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Colorado State University Extension offices like the one in Clear Creek County bring the research and resources of the university within easy reach, and our staff are here to help. Contact us at (303) 679-2424.

Boredom Busters for Adults

Your Clear Creek County CSU Extension has gathered this list of activities, opportunities, and resources by topic. We recognize that Stay at Home orders affect everyone’s routine differently, and many need a retreat from television and social media during the round the clock news updates. Keep busy in your home and learn something new with some of these ideas. Many are organized by third parties and are not affiliated with Clear Creek CSU Extension.

Family Resources for learning and discussing Coronavirus/COVID-19

Things to do

  • CSU Virtual Event list – All CSU virtual events can now be found in one place: Everything from horse shows, vegetable courses, landscaping courses and meditation classes can be found here!
  • eXtension Learning Opportunities – eXtension is a resource for learning, professional development, and collaboration. Beyond their resources, there are lists of events to participate in 
  • 2020 Census! Help our community and complete the 2020 Census — it takes about 3 minutes. Each person counted = $2,300 to our County and City/Town funding for roads, healthcare, school lunches, Medicare, Medicaid, housing, public safety and more. You will receive 2020 CENSUS forms in the mail, but can conveniently complete them online or by phone: or by telephone. 844-330-2020 You do not need to wait for your forms to arrive in the mail. Remember: One response ONLY per physical address!   The census is safe and confidential — you do not lose any benefits you may be receiving, such as housing, school lunch program, food stamps, etc.
  • Horticulture Webinars from CSU Extension – see a list of webinars presented by different CSU Extension offices/departments
  • The Great Courses – The Great Courses are uniquely crafted for lifelong learners, with engaging, immersive online learning experiences.. Topics range across fine arts, language learning, music, history, science, literature, philosphy and more…
  • The Colorado Encyclopedia – As Colorado schools remain shut down to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, many parents find themselves lending a hand with their children’s education at home, and wondering how to answer questions like: What is our state animal? When did irrigation come to the Western Slope? How did the national tuberculosis epidemic of the early 20th century increase Colorado’s population? View the Colorado Encyclopedia online.
  • Gilpin County Extension Connection enewsletter archive.
  • CSU Quarantine Lifestyle opportunities
    • Missing out on live music?  The School of Music, Theatre and Dance in the College of Liberal Arts has taken their “This Week at the UCA” concert series online here, offering wonderful performances from our faculty in a variety of genres. 
    • What about dance? CSU has created a great virtual lecture-demonstration and education packet designed by the students of CSU’s Contemporary Dance Repertory Outreach class — for kids and adults of all ages! An Artist’s Life – CSU Dance Outreach Trailer and An Artist’s Life – Full program CSU Dance Outreach
    • What about art?  The Gregory Allicar Museum of Art at CSU recently updated their site with new programs and videos, so grab some of your family and check it out—no velvet ropes or crowds to contend with.
    • And if you are worried about the phenomenon that people are calling “the quarantine 15,” our Adult Fitness Program is here to help, with a wide variety of exercise videos here.   Lace up your sneakers or get out your yoga mat to work out virtually with fellow Rams.


  • 12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take on Your Couch
  • Clear Creek County Library District: We have been busy shifting programs and services online and finding ways to bring the library to you at home. Follow us on social media, check our website frequently, and keep reading to learn more!
    • We are excited to share that we now offer Udemy, an online learning platform that offers more than 4,000 on-demand course for in-demand skills. Free with your library card!
    • Need help with a specific tech issue? Get one-on-one assistance with our virtual Book a Librarian service. Email or fill out this form to set up a time.


  • SEI’s Global Solar Connection Initiative, which seeks to create a global sense of community around renewable energy education while embracing social distancing in the battle against COVID-19, we present to you a new series of live interactive training webinars!
  • WOLVES – Take time to educate yourself for November’s ballot initiative to reintroduce wolves in Colorado. The People and Predator Series provides scientific information on the interactions between humans and wolfs. The series includes information on a wide range of topics, including wolf ecology, wolf and livestock management, economics, and social dimensions of living with these predators –

