The Bear Creek Nature Center will host a free celebration from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m., on Saturday, January 5, inviting the community to explore and experience the nature center’s new and updated exhibits.

The celebration will include live music from the All In! Jazz Trio, Greenback Cutthroat Trout educational presentations from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, live animals from Pikes Peak Community College’s “Wild Things” program, and for the young guests, Bear Creek Habitats puppet shows.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to enter two contests during the celebration. One is an ‘Exhibits Scavenger Hunt’, in which teams can work to complete an informational hunt designed around the new exhibits. The prize is a $75 gift certificate to Colorado Springs’ Millibo Art Theatre. A ‘Most Creative Selfie’ contest will invite participants to take a creative selfie with one of the new Bear Creek exhibits and upload their picture to Bear Creek Nature Center’s Facebook page. The winner of this contest will receive a $50 gift certificate to Black Bear Diner.

Program Schedule for Event:

Greenback Cutthroat Trout Presentation by Colorado Parks and Wildlife Aquatic Biologist: 12:30 p.m. & 2:00 p.m.

Bear Creek Habitats Puppet Shows: 12:50 p.m. & 2:20 p.m.

All other activities ongoing from 12:00-3:00 p.m.

Papa Murphy’s will provide each attendee a free slice of pizza and other light refreshments will be served.


El Paso County’s Bear Creek Nature Center was the first nature center to open in Colorado in 1976 (Originally named the Solar Trails Center until the name was changed to Bear Creek Nature Center in 1979). In 2001, an arson fire destroyed the center but with significant public support, the facility was rebuilt and expanded to its present form in 2002. The nature center is an 8,900-square-foot facility that houses interpretive exhibits and extensive trail network and is free to the public.

For forty-two years, this El Paso County facility, with support from its nonprofit organization Friends of El Paso County Nature Centers, has been carrying out the mission of connecting people to their natural and cultural resources and inspiring them to be stewards for the parks and the environment. During these four decades, Bear Creek Nature Center has strived to remain relevant and engaging for the thousands of people who visit each year. The center serves the community through walk-in visits as well as by offering a variety of programming including school field trips, monthly preschool-age programs, and other public programming and special events on a regular basis.

In the vein of staying relevant, Bear Creek has just completed a new exhibits project. The exhibit updates are funded by a combination of $150,000 of voter-approved 1A tax funds and an additional $100,000 of donations from individuals and organizations. Several existing exhibits were updated or improved and multiple new exhibits have been created and incorporated. Condit Exhibits located in Denver was hired for the exhibit design and installation.