Free Bee & Pollinator Celebration: June 23

June 18, 2012 by  
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Free honey tasting, meet the beekeepers, and learn all about making your garden bee-friendly, or even keeping bees yourself, on June 23, 2012.

Oh yes, it’s a free bee freebie!

So no, you don’t get free bees, but when you buzz down to the bee celebration and pollinator awareness day at the Open Space Visitor Center you do get to taste honey, see a bee hive, feed a butterfly, see and learn about pollinator-friendly plants you could grow in your garden, and meet Albuquerque beekeepers to find out how you could do it yourself. We’re told there will be children’s activities, and (at 3 pm) a screening of the film Queen of the Sun about why bees are disappearing.

  • When: Saturday June 23, 2012
  • Time: 10 am to 5 pm
  • Where: Open Space Visitor Center (see the full schedule at the link)
  • Cost: Free!

This is part of New Mexico Pollinator Week, an initiative to raise awareness of pollinator species vital to our food systems and economy. We love the bees here at Albuquerque on the Cheap, so kudos to all, including the Albuquerque Beekeepers Group which is a great resource for anyone interested in urban beekeeping.

Open Space Visitor Center is located at 6500 Coors Boulevard NW (between Montano and Paseo del Norte).

–Tania


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Free Bosque Nature Walks

June 5, 2012 by  
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A monthly easy guided walk exploring Bosque wildlife… and they even throw in coffee and a snack!  Next ones: July 1, August 5, and September 2, 2012.

The Open Space Visitor Center hosts a free Bosque Wild nature walk on the first Sunday morning of each month, kicking off at 9 am.

Biologist, naturalist and birder Elsa Bumstead leads the way, exploring the natural flora and fauna along the river, and filling you in on the history of Bosque. The 90 minute walk is described as ‘easy’ and afterwards there’s coffee and a snack provided by Sunflower Farmers Market.

The walk is limited to 20 people, and the minimum age to join the walk is 7 years.

You DO need to register for these popular free walks, and they recommend booking in advance, ideally a month before the walk. This is why we’re alerting you now…

  • When: First Sunday of the Month – July 1,  August 5, and September 2, 2012
  • Time:  9 am
  • Where: Open Space Visitor Center, 6500 Coors Boulevard NW – but register with Open Space Visitor Center or call (505) 897-8831 for the free Bosque Wild nature walk to get directions to the trail head.

Take binoculars to spot the birds and wildlife, water, sun protection, and suitable gear for the weather. And of course Sensible Walking Shoes. (What are THEY? Not my leopard suede stiletto heels then?)

–Tania

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Talk on Explorers Cabeza de Vaca and Coronado: May 6

May 5, 2012 by  
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Free talk on Cabeza de Vaca and Coronado: 16th Century New World Explorers, on May 6, 2012.

Oh, we’re all about the history aren’t we, in New Mexico’s Centennial year? This free talk goes back even further than all the celebrations of our statehood. W-A-Y back to the early Spanish explorers. 

The free talk on Cabeza de Vaca and Coronado: 16th Century New World Explorers takes place at the Open Space Visitor Center this Sunday May 6 at 2 pm.

Local scholars Baker Morrow and Matt Schmader will discuss how these two Spanish explorers set their fooprint on the New World.  Baker Morrow has translated Cabeza de Vaca’s account of the Spanish conquest of the Americas. De Vaca’s description of his South American expeditions and five years as a province governor was published in 1555, and they didn’t have blogs in those days so publishing anything was quite a feat. (They didn’t even have Twitter to keep the folks back home informed that they’d just found a strange-looking landmass, and could anyone recommend a good restaurant?)

Francisco Vázquez de Coronado led the largest land exploration in the continental U.S. by colonial Spain, when the first Europeans made their way up the Rio Grande to the Albuquerque area, and also saw the Grand Canyon for the first time. (I expect they said: It’s smaller than it looks in the photos.)

No doubt Sunday’s talk will be much more informative than anything I’m telling you about it. I jolly well hope so. I can’t find a link for the event at the Open Space Visitor Center website, but this is the info the organizers sent us:

Talk on Cabeza de Vaca and Coronado: 16th Century New World Explorers

  • When: Sunday May 6, 2012
  • Time: 2 pm
  • Where: Open Space Visitor Center
  • Price: Free

Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center is located at 6500 Coors Boulevard NW. (East of Coors at the end of Bosque Meadows Road, between Montano Boulevard and Paseo del Norte.)

–Tania

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Recycled Art Fair: April 21

April 18, 2012 by  
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The City of Albuquerque’s fourth annual Recycled Art Fair talks trash on April 21, 2012, with plenty of free family fun and workshops.

The Albuquerque Recycled Art Fair at the Open Space Visitor Center is on Saturday April 21 from 9 am to 5 pm, and admission is free.

