Blog Post: Bluestem Prairie Open Space and Time for Reflection

I’ll start with the best part of my job—the property visits! Last Monday took me back to Manitou Springs to visit a private property with public Intemann Trail access. Despite the heat, the plants and pollinators were thriving. Along the trail, hikers and bikers seem to be helping pull the toadflax, so keep up the good work if you’ve been part of that effort! My explorations brought me back in time to two old tunnels that were part of the Colorado Midland Railway until it shut down in 1918. On Thursday, I headed south to Bluestem Prairie Open Space, a property owned by the City of Colorado Springs. It’s incredible that such a beautiful area gets such little use.  During my three-hour visit, I saw pronghorn, burrowing owls (a first), prairie dogs, meadowlarks, horned larks, and several other birds. The native grasses and wildflowers were out in full force as well, which makes a plant geek like me happy. The city may have some projects for the property up their sleeve, so keep an eye out for an improved trail and new interpretive signs.

As part of the Public Interest Fellowship Program (PIFP) at Colorado College, I was invited up to Denver for a workshop on working in the nonprofit sector. In the day-long session, we discussed everything from networking and asking for feedback, to prioritizing projects and setting goals. It was a great opportunity to reflect on my experience thus far and imagine the steps needed to continue my career in conservation. The PIFP program has obviously worked hard to ensure that fellows are given everything they need to enter the nonprofit world successfully and make the societal changes that speak to them most. I’m sure the advice will come in handy as I begin the search for my next conservation job in Colorado.