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NORTHERN COLORADO APRIL/MAY 2021

Life

Getting OUT!

EXPLORE

Local Nature Areas and Trails

Ideas to get your Kids

OUTSIDE

SUMMER TRAIL Preparation for You and Your Pet

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CONTENTS

FROM TH E E DITOR

APRIL/MAY 2021 + The GETTING OUT Edition

SPRINGING UP Can we all agree it has been a long winter? I know; it has been a very long year, period, but this winter just seemed to last forever. Thank goodness, this spring seems to mark a turning point. It shows the promise of restaurants, retail, events and even our very lives, beginning to open back up. But, while we’re slowly drifting back toward “normal”, whatever that may be, we are so incredibly lucky to live in a spot where the great outdoors is so accessible. Ubiquitous local natural areas and trails afford us the opportunity to stretch our legs and enjoy the sunshine, with our families and pets in tow.

6 HOME Beekeeping Basics: Get to know the hobby everyone’s abuzz about PAGE 6

COMMUNITY Northern Colorado offers extensive natural areas and trail systems PAGE 10

PETS Trail Etiquette for you AND your dog PAGE 16

If you’ve found a new love for gardening, let it grow! We’ve talked to local experts about home beekeeping—good for gardens and habitats as a whole.

HEALTH 10 Tips to prevent and correct sun damage PAGE 18

If your volunteerism has been curtailed by the pandemic, find a way to do it outside. The city of Greeley gives residents a great opportunity.

Thompson School District Secures $737,000 in Grant Funding to Connect Underserved Students Through Pulse

Whatever your comfort or caution level, the outdoors is calling. Now, go answer it.

PAGE 20

—Misty Kaiser

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MIND + BODY The Perfect Smile PAGE 22

FAMILY Getting your kids outdoors this summer PAGE 24

FOOD Comfort Fare—classic and with a twist—rules the menu at two Loveland pubs PAGE 26

MAKING A DIFFERENCE Helping your neighbor during the pandemic PAGE 29

OUTDOORS 4 easy ideas to enhance your 2021 garden PAGE 30

COOK A beachy, spring break-inspired meal PAGE 29

Laptops Available for Checkout PAGE 21 NORTHERNCOLORADOLIFE.COM


NORTHERN COLORADO

MARKETING AND PUBLICATIONS EDITOR

Life

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Wendy McMillan, Emma Castleberry, Shelley Widhalm Adam Goldstein, Andy Stonehouse, John Teehan, John Lehndorff, Linda Thorsen Bond, Katie Feindel

Northern Colorado Life is published six times a year. Over 49,000 copies are inserted into the newspaper and are available at key locations and businesses throughout the area. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.

EDITORIAL & EVENTS: To submit a story idea, call 303.473.1425 or mkaiser@prairiemountainmedia.com

ADVERTISING DIRECTORS

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Miss something? Find the e-magazine at northerncoloradolife.com

NORTHERN COLORADO LIFE A Publication of the Loveland Reporter Herald and Greeley Tribune

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HOME

BEEKEEPING BASICS: Get to know the hobby ever yone’s abuzz about

6 NORTHERN COLORADO LIFE

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Bees are amazing creatures. When they are calm and peer at you from the hive, it’s hard not to love them. By WENDY MCMILLAN, Northern Colorado Life

Spring is upon us, and not just any spring. Over the past year, substantial time at home has nourished and deepened our appreciation for the potential of our own backyards, while also energizing us toward fresh starts and new endeavors. Looking for a hobby that’s the bees’ knees? Backyard beekeeping is truly golden. Given the worldwide plight of pollinators, love for the natural world that can’t help but be elevated to even greater heights by our scenic state, obvious sweet rewards, and more, it’s no wonder that beekeeping has been growing in popularity. But, is it for you? We connected with two local experts from Northern Colorado Beekeeping Association for tips on where, how, and whether to begin.

Bee Packages await delivery. (Courtesy NCBA)

Getting started: What are my first steps?

Like any worthwhile endeavor, beekeeping starts with research and planning ahead. “I strongly suggest taking a beekeeping class as a first step,” says Northern Colorado Beekeeping Association (NCBA) President Tim Hardy. “If you are unable to take a class, my second approach would be to gather some books and find a beekeeper as a mentor.” Hardy recommends Beekeep-

ing for Dummies and The Backyard Beekeeper, by Kim Flottum as a good start. An organization of both hobbyist and commercial beekeepers, the NCBA offers excellent opportunities for learning, growth, and connection as beekeepers and enthusiasts. Dedicated to providing a forum for education in beekeeping both to members and the general public, the club further enjoys some ability to provide savings in

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OK, I have enough space. What do I need, and how much will it cost?

New bee packages are ready to be delivered in late April. (Courtesy NCBA)

bees by purchasing as a group. Completion of an annual multi-session beginning beekeeping class yields the opportunity to join the association, order bees, and be set up with a mentor. Having knowledgeable company from the get-go is invaluable, not least when it comes to getting organized. “Our club recommends preparing a good six months ahead of time, in addition to taking a class,” says NCBA Program Coordinator Lisa Boesen. “Here in Colorado, new packages are delivered in late April, so new startups need to be ready to go by April 15.”

How much space do I need? For backyard beekeeping, Boesen says to prepare at least a 6 X 6 foot space per hive. This includes the workspace around the hive, but does not include additional space someone might need. “You want space so that you can walk around your hive unobstructed to do your inspections, and also allow them to have an adequate flight path,” Hardy says.

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A good, thorough introductory class costs approximately $150, Boesen says. Additionally, would-be beekeepers should plan on spending roughly $500 for setup, including a package of bees to get started, hives, a full bee suit, equipment and other accessories. A complete hive setup requires a bottom board that seals the hive from the elements, two deep boxes, two to three medium boxes, an inner cover and lid. Beekeepers will also want to invest in a smoker, designed to calm honeybees; supers, hive boxes used to collect honey; a hive tool for inspecting; gloves and a veil. As a new beekeeper you’ll need some sugar for feeding the bees simple syrup. As an established beekeeper, Hardy prefers feeding honey from stored frames in early spring and late fall when there is little foraging.

Do I have enough time?

The expression “busy as a bee” was coined for good reason. When getting started, plan on a minimum of an hour per hive a week. “It takes a while to suit up, get ready, inspect the honey, and do any management that is necessary,” Boesen says. “This does not include studying and working with a mentor outside of the time it takes to inspect a hive. The first year is learning. Skimp on that and you will always be a ‘bee-haver’, not a beekeeper.”

What will the neighbors think?

“Most people fear bees from not understanding them,” Hardy says, noting that education is critical in creating acceptance. “I had a neighbor who moved her backyard patio furniture, thinking the bees would be a problem. Once she realized they were not, she moved it closer to the hive.” Check your HOA and city regulations before getting going. A list of city ordinances is available on the NCBA website at nocobees.org. “Talk to your neighbors,” Boesen says. “Let them know what you are doing, share NORTHERNCOLORADOLIFE.COM


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the positives, acknowledge the perceived negatives. This will greatly help others become comfortable with the bees.” Boesen and Hardy suggest getting neighbors involved, too. Let them become part of the inspection and harvest. Gifting a little extra honey never hurts either.

Hmmm...this may not be a fit for me. Can I still be involved? Everyone can support pollinators and help the planet. Avoidance of chemicals, growing bee-friendly outdoor plants, planting trees, and supporting local beekeepers are all ways to make a positive impact. Simply building your own awareness of native bees will serve to cultivate a wider appreciation. Various networks and programs such as the Audubon Rockies Habitat Hero program and People and Pollinators Network are great resources; a great deal of material is also available on the NCBA website.

