Rashid, Director of Colorado Avian Research and Rehabilitation Institute.

Scott will talk to the group about what bird banding is, which birds we may expect to see/band, and why bird banding is vital for collecting data on avian specie in addition to catching and banding live song birds, waterfowl, raptors, and other types of birds at HPEC!

2019 Dates:


All Ages Welcome!

No Registration Required.

Suggested Donation: $5-$10

Please email for questions about the presentation, banding program, or other bird-related programs in Northern Colorado.

Fall Community Lecture Series

The High Plains Environmental Center & Grimm Brothers Brewhouse will be hosting a Community Lecture Series this Fall, starting on September 24th, 2019!

Attendees may also enjoy $1 off of their Pints that evening!

Topics include Worm Composting, Rainbarrels, Open Lands Stewardship, Fall & Winter Puning Techniques, and a lecture on Owls.

The Lecture Series is Free, but REGISTRATION is REQUIRED.


*** Please note that the Lecture on 11/5/2019, Fall & Winter Pruning Techniques, will take place at the High Plains Environmental Center at 2698 Bluestem Willow Dr. in Loveland, CO. The time of the event will remain the same.***


Lauren Sadowsky: Vermicomposting
This event will be an introduction into the world of liquid gold (worm castings): which worms are best for compost, what kinds of organic waste can go into a worm compost, how worms turn rotting organics into nutrient rich soil, what soil types worms prefer, why worm compost over regular compost, and those looking for tips on how to start their own worm bin at home.

Jessica Thrasher: Rain barrels
Join us on October 8th with Jessica Thrasher, Director of the Headwaters Institute, to learn all about rainwater harvesting! This seminar will give you an introduction to the benefits of rainwater harvesting, best practices, a cost breakdown, and how to install a rain barrel at your home.

Scott Rashid: Barn Owls & Great Horned Owls
Scott Rashid, Director of the Colorado Avian Research and Rehabilitation Institute, will present on October 22nd about Barn Owls & Great Horned Owls. He will discuss feeding, mating, & migratory habits of these amazing creatures, as well as talk about preferred habitats, conservation methods, and how to create habitat in your own yard!

Sara Harris: Fall & Winter Pruning Techniques
Sara Harris, HPEC's Nursery Manager and Horticulturalist will present Pruning for the Fall & Winter. She will discuss dormant season pruning methods for various woody and herbaceous species used in landscapes throughout the region
*** Please Note that this Lecture will take place at the High Plains Environmental Center at 2698 Bluestem Willow Dr. in Loveland, CO. The time of the event will remain the same.***

Kristin Oles: Stewarding Natural Areas in the Winter
During the winter, natural areas may look dead, but most of the plants are actually only dormant. Additionally, rodents, insects, and other wildlife utilize various parts of the landscape to hibernate. That means natural areas are still very vulnerable to disturbance from human impacts. Outdoor activities (and potential negative impacts) continue even when the temperature drops, so this class will provide tips on continuing to be a good natural areas steward into the fall and winter.


Please email if you have any questions.

Monthly Bird Walks with Sheila Webber

Whether you’re a seasoned birder or an amateur, join Sheila Webber for a bird walk around Equalizer on the First Saturday of each month 8am-10am from February-October in 2019. Walking will be at a slow pace on approximately 2 miles of level walking paths. Consider bringing binoculars and a field guide to enhance your birding experience.The Bird Walk group will meet in front of the HPEC Visitor's Center to begin the walk.
The event will be cancelled in the event of severe weather or muddy conditions.


Bird Walk Dates:

February 2nd

CANCELED- March 2nd

April 6th

May 4th

June 1st

July 6th

August 3rd

September 7th

October 5th

November 2nd

Fall Pumpkin Festival

Join us at the High Plains Environmental Center for our Fall Pumpkin Festival on October 19th from 11am - 2pm, and celebrate the Autumn Harvest with food, drink, and fun for the whole family!


Booths & Activities Include:
- Face Painting
-Painting Pumpkins
- Pumpkin Crafts
- Tic Tac Toe & Pumpkin Ring Toss
- Hot Cocoa & Candy Apple Station
- A Selfie Station
- Play in the HPEC Wild Zone

This event is Free and Open to the community!