In the Kitchen

In the Garden

  • Start Seeds Indoors – Now is an excellent time to get seedlings started in your garden. Get tips to starting seeds.
  • Plan your Victory Garden Growing food in your own backyard is an excellent way to reduce stress, save money, lower pollution, and improve your community’s food security. Tips from
  • Rotating your garden‘s planting and harvesting schedule. Tips from USU Extension.
  • Online Basic Botany class from the Native Plant Masters – While we’ve had to cancel a number of our face-to-face Native Plant Master Program offerings, we are excited to announce a free, online Basic Botany class.  This class is designed to be an introduction to (or refresher on) botanical terminology, the basics of dichotomous keying and the characteristics of Colorado’s most species-rich families.  Participants will be provided links to two YouTube videos that will introduce them to botanical terms, plant parts, scientific terminology, and basic identifying characteristics.   Click here to register.   A link to the YouTube videos will be sent to you on Friday, May 1 or May 8.  A good internet connection is recommended to view the videos. This offering counts towards the Native Plant Master prerequisite requirement.  If you have questions please contact Natural Resource Agent, Mari Johnson at   Due to Covid-19 all in person classes have been canceled through May 15th. Future cancellations are likely so stay tuned to our website and CivicRec to stay up to date. If cancelled, all participants will receive a full refund.
  • Gilpin County Extension has a weekly Extension Connection newsletter which is also posted on their website which covers a variety of Extension related topics including mountain gardening.
  • Welcome the Hummingbirds’ return: Get ready for the return of the hummers and their amazing aerial acrobatics—they generally nest above 6,000’ and usually make their appearance in our neck of the woods mid to late April. After their long journey from wintering in warmer climates, the Broad-tailed and Rufous hummingbirds will be frantically searching for food. Male hummers arrive first to establish their territories and a good food source helps them choose a desirable site. 
    • Make home-made hummingbird nectar with 4 parts water to 1 part granulated table sugar. Boil the water, stir in the sugar until completely dissolved, and let cool. Adding more sugar DOES NOT HELP the hummers; in fact, too much sugar can cause liver damage.  DO NOT USE HONEY – it will quickly ferment and become poisonous to the birds. Don’t use dye or commercial nectars because they contain chemicals that could be harmful. Make sure your feeder has some red trim to attract them; and it is imperative to keep your feeders clean, but make sure there is no soap or chemical residue.  Be sure to bring in at night — this sugar water (as well as bird seed, pet food, and our trash) is very enticing to bears as they wake up from hibernation!

Get Involved

  • Operation We Can Sew It – Volunteers sewing cloth masks to benefit Saint Joseph Hospital and SCL Health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Learn about Volunteering for the C4 Botz FTC Robotics team – Learn online about how to volunteer and support our Clear Creek County C4 Botz robotics team. While the practices are postponed during the COVID-19 crisis, this is the time for adult mentors and youth to learn and prepare for the 2020/2021 competition season!


  • Yoga in the Library – In partnership with the Clear Creek Metropolitan Recreation District, we are excited to bring you Stretching Your Mind and Body, a series of yoga classes taught by Annie Waesche and filmed in the Idaho Springs Public Library. Watch for new classes in the coming weeks on YouTube.
  • Denver Botanic Gardens offers a variety of online education. Through June they are hosting a free Therapeutic Thursday class. Join Denver Botanic Gardens’ horticultural therapists from your home or office as we share techniques used in the Therapeutic Horticulture program. Engage your senses each week as we guide you in how to connect with plants in your everyday life. All ages and abilities are welcome to participate. Only one registration is needed per streaming device. You must preregister to receive meeting link prior to class.
  • Forest Therapy Walks – Forest Therapy, gaining inspiration from the Japanese practice of Shin-rin Yoku, (Forest Bathing) is a gift from the earth in the best of times. During the time of social distancing and stay-in-place orders, we need opportunities for connection, stimulation & disconnection, more than ever. Therefore, I am offering an adaption of the practice to a virtual format to help my community cope and discover new ways to thrive. Visit site to learn about free virtual walks on Fridays @ 4pm!
  • CSU’s Center for Mindfulness continues Mindful Mondays with Lauren Ziegler. Mindful Mondays Measures: The host, Lauren, has made some changes to ensure as much protection as possible. For the next 5 weeks, in order to join participants will be asked to register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting, including a password. Participants will be muted upon entry, participant video is disabled, and no files can be sent through the chat. If you cannot attend these sessions live and would like the recording, please email If you would like additional mindfulness audio recordings to support you through this time, you can get them here
  • Mindfulness classes with Sue Schneider of Larimer county CSU Extension – There is no need to register, just hop on to zoom using the links below.    
    • April classes: 
    • Morning Meditation: Thursdays in April (April 2, 9, 16, 23, & 30), 9:00 – 10:00 am Zoom link:  
    • Authentic Connection, Thursday, April 16, 10:30 – 11:30 am: Zoom link:
    • Class descriptions: 
    • Morning Meditation: Join us for regular morning meditation sessions. Basic instruction will be offered as well as guided meditations and time for silent practice. Our practices will vary from week to week. The sessions will conclude with reflections on how to make and maintain space for everyday mindfulness. All levels welcomed!
    • Authentic Connection: How often are we truly present with others? How can we deepen our connection with those we love? We will explore four elements of authentic connection — presence, mindfulness, attunement, and compassion — and practice mindful listening as a foundation for extending the gift of presence to others.
    • Logistics:   I’ll have the “classroom” open 15 minutes before the start time of each class. You can enter and do your audio and video checks before we begin. If you haven’t downloaded the zoom app, please do so beforehand ( And then all you need to do is click on the link or copy and paste it to a new browser. Make sure to find your mute button so we can practice with as few interruptions as possible. There will be opportunities to speak and ask questions by unmuting and via the chat function. We’ll all learn this together!   All the best, Sue —  Sue Schneider, Ph.D. Family & Community Health Colorado State University Extension