Actually, this sounds GREAT! What can I look forward to the most? As you journey into beekeeping, the perks are honey sweet, but they’re far from being all about the honey. “For me, getting a hive to survive through multiple years is the biggest reward,” Hardy says. Boesen agrees. “It is a great feeling to connect with nature at its most basic level,” she says. “Bees are amazing creatures. When they are calm and peer at you from the hive, it’s hard not to love them.” Find a wealth of information, resources, and community at the Northern Colorado Beekeepers Association website, nocobees.org. APRIL 2021

NORTHERN COLORADO LIFE 9


COMMUNITY

Northern Colorado offers extensive

NATURAL AREAS and TRAIL SYSTEMS

Hiking in Red Mountain Open Space, a popular hiking, biking and horse riding area near Fort Collins. (Shutterstock)

By SHELLEY WIDHALM for Northern Colorado Life

As Northern Coloradans get outside and hit the area’s trails and natural areas, they have plenty of choices while also knowing they can be safe through the cities’ various COVID precautions. Their interest in the outdoors has significantly increased following COVID-19 pandemic-related shutdowns and social distancing measures, since they can be outdoors and more easily keep six feet apart in the open spaces.

land and water that include foothills, plains, ranches, farmlands, wetlands, rivers and ponds. Like trails, they are great for a long list of activities ranging from exercise, such as biking, hiking, walking, inline skating, horseback riding and walking the dog, to recreational activities like bird watching, fishing, creating art or getting quiet times outdoors. Loveland has 18 natural areas covering 1,714 acres and 23 miles of paved trails that nearly encircle the city and connect to other regional trails like Long View and the Colorado Front Range. The seven trail sections of the Loveland Recreation Trail include the Big Thompson River Trail, the Civic Center Trail and the Boyd Lake Trail. That trail runs through the west side of the city near Wilson Avenue along the Big Thompson River corridor and the west shore of Boy yd Lake State Park.

“Community members visited natural areas in record numbers during the pandemic seeking the physical and mental health benefits of the outdoors,” said Charlotte Norville, interim public engagement manager for the city of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department. “Depending on the natural area site, visitation increased between 13 percent and 214 percent, demonstrating that natural areas are crucial for the health and wellbeing of people.”

Loveland also has another 20 miles of soft surface trails in and around the city.

Natural areas are conserved and stewarded bodies of

Bicycling is permitted on the trails and in most natural ar-

10 NORTHERN COLORADO LIFE

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eas, but is prohibited from the Mariana Butte Trail y Wildlife and the Morey Reserve. The trails range from easy to moderate, since there are not a lot of hills in Loveland. Pets are allowed on most of the trails and in most natural areas—they must be leashed, except in dog park enclosures; they are not allowed in environmentally sensitive areas that include the Prairie Ridge Natural Area and the Morey Wildlife Reserve.

crowds and stay six feet apart from other households or not in close contact,” said Debbie Eley, resource specialist for city of Loveland Open Lands & Trails. The city has a few new areas, including the Prairie Ridge Natural Area in northwest Loveland and the Boedecker The new Boedecker Bluff Natural Area southwest of Loveland. (Courtesy City of Loveland)

Bluff Natural Area in the southwest, both of which opened in May 2020.

Future projects include improvements to a quarter-mile soft surface loop and a quarter-mile paved section in the

Visitors to the trails and natural areas are asked to take COVID precautions—there is signage at each of the trailheads with explanations of the guidelines. “We’re asking people to stay home if they’re sick, avoid

Old St. Louis Natural Area that will open mid-year. The city also will add a paved trail section and a small loop soft surface trail at the Sunset Vista Natural Area in north Loveland. (For more details about the trails and natural areas, visit lovgov.org/openlands.)

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Sunrise on the Poudre River Trail near Windsor. (Shutterstock)

“We do try to have natural areas in all parts of town to be neighborhood natural areas just to have places people can walk and bike to so they don’t have to drive,” Eley said. “If you go frequently, you tend to notice those things (different wildlife and plants) and how they tend to change throughout the seasons.”

The trail systems have a couple of closures, including a section of Poudre River Trail that is closed through April between 35th Avenue and 25th Avenue for repairs and flood protection measures. Canal #3 Trail is closed at the entrance at 35th Avenue through the summer for road widening.

In Greeley, there are 26 natural areas spanning more than 1,000 acres (though not all are open to the public) and more than 30 miles of trails. One of the natural areas, Poudre Ponds, is closed, but the other 15 are open, including Signature Bluff, Josephine Jones and Country Club West. (For more details, visit https://greeleygov. com/activities/natural-areas.)

A few other trail and natural areas projects are underway, including the construction of the Island Grove Trail Head on the Poudre River Trail, expected to open in June. The Canal #3 Trail will be extended by 2.5 miles from 35th Avenue to where it connects with the Larson Trail. The city also is acquiring 1,000 acres for a future natural area to double the acreage in western Greeley but cannot go public yet with the details.

Justin Scharton, superintendent of the city of Greeley’s Natural Area & Trails Division, hears from some residents that they didn’t know about the city’s trails and natural areas. He encourages them to first figure out where nature is locally before taking a regional or national trip, he said. “There’s great nature in your backyard that you can walk to,” Scharton said. The city has two main trail systems, Poudre River Trail and Sheep Draw Trail, both of which are 10-feet wide and made of concrete. Poudre River Trail starts northwest of LaPorte and continues to the Poudre River Ranch neighborhood in Greeley and exits in east Greeley. The Sheep Draw Trail starts at the Pebble Brook neighborhood at 95th Avenue and U.S. 34 and runs northeast past the Greeley Family FunPlex before connecting to the Poudre River Trail at 59th Avenue. 12 NORTHERN COLORADO LIFE

“Being out further on the plains, most of our stuff is pretty flat,” Scharton said, adding that the city is acquiring property to be able to develop more challenging trails. “There is a little bit of undulation … but it’s pretty darn easy.” Dogs are allowed on leash within the trail system and in natural areas unless otherwise prohibited but not allowed in city parks. Most of the trail system is open to equestrian use, and bicycles and scooters are allowed on paved trails, including class 1 and 2 e-bikes. “There’s some typical rules of the road and that is the smaller and more nimble thing should yield to the bigger and more cumbersome thing,” Scharton said. The Natural Area & Trails Division is taking several COVID precautions along the trails and in the natural areas, NORTHERNCOLORADOLIFE.COM


able at fcgov.com/ naturalareas/ pdf/opdmd-trailassessment4-14. pdf?1566857894).

including sanitizing restroom areas and encouraging social distancing. Masks are not required on the paved trails, since they are wider than the six-foot requirement.