If you are interested in volunteering at this event, please contact


Rocky Bards 2019 Celtic Benefit Concert for Wounded Warrior Project


Please join HPEC Executive Director, Jim Tolstrup, for an evening of Celtic (Scottish/Irish) music on November 1, at 7:00 pm. at the Rialto Theater in Loveland, CO. All proceeds from this special event support the Wounded Warrior Project

Purchase Tickets HERE.


2019 Fall Volunteer Opportunities

We have some great, last-minute opportunities to get out and get involved with the High Plains community this fall!

10/11, City of Loveland Fall Greenhouse Project

Volunteers are needed for a greenhouse planting project at High Plains Environmental Center (HPEC). Native wetland plants will be divided and replanted into new containers at the HPEC greenhouse. Some native seed may also be planted in containers. New plants will overwinter at the greenhouse and be planted at a Loveland Open Lands restoration site along the west Big Thompson River. (Volunteers will also be needed for the on-site planting project next spring.) These projects are a partnership between the City of Loveland, High Plains Env. Ctr., and the Big Thompson Watershed Coalition. Volunteers should bring water, work gloves if you'd like, sunscreen and a hat. Work may be inside the greenhouse or outside. All ages welcome! Registration requested in case of project changes or updates.

Minimum Participants: 5
Maximum Participants: 30

Register Here.

10/17, Centerra Volunteer Day

Join us at Old Canal Park (2725 Rocky Mountain Ave, Loveland, CO 80538) from 9am to 11am on 10/17/19 for Centerra Volunteer Day, when Centerra residents & local businesses come together to clean up & give back!

The High Plains Environmental Center will be leading a Cleanup Event around Houts Resevoir, Equalizer Lake, and the surrounding open spaces for this year’s Centerra Volunteer Day. Join us that day in cleaning up and caring for the natural areas that make Centerra such a special place to live and work in.

Participants will meet at the Old Canal Park pavilion/picnic area to sign in & receive group assignments. Please arrive by 8:30am so that we can begin Safety Training at 8:45am. Groups will set out on the trails promptly at 9am.

Gloves & Garbage Bags will be provided on-site.

When you’re done, continue to give back while filling up at the Centerra Food Truck Roundup! While this event is not technically part of the Centerra Volunteer Day cleanup event, it is a great way to end a morning of hard work & service to your community!



10/19, Fall Pumpkin Festival Volunteers Needed!
Volunteer with us during our annual Fall Pumpkin Festival at the High Plains Environmental Center on Saturday, October 19th. The event will be from 11am-2pm, but we could use your help from 10am-3pm!

We need help setting up & breaking down the event, as well as leading activities on our site and at the event booths.

This may include:
  • Painting Signs
  • Setting up tables & chairs
  • Leading a Nature Walk for Kids
  • Painting Faces
  • Painting Pumpkins
  • Pumpkin Arts & Crafts with Plant Material
  • Leading Game Booths- Tic Tac Toe & Ring Toss
  • Create Your Own Activity!
Contact to Learn More and Signup

Volunteer With HPEC!

HPEC hosts groups & individuals throughout the week- No Experience Required! We support ongoing stewardship projects, court-appointed community service, and groups looking to make a difference.

Areas of Opportunity include:

Native Plants Nursery
Events, Education, & Outreach

Looking for a set volunteer schedule each week? Check out our Volunteer Application HERE.

Looking to set up a volunteer project for a group or your personal volunteer schedule? Please email
Native Plant of the Month

We have started a Native Plant of the Month section for our e-newsletters. Every month we will feature a different native plant based on what's in bloom and what's valuable for wildlife - and we'll let you know if we sell it at our native plant nursery!

This month we are featuring
Datura wrightii, or Sacred Datura...



Copyright © 2018 High Plains Environmental Center, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
2698 Bluestem Willow Drive, Loveland, CO 80538

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High Plains Environmental Center · 2698 Bluestem Willow Drive · Loveland, CO 80538 · USA

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