NPM Course at Sandstone Ranch - Thursdays, May 16, 23 and 30, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sandstone Ranch, Thursday, 16. May 2019

Sandstone Ranch, Douglas County’s newest open space, is a 2038-acre property nestled beneath the foothills in southern Douglas County. Both arid and wetland environments define the property. The ranch was privately owned for generations and protected through the years, which allowed for plant species proliferation. In addition to plants that are usually seen at higher altitudes, plants that are considered uncommon in Colorado or have not been reported previously from Douglas County can be found at Sandstone Ranch.
Come explore and learn with us at this amazing facility that is not yet open to the public. We will introduce you to from 40-60 plants, using family features and a botanical key to help identify species. Ecological relationships, human connections and the potential to use some of these plants in your landscaping will be discussed. In addition, we will emphasize understanding noxious alien plants and the challenge they present to our native environment.
Trainers: Elizabeth Taylor’s father was a botany professor, but much to his dismay, she pursued college degrees and a career in zoology, wildlife management, and technical communication. It was not until she retired that she started following in his footsteps and became a Native Plant Master instructor. She is also a volunteer naturalist for Douglas County Open Spaces, Cherokee Ranch and Castle Foundation, and Douglas Land Conservancy and is on the Board of Directors for DLC.
Heather Koch has a Master of Science in Cell Biology and is a Certified Public Accountant. Since retirement she has focused her learning on the macro rather than the cellular side of biology, plants! Her volunteer work included the CSU Master Gardener Program, the Jefferson County Diagnostic Clinic, the Douglas Land Conservancy, Douglas County Open Spaces, and teaching in the Native Plant Master Program.
Prerequisite: A basic botany class is suggested for those who would like to refresh their botanical knowledge and is highly recommended for those who have minimal background. Current course offerings can be found at

Native Plant Master: All participants who pass three NPM courses will receive a Colorado Flora Certificate. For accepted volunteers, passing this course counts as certification as a Native Plant Master.  Courses should be taken in different months and/or vegetation zones. Learn more at 
Required Textbook:Flora of Colorado by Jennifer Ackerfield 2015 Edition available through the Colorado Native Plant Society bookstore (), local and online retail outlets, and the publisher (800-621-2736).
When/Where to Meet: For the initial class, meet at 8:45 AM at the ranch house on Sandstone Ranch Open Space. Class begins at 9:00 AM sharp.
Via Interstate 25 traveling south: Just south of Castle Rock, CO, take exit 181, Plum Creek Parkway/Frontage Rd. Go straight through the light at the intersection of Plum Creek Parkway and the freeway exit onto the west side Frontage Rd. Continue for approximately 5 miles south on Frontage Rd. to Tomah Rd. Turn right onto Tomah Rd. Continue for 4 miles to the “T” intersection with CO 105/Perry Park Rd. Turn left and drive 3.2 miles. Red Rock Dr., the road into Perry Park Subdivision, will come up on your right. Do not turn onto Red Rock Dr., or follow CO 105 in a broad curve to your left, but rather make a slight right onto a gravel road. As you continue along the gravel road, you will see signs for Sandstone Ranch and Haystack Ranch. Continue straight (south) past the right turn for Haystack Ranch/Kennel onto the Sandstone property. Four large red equipment barns will appear on your left; turn left on their south **** towards the ranch house. Park your vehicle around the circular drive.
What to Bring:Flora of Colorado by Jennifer Ackerfield 2015 Edition; hand lens (10X or greater) available through ; daypack; water; **** lunch; rain, sun, wind protection; personal restroom items.
Special Instructions: Please note, currently all access to Sandstone Ranch Open Space is by permit only. Please come prepared for moderate to strenuous walking on hot, cold, windy, snowy or rainy days. Class will meet regardless of weather conditions.
Carpooling: Carpooling is strongly encouraged. Contact if you would like to carpool. Your contact information will be shared with other interested carpoolers. Any liability arising from such arrangements is the sole responsibility of the carpooling participants.
Location Address (not a reliable method of finding the property by GPS; follow instructions provided):
8309 S. County Highway 105
Larkspur, CO 8118

NPM Course at Sandstone Ranch - Thursdays, May 16, 23 and 30, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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