The Foothills Trail is a nearly 7-mile trail on rugged terrain that Fort Collins offers travels alongside 50 natural areas the foothills paraland more than 100 lel to Horsetooth miles of trails that Reservoir from the encompass 36,000 Pineridge Natural acres. A few natural Area to the ReserA hiker walks his dog near the shore of Horsetooth Reservoir. areas are temporarvoir Ridge Natural (Shutterstock) ily closed, such as Area. The Fossil Eagle View, ReserCreek Trail is five voir Ridge and Bobcat Ridge, closed for repairs following miles and runs through the Cathy Fromme Prairie Natuthe Cameron Peak Fire until this summer. ral Area along Fossil Creek and meets up with the Spring Creek Trail at Spring Canyon Park. The Poudre Trail follows the Poudre River for 10 miles from Overland Trail The trails vary in terrain from concrete to dirt, gravel, Road to East Drake Road. And the Mason Trail runs 3.5 crusher fines and grass and range in difficulty level miles through the central core of Fort Collins from Prosfrom easy to very difficult (an 11-page guide is avail-

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Dusk over Colorado prairie and foothills from a fat bike ride in Soapstone Prairie Natural Area. (Shutterstock)

pect Road to the south of Harmony Road and connects to the other city trails, such as the Spring Creek Trail and the Fossil Creek Trail.

“Everyone can yield. Be courteous and wait, and then figure out the next move,” Norville said. “When yielding to other visitors, step off trail and wait for the passing tail user. Don’t walk off trail and create a new trail; wildlife, native vegetation and trail durability count on it.”

Bicycles are allowed on the trails but are limited to a speed limit of 15 mph, though ebikes are not permitted on any soft or natural surfaces. Dogs also are allowed, but must be kept on a leash. They are prohibited from certain natural areas due to resource sensitivity, including Coyote Ridge, Running Deer, Bobcat Ridge, Cottonwood Hollow, Fossil Creek Reservoir and Soapstone Prairie. It also is advised that horses remain on only hard surface trails. (Check the Natural Areas Finder at https://www.fcgov. com/naturalareas/finder for more information about access for pets and cyclists.)

Fort Collins’s newest natural area is Puente Verde, a 37-acre natural area that opened this year east of Taft Hill Road and south of West Vine Drive. In 2020, a few natural areas also were expanded, including the Laramie Foothills Conservation wildlife corridor near Red Mountain Open Space and Soapstone Prairie Natural Area. The Two Creeks Natural Area doubled in size by adding 23 acres, and 38 acres were added to the Kestrel Fields Natural Area.

The trails and natural areas are following COVID-19 precautions, asking visitors to stay local, group with household members, wear a mask and remain six feet apart.

“We are always exploring trail and natural areas expansions,” Norville said. “Natural areas are valued for many reasons. They connect to what matters to you.”

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PETS

TRAIL ETIQUETTE for you AND your dog.

By ADAM GOLDSTEIN, Northern Colorado Life

Late-season storms can’t stop the steady approach of spring in Colorado, and with it, greater access to the state’s worldclass nature reserves and hiking trails.

guidelines for humans and animal visitors alike are also designed to preserve the natural landscape, so that the splendor of Colorado persists long past the 2021 spring and summer seasons.

The core of those guideOccasional lines is all snow flurries about knowing aside, the Cenand abiding by tennial State is boundaries. Hiking with your dog can be fun and safe this spring. (Shutterstock) blooming with For humans, the signs of that means the approachstaying on ing warmer months. Temperatures are heading up and marked trails and keeping off land clearly demarcated snow and ice are melting; soon all of those trails that have as preserved. For animals, particularly the dogs that are been impassible during the winter months will open up to most likely to brave the trails removed from civilization nature lovers and their furry friends. and the nearest canine park, that usually means staying on a 6-foot or shorter leash at all times. After all, for pet owners (particularly dog parents), natural splendor is only enhanced by the company of a fourIndeed, as tempting as it is to let your pooch run free legged companion. Exploring state trails is the perfect way on an open-air trail, most parks in the state of Colorado to find that sense of rejuvenation for human and canine require dogs to remain on leashes. These rules aren’t aralike, especially after months spent cooped up in the bitrary; they’re in place to protect the animal, the handler house or limited to the backyard. and other park visitors. As intoxicating as the arrival of spring and summer may be, those heading out to Colorado’s trail still need to abide by regulations designed to keep pets, owners and all other park visitors safe, comfortable and healthy. The state’s 16 NORTHERN COLORADO LIFE

For example, a leashless pooch running around a blind corner could have an unfortunate run-in with a hiker, another dog or a wild animal. Colorado’s parks play host NORTHERNCOLORADOLIFE.COM


to a wide range of wildlife, from porcupines to bears to coyotes, foxes and mountain lions. None of these animals would appreciate a sudden and unexpected run-in with an unleashed animal.

selves, in designated trash receptacles or outside of the park. What’s more, dog owners and their pets must yield to any approaching hiker, biker or park user. What’s more, a careful and attentive approach is fitting for any visitor – human or otherwise

– to any of Colorado’s That’s not to say there aren’t state parks in the alternatives spring and summer for dog owners months. Whether it’s looking to let keeping an eye out their pets run for some of the state’s free. Two of dangerous wildlife (i.e. Colorado’s state rattlesnakes, mountain parks, Cherry Keep leash laws in mind and prepare accordingly before you hit the trails lions, bears, etc.), or this spring and summer. (Shutterstock) Creek and ensuring that your Chatfield, offer outing doesn’t harm off-leash areas more vulnerable residents (mice, pikas and other smaller designed to let canines run free. These parks may require rodents), keeping an eye on your surroundings is critical. permits, and according to the state’s Parks and Wildlife Department, they “include miles of trails and even water for dogs to play in.” Communicating directly with a ranger or an official from Both of these parks also offer options for those pet owners who are looking to train their animals specifically as hunting dogs in the facilities’ Sport Dog Training Areas. Certain state parks also allow dogs to accompany owners on still waters for paddle sports (kayaking, rafting, etc.) The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department also offers lists of state parks ideally suited to walking dogs. The Pearl Lake State Park, for example is a perfect fit for older pooches looking for a less strenuous stroll, while the seven-mile Eldorado Canyon Trail in the Eldorado Canyon State Park north of Denver offers a challenging stretch for young, energetic pups. A full list of parks, and tips about trails that are best for human-and-animal teams are available at cpw.state.co.us. The website also specifies back-country trails, wildlife preservation areas and wildlife preserve streches where dogs are not permitted. No matter if a hiker chooses an off-leash area or a leashed trail, one regulation is constant. Dog owners must clean up after their animals, and dispose of the waste themAPRIL 2021

the state’s Parks and Wildlife Department can offer the best preparation for a safe hiking season. Spending a little time to recognize habitats and familiarize yourself with the proper measures in case of a wildlife sighting can literally save lives, both human and canine. For example, it’s critical that hikers know that it’s never appropriate to touch wildlife, and that they should NEVER try to approach wild animals for a photograph, no matter the circumstances. Finally, any species of hiker can always benefit from simple precautionary steps, especially during the warmer spring and summer months. Explorers should never leave home without the essentials – namely, enough water, food and waste bags to last for any given hike. The state’s wildlife experts offer a simple core principle for those heading out on the trail with their furry friends: “Remember to bring plenty of water for your dog and be aware of the heat. Before you head out to a park, be sure to check out its park page for specific information regarding trails and regulations.” NORTHERN COLORADO LIFE 17


HEALTH

10 Tips to Prevent and Correct Sun Damage By LINDA THORSEN BOND, Northern Colorado Life

Katie Olsen, a certified Physician Assistant at Ideal Dermatology, wants to help save your skin. Olsen said she sees skin cancer in Loveland every day. “In their first 20 years, people just didn’t know the benefits of sunscreen and skin protection” she said. We see all types of skin cancer on a regular basis, including precancerous skin lesions, nonmelanoma and melanoma skin cancers. She tries to reassure patients that these are easily treatable if caught early. She has ten tips below in two categories: prevent and c o r r e c t . H er p r e f e r e n c e , o f c o u r s e , w o u l d be prevention. Here are ten tips that will help you avoid the worst of skin problems.

