Celebrate Colorado Public Lands Day at Sylvan Lake State Park May 20 | VailDaily.com

Celebrate Colorado Public Lands Day at Sylvan Lake State Park May 20

the fact that Sylvan Lake itself is closed for this summer isn't deterring the state park staff from joining in the festivities of Colorado Public Lands Day on Sunday, May 20.

The lake, lake trail, campground and cabins are affected by a season long closure so crews can replace the existing 1940s era dam. But there are areas of Sylvan Lake State Park that are unaffected by the construction including the visitor center and the Meadows Day Use Area. The latter will host Sunday's program.

The Sylvan Lake State Park Spring Festival will begin at noon with a casting clinic taught by Vail Valley Anglers and a stream ecology tour. Nature's Educators will follow the clinic with Talon Talk — live owl and falcon presentation.

Event attendees are invited to enter home-baked cupcakes for a contest planned throughout the day. The contest will be judged immediately after the owl and falcon presentation and prizes will be awarded.

The festival will conclude with a Cupcakes & Canvas class hosted by Alpine Arts Center. This class will be the only event that charges a fee during the festival. Participants will be charged $40, paid directly to Alpine Arts Center. An art teacher will guide attendees through painting a mountain scene while enjoying cupcakes from the contest.

Statewide celebration

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife, along with partners from federal, local and state agencies, is celebrating Colorado Public Lands Day next weekend with free events, stewardship projects and outdoor adventures offered across the state to highlight the importance of the state's public lands.

"Not only do public lands conserve critical habitat for fish and wildlife, they also sustain a vibrant economic engine for Colorado," said CPW Director Bob Broscheid. "Whether it's tourism, hunting, fishing, camping, hiking or dirt biking, our public lands are a vital part of Colorado's allure and natural beauty."

Colorado was the first state in the nation to establish its own public lands day. In May 2016, Governor Hickenlooper signed the bipartisan bill into law. The purpose of this holiday is to celebrate the significant contributions that national, state, and local public lands within Colorado make to wildlife, outdoor recreation, the economy, and to Coloradans' quality of life.