051320-cr-friends

Friends of Mueller State Park brought 2,800 students to the park last year to participate in field trips. 

The Friends of Mueller State Park has rescheduled its annual mixed media art show for Sept. 26 and 27 due to the pandemic.

Dormant for many years, at the suggestion of John Geerdes, former park manager, the Friends revised the organization in 2016.

“Our purpose is to raise money for things that Mueller wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford,” said Ron Moore, president of the organization.

For instance, the Friends pay for elementary and middle-school students — 2,800 last year — to ride the bus to Mueller for field trips. “That’s the thing we’re most proud of,” Moore said.

The Friends also pay for transportation for students who are underserved in Colorado Springs. “We’ve got thank-you letters from kids who have never been up to the mountains before,” he said.

As well, the Friends funded touchscreens in the visitor center and landscaping around the building.

For upgrades to the visitor center, the Friends added new skins and skulls for the touch tables as well as taxidermy animals. The outdoor stationary binoculars were also a gift.

Last year, the Friends’ contributions to the park totaled $15,000.

To enhance the visitor experience, the Friends provided Bushnell binoculars for use on bird hikes as well as snowshoes for naturalist-led hikes during the winter.

Until the pandemic hit, the organization had planned to fund materials for three new backcountry campsites.

For more information, go to the Friends’ website, friendsofmuellersp.org.

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