PREVENTION:

Limit sun exposure. The suns rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. so planning outdoor activities before and after can help.

Wear protective clothing and sunglasses. The best approach is a combination of protective clothing, umbrellas, hats, and sunscreen if you are outside during the day.

Use sunscreen and use it correctly. The best sunscreen is one you’rre going to use but we prefer sunscreens with at least part mineral/physical base (like zinc oxide). Sunscreen should be applied liberally to all exposed areas at least 15 minutes before going outside, even if cloudy. Use a sunscreen with at least an SPF 30 and one that offers broad spectrum protection from

Wearing protective clothing, like hats that shade the face help to protect skin. (Shutterstock)

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ceramides and hyaluronic acid or even thicker emollients such as Vaseline or Aquaphor.

More supplements.

Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours. (Shutterstock)

Nicotinamide, which is a form of vitamin B3, has been shown to reduce skin cancer formation. It might also have protective effects against ultraviolet damage caused by sun exposure. This is a safe treatment and can be purchased over the counter. However, it must be taken continuously, as the benefits are lost when stopped.

Topical creams. both UVA and UVB rays. The kicker is to reapply sunscreen every two hours and immediately after swimming or sweating.

Avoid tanning beds. There is no such thing as a safe tan. Tanning beds increase your risk of sun damage and skin cancer.

Consider supplements.

Staying hydrated is an important part of skin and overall health, but it can still be stylish with the right accessory. This beveled canteen by Corkcicle keeps your water cold and looks super summery with an ocean wave design from Surf Photographer, Corey Wilson. (Corkcicle.com)

APRIL 2021

There is a tropical fern now in pill form that might have antioxidative and antiinflammatory effects, currently marketed as a “sunscreen pill”. This should be taken before sun exposure. Studies are limited and we do not want to give patients a false sense of security that they are protected but this might be an additional preventative option to consider. This does NOT replace the use of sunscreen and sun protective gear.

Retinoids, aka “anti-aging creams”, are a group of vitamin A derivatives known to reverse some of the signs of sun damage and skin aging. These can be found over the counter and in prescription form. Prescription grade retinoids are more effective but can leave the skin irritated and red, especially in our dry climate. Other ingredients, such as Vitamin C serums, are being used but do not have good data to prove effectiveness in sun damage.

Chemical peels. There are several types of chemical peels that can help treat sun-damaged skin.

Laser resurfacing. There are also several types of laser treatments to help strip away sun-damaged skin and might help reduce skin cancer formation.

MORE INFORMATION CORRECTION:

Hydrate, hydrate. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day, whether outside or not, is important for skin health. Also using good emollients after sun exposure can help with skin repair. We prefer moisturizing creams with

Ideal Dermatology 970.667.3116 1708 North Boise Ave. Loveland idealdermatology.com NORTHERN COLORADO LIFE 19


THOMPSON SCHOOL DISTRICT SECURES $737,000 IN GRANT FUNDING TO CONNECT UNDERSERVED STUDENTS THROUGH PULSE LOVELAND, Colo. – Thompson School District (TSD) has been awarded $737,000 from the Connecting Colorado Students Grant program to expand reliable internet service to families in two areas within the Loveland community where connectivity is significantly limited or not available. With this grant, the district plans to partner with Pulse, the City’s communityowned communications utility providing highspeed internet and voice services, to build out infrastructure to students in parts of the Big Thompson Canyon and the Lago Vista Mobile Home Park. These two locations are among TSD’s most underserved areas as they pose geographic challenges that limit access to cabled internet service and strong enough cell phone service necessary to make hotspots a viable option. “Over the last year, our district has worked diligently to assist families who haven’t had adequate access to the internet by offering and facilitating connection options; but we quickly recognized that for some areas of the community there weren’t viable options,” said Dr. Matt Kuhn, TSD chief technology officer. “This grant money directly addresses the issue for families in these areas - we now have the resources to bring reliable internet to them so that access to learning and information will no longer be a barrier.” “Pulse was formed to address, among other things, the disparity of access to reliable highspeed internet access within our community,” said Loveland City Manager Steve Adams. “As a local internet service provider, and TSD partner, we have the ability, desire and duty to support the educational needs of students within our district who don’t have sufficient access to the internet.” 20 NORTHERN COLORADO LIFE

The Connecting Colorado Students Grant program was created in 2020 after Colorado state lawmakers passed House Bill 20B-1001 moving $20 million from the general fund to this new grant program aimed to increase access to broadband services for students, educators, and other staff who lack stable, reliable internet access for online learning. Pulse, in partnership with TSD, will begin the planning process with property owners and other stakeholders in preparation for network installation. More information, such as timeframe, are forthcoming.

ABOUT PULSE Pulse is a trusted local utility connecting the Loveland community by offering affordable, reliable, and fast internet and voice service through a 100% fiber-optic network. The community-owned utility was established in 2018 and built on a promise of local service, transparency in rates and speeds, and responsiveness second to none. Pulse will be available to all residents and businesses within the city of Loveland three to four years after construction began in November 2019. Sign up to receive service and construction updates at LovelandPulse.com.

ABOUT THOMPSON SCHOOL DISTRICT Thompson School District is the 17th largest school district in Colorado, encompassing 362 square miles and serving over 15,000 students. The district’s territory includes Loveland and Berthoud, plus sections of Fort Collins, Windsor, Johnstown, and unincorporated land in Larimer, Weld, and Boulder counties. TSD serves students in Pre-K through 12th grade with thirteen school-based preschool programs, a dedicated preschool building, one K-8 school, eighteen elementary schools, five middle schools, five high schools, and two charter schools. Teachers and administrators collaborate with families and community partners to ensure that students are college, career, and community ready. For more information, please visit thompsonschools.org. NORTHERNCOLORADOLIFE.COM


Laptops Available for Checkout Take home a laptop today! City of Loveland—Need to apply for a job? Complete homework? Jump onto a Zoom meeting? Laptop lending in public libraries gives patrons additional options for access to the internet and computers. Laptop lending is a safe and responsible alternative to traditional computer access in our public computer lab. All laptops are disinfected following CDC guidelines. Laptops are loaded with several internet browsers that give you access to your preferred email, social media, job websites and all digital library resources including databases, ebooks, computer classes, career help and tutoring. They are also loaded with Adobe Creative Cloud to create content using photo, video, audio, and graphic design editors such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and Dreamweaver. Finally, you’ll have access to Microsoft Office Tools like Word, Excel, Publisher, and PowerPoint.

Qualifications To get started, you can place a laptop on hold using your Loveland Public Library card and then go to the front customer service desk to check it out when you are notified that one is available. You may also go directly to the customer service desk and check one out. You must be 18 years or older, have a current Colorado photo ID, and a current Loveland Public Library card. If you don’t have a card, take your ID to the front customer service desk to apply.

Laptop PC Checkout Guidelines View the borrowing agreement at lovelandpubliclibrary. org/information/how-do-i/check-out-a-laptop. All borrowers will need to read and sign a paper copy in person prior to checking out the laptop. The Borrowing Agreement will list all current costs for damaged or unreturned laptops as well as replacement costs for damaged or missing items.

