Imagine a farm in the middle of a bustling, great city, a place that is apart but easily accessible, a place that encourages curiosity and imagination. Imagine a magical place. There is such a place. It exists in Denver. It is The Urban Farm.
Every day kids at The Urban Farm are learning about the miracle of growing food from seeds; they are learning about how to take care of animals—and some are preserving endangered breeds of sheep. Others are experiencing the joy of working with horses. These and so many other experiences are what make The Urban Farm so special. And through these experiences important life skills such as respect, responsibility, grit, caring, and curiosity are taught.
While there are many organizations that focus on growing things, and many organizations that focus on animal husbandry, and many organizations that focus on equine education, The Farm is unique in that all of these things work together on one site to create a learning environment that can engage a wide diversity of young people, especially those who have difficulty finding a “home” for their interests in a more traditional school setting. Caring for an animal or nurturing plants are wonderful ways of learning about our larger world and our responsibilities to it.
2018 was an important year for our magic kingdom. We finished construction of a greenhouse that will allow us to continue our growing programs on a year-round basis. We have built a new, rodent-proof fence around our garden areas. We have rehoused our poultry facilities. But these improvements are just tools to help us enlarge and improve our educational programs. We have expanded and improved summer camps that bring kids in contact with a wide variety of Farm experiences; we have increased school field trips and expanded service learning programs.
Once upon a time there was an airport in Denver that wasn’t called DIA. It was called Stapleton International Airport. Housed at the airport was the National Weather Service’s (NWS) primary data gathering point for Denver area weather. When DIA opened in 1995, the weather station went with it.
However, a problem arose, the weather at DIA is significantly different than in Denver!
In addition, City Park in Denver housed weather information but that was halted when it was necessary to remove it due to flood control measures being instituted at City Park.
Mike Nelson, Chief Meteorologist at Denver7 came up with an idea. Bring it back home to Stapleton. And, guess where home just happens to be?
At The Urban Farm!
The new NWS weather station will be installed at the Urban Farm. Four, very cool things will happen as a result.
Weather and climate information will once again be tracked in a consistent way.
Years of critical, historical data will now be able to be compared with present day data from the new station, allowing us to analyze weather in central Denver.
The data will become part of our agriculture curricula.
The 10PM News7 Weather report will give the data from The Urban Farm.
NWS Meteorologist Robert Koopmeiners exits the observation building with weather balloon and parachute in tow, radiosonde in hand. Photo by John Fernandez, Front Porch Northeast Denver- issue July 1, 2016
As The Urban Farm continues to grow and prosper, we are partnering with organizations to promote our Five Character Strengths: Respect, Responsibility, Grit, Caring and Curiosity. Your gift on #ColoradoGivesDaywill enable us to continue to create unique educational programming for children.
You can schedule your gift NOW to be donated on December 4.