How to Help

Taken from the Clear Creek county website – learn how you can volunteer or donate to help support our community during the COVID-19 crisis.


To best minimize the spread of COVID-19, wash your hands, practice social distancing and only leave your residence for essential services.


Clear Creek County Veterans Coalition, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is partnering with local communities to identify and distribute much-needed supplies. They will be accepting “drive-through & drop-off” donations from the public:

WHERE:  Elks Lodge, 1600 Colorado Blvd, Idaho Springs
DATES:  Thursday, April 2 through Friday, April 10
TIMES:  10a until 2p (other donations by appointment)

ACCEPTED ITEMS:  Food (adult and infant), bottled water and Gatorade, hygiene and laundry products, pet supplies, paper products, cleaning supplies, over-the-counter items such as Imodium and Tylenol; and financial contributions.

All items MUST be in new and unopened containers. Homemade, expired and opened items WILL NOT be accepted.

Need for additional donations will be evaluated after April 10.

For more information or to schedule a donation, please contact:
Troy Erickson, Veterans Service Officer 

We can only accommodate registered volunteers.  See VOLUNTEER information below.


Clear Creek County Veterans Coalition
PO Box 235, Idaho Springs, CO 80452
(Tax deductible receipts will be provided)

Clear Creek Veterans Coalition Members include: Ralph Wilkins American Legion Post #98, Idaho Springs Elks Lodge #607, Idaho Springs Lions Club, Idaho Springs Masonic Lodge #26, Clear Creek School District, Rotary Club of Clear Creek 2000, Clear Creek County Library District, Knights of Columbus, United Church of Idaho Springs, Charlie’s Place and Project Support and work together to serve Veterans and First Responders.

Whether it’s a one-time task or multiple days, from home or in-person, something familiar or something all-new–your involvement can make a big impact in our wonderful community!  Katy knows who needs help and how to get it to them.

If you are interested in volunteering locally during this time pleas contact:

Katy Daily – Clear Creek County COVID-19 Volunteer Manager
(720) 446-8898

For more information on volunteering please visit:

Email or call your neighbors, especially those who live alone, to make sure they have what they need–food, medicine, water, etc.  There are lots of easy, no-contact ways to show you care–offer to pick up supplies for them during your next shopping trip, make and drop off a meal, just check in to see how they’re doing.

Now more than ever it’s important to keep in touch with family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers through email, social media and even old-fashioned phone calls.  Supporting each other will help to keep us resilient and healthy!

Write a letter/email of thanks to your town/city/County First Responders and let them know they are appreciated while hustling 20 hours a day, every day during our virus-crisis!

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Keeping ahead of COVID-19

This rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) has imposed an unsettling, fluid situation upon our community and its businesses. While the team here still aims to maintain a “business as usual” approach, we are making a number of significant changes to our operations to account for a situation that is far from normal.