Two of Aspen’s high-profile conservation groups will host spring celebrations this weekend |

Two of Aspen’s high-profile conservation groups will host spring celebrations this weekend

Staff report
A ewe is trailed by lambs in May 2016 at the Strang family ranch in Missouri Heights. The spectacular ranch is the setting Sunday for Aspen Valley Land Trust's SpringFest celebration.
Mike Brinson/courtesy photo

Two of the Roaring Fork Valley’s high-profile conservation groups are hosting events this weekend to keep the public up to date on their activities and to have a little fun.

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies will hold its Spring into Summer open house at Rock Bottom Ranch in Emma on Saturday. Meanwhile, Aspen Valley Land Trust will host a SpringFest celebration Sunday at the Strang Ranch in Missouri Heights.

ACES’ open house at Rock Bottom Ranch will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to kick off the growing season. The free event will feature farm tours, hayrides, potato planting, a seedling sale, egg collection and visits with the farmers on the Rock Bottom Ranch staff. Light brunch items will be available for purchase.

Rock Bottom Ranch is located at 2001 Hooks Spur Road. Parking is limited so visitors are urged to walk or ride bikes on the Rio Grande Trail, or carpool.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, AVLT will host SpringFest with music by the Defiance Stringband, food from the Hickory House and activities for kids of all ages. It’s billed as a family-friendly event.

There will be horseback riding demonstrations by the Roaring Fork Hounds Pony Club and sensory work demos by Smiling Goat Ranch. There also will be sheepdog demonstrations in preparation for the 2019 National Sheepdog Finals on the ranch. The brave can try their luck riding a mechanical bull.

Tickets for SpringFest are $20 for adults and $5 for kids 3 through 10. Kids two and younger get in free. Proceeds go to AVLT’s ongoing land conservation efforts.

The Strang Ranch is located at 393 County Road 102, off up upper Catherine Road. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for the BBQ picnic.