On Saturday, July 30, the Grand Mesa Visitor Center put on its seventh annual Moose Day celebration. The event raises awareness and provides education on the moose population of the Grand Mesa National Forest, which initially started with 91 moose introduced to the environment from 2005 to 2007. Since then, the population has grown to over 500 moose.
Carrie Surber, a park ranger on the Grand Mesa, states that the event's target audience is families who want to learn more about their local national forest and the moose population. "We're happy that people are getting out and enjoying the public land, because it belongs to everybody!" At approximately 700 visitors, the 2016 Grand Mesa Moose Day has been one of the most successful events in its history.
Trina Romero, who started the Moose Day celebration seven years ago with Carrie Surber, describes the activities set up around the Visitor Center. "We have lots of crafts for kids, rangers taking them on hikes along the Discovery Trail, nature Jeopardy, Moose radio is up here and we even have fly casting demonstrations and practice on the lake." Formal presentations also occurred at regular intervals throughout the day that discussed moose biology and environment facts.
Roughly 18 park rangers and volunteers helped put on the seventh annual Moose Day. Many of them led educational activities for families and children, including hikes and scavenger hunts. In addition to the annual activities, the 2016 Moose Day presented a new addition to the Grand Mesa Visitor Center: a panel describing the history of the Grand Mesa's moose population and biology facts. It was set up about a week before the event.
With a packed parking lot and many new Grand Mesa visitors, the 2016 Moose Day was a success overall in celebrating the fascinating history of the mesa's environment and wildlife.