First off you can see recycled art – a.k.a. upcycled art – made from discarded materials, both in the juried art show and for sale at the booths. I guess at least you know that every piece of art is unique!

The event also includes demos and free workshops on how to make your own recycled art, including a tin punch workshop, paper-making, and free writing workshop, sustainable gardening info, kids’ activities, live music and (of course) food vendors. Highlights include:

  • Kids’ creativity center and face painters
  • Workshops in composting, worm composting, water harvesting, seeds, and waterwise gardening
  • Styrofoam print workshop at 10am
  • Free reload Your Writing workshop with Lisa Piatetsky for beginning to advanced writers at 11 am
  • Chautauqua on conservationist Rachel Carson by Ann Beyke at 2 pm

The Recycled Art Fair schedule might change (or be recycled) so see the latest event details at the link.

  • When: Saturday April 21, 2012
  • Time: 9 am – 5 pm
  • Where: Open Space Visitor Center
  • Price: Free

Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center is located at 6500 Coors Boulevard NW. (East of Coors at the end of Bosque Meadows Road, between Montano Boulevard and Paseo del Norte.)

–Tania

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Free Meet A Wolf

March 20, 2012 by  
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There are two opportunities to meet a friendly wolf  this week, if you’re as fascinated as I am by these beautiful and mysterious beasts.

Stephanie Kaylan of the Wanagi Wolf Fund and Rescue will appear at both events with her friendly wolves or wolf-dogs. Stephanie is a lively speaker on the subject of wolves and their relationship with humans. In fact, you can read my profile of her in a recent series I wrote of MSN.com Albuquerque Insider Profiles  for their Re:Discover Albuquerque project.    

So where can you see Stephanie this week?

First, at Wolf Fest 2012 on Friday March 23, at the University of New Mexico Main Campus at Smith Plaza, in front of the Zimmerman Hall. The event runs all day to raise awareness concerning the conservation of Mexican Grey Wolves, but Stephanie and her wolves will be present from approximately 1 – 5 pm.

If you miss that, join the free Wolf Meet and Greet on Sunday March 25 at 12:30 pm at the Open Space Visitor Center.  Arrive early to be sure of a seat at the beginning of the talk, as late arrivals aren’t guaranteed admission.

The family-friendly event is free, although donations to the non-profit Wanagi Wolf Fund are welcome.  There will also be a photo-op with Hokshila the timber wolf for a $10 donation, and shopping for wolf photos and wolf-fur filled ornaments.

Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center is located at 6500 Coors Boulevard NW. (East of Coors at the end of Bosque Meadows Road, between Montano Boulevard and Paseo del Norte.)

–Tania

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Free Bosque Nature Walks

March 7, 2012 by  
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A monthly easy guided walk exploring Bosque wildlife… and they even throw in coffee and a snack!  Next ones: April 1 and May 6, 2012.

The Open Space Visitor Center hosts a free Bosque Wild nature walk on the first Sunday morning of each month, kicking off at 9 am.

Biologist, naturalist and birder Elsa Bumstead leads the way, exploring the natural flora and fauna along the river, and filling you in on the history of Bosque. The 90 minute walk is described as ‘easy’ and afterwards there’s coffee and a snack provided by Sunflower Farmers Market.

The walk is limited to 20 people, and the minimum age to join the walk is 7 years.

You DO need to register for these popular free walks, and they recommend booking in advance, ideally a month before the walk. This is why we’re alerting you now…

  • When: First Sunday of the Month – April 1 and May 6, 2012
  • Time:  9 am
  • Where: Open Space Visitor Center, 6500 Coors Boulevard NW – but register with Open Space Visitor Center or call (505) 897-8831 for the free Bosque Wild nature walk to get directions to the trail head.

Take binoculars to spot the birds and wildlife, water, sun protection, and suitable gear for the weather. And of course Sensible Walking Shoes. (What are THEY? Not my leopard suede stiletto heels then?)

–Tania

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Free Composting Classes

January 19, 2012 by  
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Free composting and vermicomposting classes? I’ll need my rubber gloves for this one!

As far as I’m aware, there are three advantages of composting.  Firstly, it’s a good way to dispose of organic waste, including leaves and cut grass. Secondly, it’s great for mulching and aeration if you’re into organic gardening, rather than buying commercial fertilizers. And last but not least… it’s free!

But what do I know? Mr Cheap has the green thumb around here. With the exception of my lovingly-tended herbs, I only have to look at a plant and it withers. (Even if I have my make-up on.)

If you’re interested in learning about composting, Bernalillo County Extension Master Composters offer a bunch of free composting classes for all ages.

The next one is a vermicomposting class this Saturday January 21 at 10 am at the Open Space Visitor Center. Vermicomposting is composting with worms, and you need to reserve in advance: (505) 897-8831.

Many of the other upcoming classes are on a Saturday, but some are in the week, and although the classes are free, some require advance registration. Check the specific date and location for details.

