Durango Nature Studies celebrated 15 years of hands-on, outdoor education with an autumn open house at the Durango Nature Center on Saturday. Nestled along an intimate stretch of the Florida River, the facility offers children the opportunity to discover local flora and fauna on 140 acres of natural habitat near Bondad. Each year, the center educates some 2,500 kids from Southwestern Colorado and Northwestern New Mexico. Heres a look:

Signage, as seen here, displays information about native
vegetation. A group explores the riverside ecosystem at the Nature
Center. Remnants of local wildlife. Program Director Gretchen Lamar gives youngster J.T. Zink a
lesson in juniper berries. Naturalist, Karen Hickerson handles a friendly tarantula found
on a nearby footpath.