Late Returns and Unreturned laptops Loan period is 7 days. A Monday checkout is due on the following Monday before the close of business day. Laptops not returned 10 days from checkout date will be considered missing and will result in the accrual of the full replacement cost of the laptop and reported stolen to police. All library borrowing privileges will be suspended under these conditions. APRIL 2021

There are no renewals, either online, by email, or by phone. After the laptop is physically returned, the same laptop may be checked out if it is not currently on-hold for another patron. This is in order to examine the laptop to ensure that it is in good working order and that all items are present (power cable, instructions, guidelines, etc.).

Damaged Laptops Patrons are responsible for damages to the laptop and all associated hardware. Laptops at check-in are evaluated by library staff for damages/missing items and fees will be assessed accordingly, up to the full price of the laptop. Use by others, including family and friends, is the responsibility of the borrower.

Damage/Missing Fees: Laptops returned in the book drop but undamaged: $10 Laptops returned damaged but operational: $50 to $1,500 Missing or damaged power cord: $30 Missing instruction booklet: $5 Missing guidelines and borrower’s agreement: $1 Missing case: $40

Stolen Laptops All stolen laptops will be reported to Loveland Police and assigned a case number for further action. Stolen laptop incidents will be assessed by library security and Loveland Police and the consequential replacement responsibilities will be assessed and applied to the borrowing patron at the discretion of the library. Failure to comply with the above guidelines will result in possible law enforcement and legal action and suspension of library privileges

Borrower Qualifications • 18 years or older • A current, valid Colorado photo ID • A current full access Regular LPL library card. Limited access cards are not eligible. • Working email address and phone number attached to your library account • No fees on your library account NORTHERN COLORADO LIFE 21


MIND + BODY

THE PERFECT SMILE

A new wave of adult braces technology mean you can still get fabulous teeth. Greeley’s Dr. David Richter can offer fixed or practical invisible alignment, with surprisingly quick results.

Dr. David Richter (left) and Dr. Ingrid de le Torre (right) (Courtesy Richter Orthodontics)

By ANDY STONEHOUSE, Northern Colorado Life

In the age of Zoom meetings, many of us have become a bit more self-conscious about our smiles. Perfecting your teeth is no longer just an issue for teenagers, as the era of adult braces and dental realignment has arrived. But if you’ve pondered the do-it-yourself, low-cost, nodoctor-visit online teeth correction products you’ve seen on TV, Dr. David Richter of Greeley’s Richter Orthodontics suggests you speak to the professionals first, as a perfect smile may not be quite that easy. “I tend to feel that you get what you pay for,” Richter says. “If you’re not even seeing an orthodontist to have orthodontic work done, well … your teeth might end up straighter, but not having a correct bite can be a big problem. Our job is to create a bite that’s functionally correct.” Richter recognizes that more and more adults are becoming interested in braces and teeth realignment, so he and fellow orthodontist Dr. Ingrid de le Torre have a wide range of options. That includes both modern22 NORTHERN COLORADO LIFE

Lingual braces sit behind the teeth and are much less visible. (Shutterstock)

ized versions of the metal bracket style braces you may recognize from high school yearbook photos, as well as less-visible, behind-the-teeth lingual braces, as well as the newer clear aligner-style braces – the latter being Richter’s personally customized and more effective versions of the stuff you see on late-night TV. “Adult orthodontics is definitely rising in popularity, though adult patients do have to be more concerned about issues such as periodontal disease or short roots,” Richter says. “Age is no restriction, though the gum tissue and bones have to be healthy enough for our work. We dig deeper into what will work for a patient, and do 3-D imaging and even CAT scans to provide the best treatment.” NORTHERNCOLORADOLIFE.COM


your teeth, and the computer creates a digital model and we create customized trays that are used to adjust your teeth. It’s super-accurate, too. Custom brackets are faster because they’re more accurate. We’re not pushing harder, it’s just that they work better.” Richter currently serves as a scientific advisor to the KL Owens company, and says the product is light years more advanced – and vastly more comfortable – than oldschool metal bracket braces.

Traditional braces (top) may still produce the best results for some, and the tecnology has come a long way. The newer invisible aligners (bottom) are also an option with a bit more flexibility. (Shutterstock)

On average, Richter says treatment can be completed in less than two years, often in as little as 18 months. You can also expect to pay between $5,500 and $7,200 for a full treatment regimen, with a variety of financing arrangements available for those without orthodontic insurance. After they’ve done a thorough examination with pictures and x-rays, Richter and de le Torre walk their new patients through the options. For many adult patients, the best results still come from metal bracket braces – Richter works with a provider called KL Owens, which manufactures metal brace systems that offer 25-30 percent shorter treatment time than other teeth-straightening regimens. “It’s all based on a digital platform,” he says. “We scan

“The technology in wires has changed, and we don’t have the old, stiff stainless steel anymore. We use nickel-titanium alloy wires, technology developed by NASA,” he says. “The manufacturer creates a computer-printed delivery tray for the brackets, so once the adhesive is applied, the braces are all positioned correctly – and we won’t need to reposition your brackets or bend wires as much.”

Richter’s behind-the-teeth option is the InBrace lingual brace system, which uses a series of practically invisible wires to readjust a patient’s teeth. They’re smaller, and have a somewhat shorter adjustment period for new users, and are ideal for people who don’t want to show off their adult orthodontal endeavors. Also popular are the Spark brand of invisible aligners, which offer customized clear plastic alignment trays that have smoother finishes and more stain resistance than other companies. Once a treatment plan is established, Richter says he can have up to 30 sets of progressive aligners manufactured to provide patients with wire-free treatment. They’re removable, so you can eat, drink, brush and floss without them on, and for many patients, they can provide significant orthodontic correction in about a year of use.

MORE INFORMATION Richter Orthodontics— 1813 61st Avenue #100, Greeley, 970-296-8119, richterorthodontics.com APRIL 2021

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FAMILY

GETTING YOUR KIDS OUTDOORS THIS SUMMER Getting kids out on the water is a sure ticket to outdoor family fun. (Shutterstock)

and move on up to longer treks through northern Colorado’s numerous hiking trails.

Biking Many communities in the area have bike paths and parks for kids and families to get together and ride.

Water Fun

By JOHN TEEHAN, Northern Colorado Life

Northern Colorado offers many options for families to go swimming or try their hand at sailing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and more. Not only that, but quite a few of the beaches in the area have outdoor eating and cooking areas, as well.

Getting outdoors is good for you, pure and simple.

Outdoor Family Sports

Experiencing nature can reduce anxiety, improve physical fitness, and build better immune systems. Playing outside can even lead to greater creativity, learning, and self-reliance.

A great time can be had in the park downtown or right in your backyard. Just being outdoors provides excellent health benefits to kids and adults. A simple game of horseshoes can be fun for everyone. Or you can get a net up for a few rounds of volleyball.

But getting kids outdoors? That can be challenging. Here are some ideas that may help.

OUTDOOR FUN FOR FAMILIES Outdoor activities don’t have to be complicated. Getting out of the house is a simple first step. From there, it’s just deciding what appeals to you and your kids.

Hiking As outdoor activities go, hiking is the easiest beginner activity. Start with simple walks around the neighborhood 24 NORTHERN COLORADO LIFE

Adding some extra fun You can make outdoor activities more engaging for kids by adding a twist. For instance, a hike or visit to a beach can include a scavenger hunt. Give everyone a list of plants, rocks, or wildlife to find and cross off. You can upgrade your outdoor excursion to a full-on camping experience. Some publicly accessible areas allow for cooking and campfires. Roast marshmallows with your family before heading to your tents or campers. Teach kids wildlife lore, such as how to identify animal tracks and edible plants. NORTHERNCOLORADOLIFE.COM


With all the available family friendly hiking trails, there’s enough room for all to enjoy. (Shutterstock)

If you need more ideas, the YMCA of Northern Colorado is an excellent resource for families. Visit their website (ymcanoco.org) to see their schedule of events and activities. Also, check out what Generation Wild (generationwild.com) offers via their community partnerships throughout Colorado.