These are the upcoming free composting classes for 2012, but check the schedule in case of changes:

  • January 21: Vermicomposting class
  • February 4: Basic Composting class (Open Space Visitor Center)
  • February 20: Vermicomposting class (Rio Rancho)
  • February 25: Basic Composting Class (Expo NM)
  • February 26: Basic Composting Class (Expo NM)
  • March 10: Basic Composting Class (Rio Grande Nature Center)

–Tania

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Free Meet A Wolf

December 13, 2011 by  
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Meet a friendly wolf (or two!) on Sunday December 18, 2011.

This free wolf encounter event is one to note on your calendar for Sunday if you’re as fascinated as I am by these beautiful and mysterious beasts. Enough with the werewolves and shape-shifters (sorry Jacob Black/Stephenie Meyer), you can meet the real thing for yourself on December 18 at 12:30 pm at the Open Space Visitor Center.

Stephanie Kaylan of the Wanagi Wolf Fund will bring at least two of her friendly wolves or wolf-dogs to the
Wolf Meet and Greet.  I know from experience that Stephanie is a very lively and interesting speaker on the subject of wolves and their relationship with humans.

The family-friendly event is free, although donations to the non-profit Wanagi Wolf Fund are welcome.  There will also be a photo-op with Hokshila the timber wolf for a $10 donation, and shopping for wolf calendars, photos, and wolf-fur filled ornaments, plus a raffle.

Arrive early to be sure of a seat at the beginning of the talk, as late arrivals aren’t guaranteed admission.

Interesting note: Wanagi is Lakota for “The one who guards and protects the spirits of those who have passed onward.”

  • When: Sunday December 18, 2011
  • Time: 12:30 – 2 pm
  • Where: Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center
  • Price: Admission is FREE but donations to the Wanagi Wolf Fund and Rescue very welcome.

Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center is located at 6500 Coors Boulevard NW. (East of Coors at the end of Bosque Meadows Road, between Montano Boulevard and Paseo del Norte.)

–Tania

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Stories of Wolves-The Lobo Returns: Free Screening Nov 18

November 17, 2011 by  
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See the documentary film Stories of Wolves-The Lobo Returns free, followed by Q&A with the director.

The Open Space Visitor Center hosts a free screening of Stories of Wolves-The Lobo Returns on Friday November 18 at 6 pm.

The documentary was produced right here in New Mexico by Wild Wolf Film, and it explores the recovery of Mexican Gray Wolves (one of one of the most endangered land mammals in North America) in New Mexico, Arizona and Mexico.  The event is dubbed ‘a celebration of humans and wolves ‘ and the screening is followed by a Q&A with the director, Elke Duerr.

I seem to be encountering and writing about a lot of wolf rescue people and projects lately, but in the land of the Lobos, maybe that’s not such a surprise!

Stories of Wolves-The Lobo Returns

  • When: Friday November 18, 2011
  • Time: 6 pm
  • Where: Open Space Visitor Center
  • Price: Free!

Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center is located at 6500 Coors Boulevard NW. (East of Coors at the end of Bosque Meadows Road, between Montano Boulevard and Paseo del Norte.)

–Tania

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Return of the Sandhill Cranes Festival

November 7, 2011 by  
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The annual Return of the Sandhill Cranes celebration is back on November 12 and 13, 2011, offering plenty of free fun, including Tai Chi. (You do it with the cranes, although who knows if the cranes will join in?)

Albuquerque’s Return of the Sandhill Crane Celebration this weekend at the Open Space Visitor Center is a great opportunity to join with others to see the thousands of sandhill cranes traveling south for the winter. Whenever I see the large flocks of cranes migrating along the Rio Grande Valley, I’m awed by their beauty and grace.  I often want to fly away with them too, but I haven’t got the hang of that bit.

The free family event is not just about bird spotting through the viewing scopes, however. The line up includes:

  • Tai Chi with the cranes
  • Make origami cranes with the Albuquerque Origami Society
  • Storytelling and talks
  • Live music
  • Guided nature walk
  • Kids’ activities
  • Performances of the musical Love in the Bosque by Phil Bock, about a romance between cranes who pass through Albuquerque along the Rio Grande. (Cute!)
  • Silk Paint Demonstrations with Judith Roderick (we’re told registrations are required to guarantee your place for that)
  • Art opening of Birds of New Mexico, by Paul Rodenhauser

See the full Return of the Sandhill Crane Celebration schedule as some events only happen once over the weekend. (And all events are subject to change.)

  • When: Saturday November 12 and Sunday November 13, 2011
  • Time: 9 am – 5 pm each day
  • Where: Open Space Visitor Center
  • Price: Free

Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center is located at 6500 Coors Boulevard NW. (East of Coors at the end of Bosque Meadows Road, between Montano Boulevard and Paseo del Norte.)

–Tania

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