WHERE TO GO

There is no shortage of beautiful places to visit in northern Colorado. The area is rich with hiking trails, campgrounds, beaches, and parks. Here are prime Colorado offerings:

Good Spots for Hiking In the Fort Collins area? A good place for a short hiking adventure would be Arthur’s Rock Trail in Lory State Park. At just under three and a half miles, round trip, it offers some spectacular views and is right next to Horsetooth Reservoir. If you’re feeling more adventurous, there is the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space with 29 miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails. Be sure to check out Horsetooth Falls and the fantastic views of the Front Range. Over by Loveland, there is the Bobcat Ridge Natural Area with its trails winding through foothills and red rock cliffs, and more. Try the Valley Loop, which runs around four miles, or the Ginny Trail at almost five and a half miles. You and your family could also try the Devil’s Backbone Trail with twelve miles through over two thousand acres featuring tower rock formations. Or you could visit Rocky Mountain National Park and experience some stunning views.

THE BEST WATER RECREATION

There’s no shortage of wet fun for families, from tubing on the Poudre River to visiting one of northern Colorado’s many reservoirs and lakes. APRIL 2021

Horsetooth Reservoir—Offers swimming, boating, fishing, water skiing, jet skis, kayaks, and camping. Located on Larimer County roads 38E and 23, west of Fort Collins.

Boyd Lake—Offers swimming, boating, jet skis, water skiing, paddling, fishing, sailing, and camping. Located on Larimer County Road 11C between Fort Collins and Loveland.

Carter Lake—Offers swimming, sailing, some skiing. Located on Larimer County Road 31, about 7 miles southwest of Loveland.

Windsor Lake—Offers swimming, kayaks, paddleboards, paddleboats, and canoes. Located at Boardwalk Park in Windsor. Lake Loveland—Offers swimming and free beach areas. Located at North Lake Park, Loveland. Not all of these locations allow dogs. Some have fees and set hours. Visit their websites for more information on summer access to these water areas.

GET OUT OF THE HOUSE Kids benefit by getting outdoors and directly experiencing nature—as will you. Outdoor excursions as a family strengthen bonds as much as they promote good health. There’s no better place than northern Colorado with all it has to offer. NORTHERN COLORADO LIFE 25


FOOD

COMFORT FARE

—CLASSIC AND WITH A TWIST— rules the menu at two Loveland pubs

Beer-battered fish and chips are always a favorite. (Courtesy Henry’s Pub)

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LOVELAND PUBS WELCOME REGULARS BACK WITH COMFORT FOOD AND CLASSIC DRINKS AND TOGETHERNESS

By JOHN LEHNDORFF, Northern Colorado Life

Comfort is what pubs are about, but we love them for more than just familiar fare and cold brews. Pubs are

Henry’s Pub large menu runs the gamut from starters like Irish “nachos” and freshly fried chicharron to main dish salads and entrees ranging from New York strip steaks to gorgonzola carbonara pasta.

places where generations of families, friends, clubs and teams have gone to connect, celebrate and compete. Along with many other activities, we’ve missed pubgoing in the past year. Luckily, we’ve satisfied some of our homebound comfort food cravings with takeout and delivery from Henry’s Pub and the Sports Station American Grill. Now, these two downtown Loveland destinations which share a common history are now open to some indoor dining. Both offer a warm atmosphere, classic drinks, big plates of satisfying fare and longtime servers and bartenders, but each is very different take on the pub experience. Tasting rooms and brewpubs are easy to find in 2021, but back in 2004 the landscape was sparse. That’s when Bryan Jones opened Henry’s Pub and introduced pub culture to the Loveland area. “I modeled it on other pubs I had liked. There are TVs

“We do have a lot of dishes in the comfort food category like chicken fried chicken and our colcannon croquette. We make a lot of gravy from scratch every day,” he says with a chuckle. Ordering habits didn’t change much when diners switched to takeout and delivery. “We sold lots of fish and chips, burgers, fried chicken and pork schnitzel,” Jones says. The Pub’s traditional Sunday night Midwestern walleye fry is now available every day. In 2006 Bryan Jones and his partners saw two pressing needs. “Loveland really didn’t have a dedicated sports bar at that time,” he says. The city also had the historic C&S train depot needing revitalization so the Sports Station American Grill was born. In 2015, Jones sold the Sports Station to James Beamer. The duo had known each other for years and Beamer was working at Henry’s Pub.

in the bar but we have always really focused on dining including business lunches,” Bryan Jones says. APRIL 2021

The Sports Station was definitely a more boisterous NORTHERN COLORADO LIFE 27


Burgers are a staple of any pub menu. Left: Sport Station’s triple-patty burger smothered in green chili served up with onion rings redefines comfort food. (Courtesy Sport’s Station) Bacon and blue cheese take this burger to the next level. (Courtesy Henry’s Pub)

place to eat, especially with 20 beers on tap and a dozen screens showing football, basketball, hockey, baseball, golf and NASCAR. “His place is a little more upscale, more professional. Ours is a neighborhood place. It’s a little looser here,” says James Beamer. The menu at the Sports Station features the greatest hits of pub food including wings with a roster of fiery sauces, a loaded wedge salad, wraps and breakfast on weekend mornings. The eatery’s signature mac & cheese combines cavatappi pasta with roasted green chiles in cheddar cheese sauce with bacon and grilled chicken. “I’m a meat and potatoes guy. That’s what I like but the menu has a lot of fun choices. Customers really like the Jalapeno Popper Egg Rolls we make in-house and serve with pepper jelly,” Beamer says. Needless to say, the past year had been rough for the sports bar with everything from anniversaries to high

“We’ve hung in there, tooth and nail. Our regulars have supported us with takeout and buying gift cards. During the pandemic it seemed like people couldn’t get enough of our burgers. That, and the cheesesteaks,” Beamer says. The Station’s Build Your Own Burger comes in 1/3- and 2/3-pound versions and the giant one-pound triple, plus chicken, veggie and bison alternatives. The top-shelf toppings include onion rings, jalapeno cream cheese and fried eggs. The Junction’s change-of-pace Philly layers a warm hoagie roll with sliced pork, roasted poblano chilies, onions, and pepper-jack cheese. At Henry’s Pub, Bryan Jones has plans for the day when seating capacity restrictions are lifted completely. “We’re looking forward to hosting all those anniversaries and birthdays that were cancelled. We ready to welcome back our regulars and people who are new to town,” Jones says.

school reunions cancelled along with a lot of televised games.

IF YOU GO HENRY’S PUB—234 East 4th St., Loveland, 970-613-1896, henryspubloveland.com SPORTS STATION AMERICAN GRILL—409 N. Railroad Ave., Loveland, 970-461-8825 sportsstationamericangrill.com 28 NORTHERN COLORADO LIFE

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MAKING A DIFFERENCE

HELPING YOUR NEIGHBOR DURING THE PANDEMIC

CITY OF GREELEY NEIGHBOR LABOR PROGRAM DOES JUST THAT By KATIE FEINDEL, Northern Coorado Life

During this past year we have been so isolated from our neighbors. What if there were a practical way to help a neighbor during the pandemic and onward? Some people often don’t get to or aren’t able to do various neighborhood or home maintenance projects but you can help! The city of Greeley put a program in place to address these needs for volunteers ages 15-99, the Neighbor Labor Program. The program is designed to help residents of Greeley who cannot keep the outside of their homes up to code. As a volunteer, you can sign up to help the elderly and disabled maintain their homes so they can stay in their neighborhoods. What a great way to contribute to your community! The program has been around since 2006. That’s 15 years of community, neighborly volunteerism and support! Coordinator of the Neighbor Labor Program, Deborah DeBoutez, describes the program, “It is an attempt to match members of our city that aren’t able to maintain and keep up their properties or some light house maintenance projects. We match a volunteer up with a person in need. I try to find volunteers in the neighborhood but often I rely on the youth conservation corps or I reach out to area churches. All the help comes from a network of volunteers willing to assist the elderly APRIL 2021

or people with a disability with home-maintenance tasks. There are also opportunities for group projects including general neighborhood cleanup or tree-planting.” As the long-time coordinator of the Neighbor Labor program, Deborah DeBoutez enjoys being part of the process: “I get to meet new people, both the homeowners and the volunteers and bring them together to save a residence. It’s a wonderful program and we’d like to see it grow.” Neighbor Labor is available year-round. The program is small as Deborah only receives around six referrals a year. These referrals could be everything from weeding a lawn to re-building something in someone’s yard, all so the person or family can stay in the neighborhood, so the project is very important. Deborah assigns volunteers to homes near the volunteers’ own neighborhoods as it is preferred that neighbors of the homes in need do the work. The city of Greeley has many volunteer opportunities. You can go on the city’s website and sign-up for the Neighbor Labor Program and all volunteer opportunities at https://greeleygov.com/activities/volunteer. For more information on the Neighbor Labor Program or to volunteer, please contact Deborah DeBoutez at Deborah.deboutez@greeleygov.com or 970-336-4167. NORTHERN COLORADO LIFE 29


OUTDOORS

4 easy ideas to

ENHANCE YOUR 2021 GARDEN

(BPT) - Gardening enthusiasm is surging thanks to our increased time at home - whether on a small-space patio or in a larger backyard. In fact, people spent 42% more time gardening in 2020 than the year before, according to Axiom Marketing’s 2021 Gardening Insight Survey, and it is estimated the pandemic contributed to creating nearly 20 million new “gardeners.” Many experts agree the trend toward nurturing flowers, plants and vegetables will continue into 2021 and beyond. If you’re looking to test your new green thumb or bring this year’s garden to the next level, consider these top trends and simple ideas from the experts at Ball Horticultural Company:

THE YEAR-ROUND FRESH AND HEALTHY GARDEN Gardening can provide fresh access to produce that can help encourage healthy eating. You can feel confident 30 NORTHERN COLORADO LIFE

knowing exactly where your food comes from and enjoy the satisfaction of growing it yourself. Plus, it doesn’t get fresher than picking something from your own garden just minutes before preparing a dish. You don’t need an expansive garden to enjoy the many benefits of fresh, healthy vegetables and herbs. In fact, you don’t need a garden at all! Check out Kitchen Minis from PanAmerican Seed® and enjoy a variety of peppers and tomatoes that can be grown inside on a sunny windowsill, countertop or outside as patio tabletop plants. You can grow and harvest your own Kitchen Minis flavors most of the year.

THE MULTI-PURPOSE FLOWER AND HERB GARDEN Don’t be afraid to mix your flowers and herbs. Trending in 2021 is bundling your plants together to save space and make a multi-functional showcase. Start with a tiered NORTHERNCOLORADOLIFE.COM


fruit stand, line it with coco liner cut to fit inside each bowl space, and then add soil and plants of your choice. The handle and lightness of the stand make it easy to hang as a basket or decorate a patio or table for a beautiful and functional addition wherever you garden. Be sure to select plants that have a lot to offer in a compact space. For example, herbs from Burpee Plants are ideal for small gardens, so you can enjoy fresh flavors like mint, rosemary and parsley at a moment’s notice. If you’d prefer a centerpiece or accent decor for entertaining, petunias from Wave® Petunias are low-maintenance and stunning, easily adding a punch of color to your container.

THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN FOR A BOLD AND COLORFUL OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE

As people spend more time enjoying the outdoors from the safety and comforts of home, they are taking a new look at their exterior spaces. Colorful blooms brighten the outdoors and elevate the mood, which is why flower gardening is flourishing. However, people want this outdoor beauty without extensive maintenance, so ease is essential when planning your flower garden. When it comes to pairing beauty and simplicity, Beacon¬Æ Impatiens are a great choice, especially for those whose outdoor spaces don’t get a lot of sun. Available in bright, bold colors, you can fill baskets, window boxes, patio containers and shade landscapes with Beacon to add vivid, dramatic color to your spaces and have APRIL 2021

confidence in their performance. These impatiens are low-maintenance and have high resistance to Impatiens downy mildew, a disease that has caused plant loss in recent years.

THE FUN FAMILY-FRIENDLY GARDEN Having a family garden comes with many benefits. Whether it’s you and your partner at home or the entire family, gardening has proven to be a fun and safe hobby that people of all ages can do together. Enjoy spending quality time while breathing fresh air and learning important lessons from nature and the environment. Gather everyone’s input on a plan for your family garden and work together as a team to make it a success. One plant that’s particularly fun for families to include is Lavender Primavera from Darwin Perennials. The rich purple color is visually stunning, plus lavender attracts pollinators like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, so you’re enhancing the natural world around you. Additionally, you’re sure to enjoy the relaxing scent wafting in the breeze, and you can harvest your lavender to use in DIY craft projects around the house or as gifts to loved ones.

START GROWING TODAY The ability to explore interests like gardening and plant care is a silver lining of spending more time at home. Gardening is a healthy activity for anyone, and there are many resources - from your local gardening store to online blogs and videos - to help you be successful. 2021 is your chance to dig in and grow! NORTHERN COLORADO LIFE 31


COOK

A BEACHY, SPRING BREAK-INSPIRED MEAL

Spicy fish and slaw sandwich, prepared and styled by Shannon Kinsella, in her kitchen, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

JeanMarie Brownson, The Daily Meal (TNS) Spring break is upon us, but a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that it will not – should not – look like it has in years past. But we need bright spots and sunshine now more than ever. So this spring, we’ll travel by way of our imaginations – and taste buds. Let’s picture spring breaks of warm weather, beach and sand that are peppered with memories of delicious meals: The Florida Keys, Laguna Beach, Playa del Carmen, Lima. Let’s channel those seafood meals, ceviches on the beach, tropical fruit cocktails and roadside treats. One of the best parts of vacation, beyond relaxing, sightseeing and swimming, is eating outdoors, on a porch, sea breeze blowing through your hair. While you may not get that salty ocean air in your kitchen, you can still recreate those beachy vibes at home with a seafood shack classic: the spicy fish sandwich. To cook this at home, start by looking for fish options in 32 NORTHERN COLORADO LIFE

the local market’s freezer case. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch app can help you select fish that has been caught (or farmed and harvested) sustainably. Choose from haddock or scrod, U.S. tilapia, Pacific cod or U.S farmed bass. After thawing in the refrigerator, season the fillets with a spicy rub and then broil to golden and tender before tucking into a toasted bun with a pile of spicy slaw.

Sweet potato fries make the perfect accompaniment to spicy fish sandwiches. For oven fries, simply peel large sweet potatoes, slice them 1/2-inch thick and then cut the slices into 1/4-inch wide sticks. Put on a baking sheet with a nice coating of sunflower or safflower oil and a sprinkle of salt. Bake at 375 degrees on convection, stirring often, until crispy, about 20 minutes. A sprinkle of the seafood seasoning that follows perks them up into a worthy side. Shrimp cocktail, served with avocado and lime in tall glasses, conjure thoughts of beach snacks in Cabo after a day in the sunshine. Finally, let a tropical fruit smoothie transport you to a tiki bar, consumed perhaps after a beachside yoga class. Later in the day, the same smoothie deserves a hit of golden rum and a paper umbrella. Spring break fare to remember. Sand and sun optional, but certainly welcome. NORTHERNCOLORADOLIFE.COM


SPICY FISH AND SLAW SANDWICHES

Ready in 30 minutes, 20 minutes (prepare time) + 10 minutes (cook time), 4 servings

Notes: Add a slice of crispy bacon, or ripe tomato, to these spicy fish sandwiches, if desired. You can cook fish on a medium hot grill if desired. Instead of burger buns you could also use 8 one-inch thick slices of brioche or challah

Ingredients 1 tablespoon sweet paprika 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon garlic powder Shrimp cocktail salad, prepared and styled by Shannon Kinsella, in her ¼ teaspoon thyme kitchen, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune/TNS) ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¼ teaspoon cayenne Step 4: When ready to serve, remove coleslaw from the 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice refrigerator. Toast the 4 split burger buns. Spread the 1/3 cup mayonnaise, plus more for buns bottoms of the buns with a thin coating of barbecue sauce. 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice If desired, spread tops of buns or other 4 slices of bread 2 ½ to 3 cups finely shredded cabbage (half of a 14-ounce with a thin coating of mayonnaise. Place on serving plates. bag) 1 large carrot, trimmed, peeled, finely shaved or shredded Step 5: Preheat broiler to high. Drizzle a little olive oil 2 green onions, trimmed, thinly sliced over each fish fillet. Broil, 6 inches from heat source, 4 haddock, tilapia or cod fillets, each at least 1-inch thick without turning, until fish almost flakes easily in the thick(about 1 ½ pounds total) est portion, 5 to 7 minutes. 4 brioche or whole grain burger buns, split Favorite spicy barbecue sauce Step 6: Carefully transfer one piece of fish to each of the Olive oil bottom buns. Top with a mound of coleslaw and position Directions the top bun in place. Serve right away. Step 1: Make Seafood rub: in a small dish, mix 1 tablespoon sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon each: thyme, freshly ground black SHRIMP COCKTAIL SALAD pepper and cayenne, and 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice. Ready in 25 minutes The seafood rub can be made ahead and stored in a cov20 minutes (prepare time) + 5 minutes (cook time) ered container up to several weeks. 2 to 3 servings Step 2: In the bottom of a medium-size bowl, mix together 1 teaspoon of the seafood rub with 1/3 cup mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Stir in 2 ½ to 3 cups finely shredded cabbage, The finely shaved carrot and 2 thinly sliced green onions. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, up to 2 days. Serve at room temperature. Step 3: Pat fish dry. Sprinkle generously on all sides with the remaining seafood rub. Place on the perforated top of a broiler pan or on an ovenproof rack set over a foil-lined baking sheet. If desired, let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes or refrigerate, loosely covered, for several hours. APRIL 2021

Headnote: Look for shrimp farmed in the U.S. or Canada, also known as Pacific white shrimp for their good sustainable methods. If possible, avoid farmed shrimp that does not have a sustainable designation. Rinsing the raw onion helps remove some of its bite.

Ingredients 12 ounces peeled, deveined medium-size shrimp (51 to 60 count), thawed 1 large lime 1/3 cup ketchup NORTHERN COLORADO LIFE 33


FOOD pureed chipotle in adobo or Mexican red pep1 teaspoon per hot sauce ¼ teaspoon kosher salt ½ roasted red bell pepper, diced (bottled is fine here) ¼ cup drained, thinly sliced green olives 2 to 3 tablespoons finely diced red onion, well rinsed ½ large avocado, halved, pitted, flesh diced 2 to 3 cups mixed salad greens or 4 to 6 large Boston or leaf lettuce leaves Fresh cilantro leaves and lime wedges, for garnish Saltines or other crackers Directions Step 1: Put the shrimp into a large saucepan with just enough water to cover. Squeeze juice of 1 lime into a cup. Set the juice aside. Put the lime rinds in the pan with the shrimp. Heat to a gentle simmer; stir well and remove from the heat. Let stand until all shrimp are pink, about 2 minutes. Drain well. (You can save the cooking liquid for use in seafood soups; freeze up to 1 month.) Step 2: Mix 1/3 cup ketchup, 1 teaspoon pureed chipotle (or hot sauce) and ¼ teaspoon salt in the bottom of a large bowl. Add reserved lime juice to taste. Gently stir in cooked, drained shrimp, the diced ½ roasted red pepper, ¼ cup drained sliced olives and 2 to 3 tablespoons finely diced and rinsed red onion. Taste for seasoning. Refrigerate, covered, up to several hours Step 3: Gently stir diced flesh from ½ a ripe avocado into shrimp mixture. Arrange 1 cup mixed salad greens or 2 lettuce leaves on each serving plate. Gently pile the shrimp mixture over the lettuce leaves. Garnish with cilantro leaves and lime wedges. Serve with crackers.

The tropical fruit smoothie, prepared and styled by Shannon Kinsella, in her kitchen, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Ingredients 1 ripe banana 1 cup diced fresh or frozen pineapple 1 large ripe mango, pitted, peeled, roughly chopped (1 1/2 cups frozen diced) 2 cups ice cubes ½ cup coconut cream (or ¼ cup cream of coconut) ½ cup gold rum, optional ¼ cup seedless fresh or frozen passion fruit puree (or undiluted orange juice concentrate)

TROPICAL FRUIT SMOOTHIE

1 or 2 scoops vanilla protein powder, optional

Ready in 10 minutes, 2 to 3 drinks

1 or 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Headnote:

Several drops pure vanilla extract

Serve this drink topped with a scoop of mango or blood orange sorbet if desired. Skip the rum and add a scoop or 2 of vanilla protein powder for a post-workout refresher.

Skewers of fresh fruit, for garnish

Notes: Look for passion fruit puree in the freezer section of international grocery stores; some stores sell bite-sized passion fruit pieces, which would work as well. If you can’t find either, substitute mango puree or undiluted orange concentrate. I prefer to use unsweetened coconut cream rather than the syrupy sweet cream of coconut, but either works.

34 NORTHERN COLORADO LIFE

Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

Directions Step 1: Put everything except garnishes into a large blender (or blend half at a time). Process until smooth and frothy. Step 2: Serve in chilled glasses. Garnish with skewers of fruit and fresh mint sprigs.

NORTHERNCOLORADOLIFE.COM


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Northern Colorado Life - April-May 20201  

This spring seems to mark a turning point. It shows the promise of restaurants, retail, events, and even our very lives beginning to open ba...

Northern Colorado Life - April-May 20201  

This spring seems to mark a turning point. It shows the promise of restaurants, retail, events, and even our very lives beginning to open ba...

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