Move over, skate rats: The gals are going to tear up Lakewood's X-Games Skatepark at today's Op Girls Learn to Ride. "We're trying to recruit some females to the sport since it is still a male-dominated industry," says Nick Moscia, operations manager of the 40,000-square-foot skate park.
Part of a national tour of girls-only action sports clinics -- other activities include surfing, snowboarding and motocross -- Op rolls into Denver for one day only to teach a three-hour beginners' clinic on skateboarding and BMX bike riding.
"Our main goal is to get people comfortable on the equipment, get them pushing around a bit," says Moscia. "Hopefully, they'll be dropping in on the ramps by the end of the day."
The cost of the clinic is $40 per person and includes helmet, knee and elbow-pad rentals; attendees are asked to bring a BMX bike, if possible. A portion of the day's proceeds will be donated to the non-profit Boarding for Breast Cancer Foundation. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and lessons start at 9; although Learn to Ride is open to females ages five through adult, those under eighteen must have a parent present to sign a liability waiver.
"We've just opened up a kids' corner that is perfect for beginners," says Moscia. "It has a two-foot ramp, so if you fall, you're not going to kill yourself. Safety is really important."
To register in advance, call 303-590-1999 or go to www.girlslearntoride.com. The X-Games Skatepark is at Colorado Mills, 14500 West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood. For more info, visit www.xgamesskatepark.com/denverpark.html. -- Julie Dunn
Ecologist uncovers urban gems
Explore lower downtown's urban-landscaping jewels at today's Rocky Mountain Land Series Walking Tour, led by Susan J. Tweit, author of The Rocky Mountain Garden Survival Guide. "LoDo has lots of wonderful gardens tucked in between buildings and up on rooftops," says Tweit, a Salida plant ecologist who has written eight books on nature in the West. "It is such a pleasant surprise when you come around a corner and discover a charming little gem."
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Tweit's hour-long journey will also include tips on how to seed your own wild pocket downtown. "These tend to be difficult sites," she notes. "They're shaded by buildings and usually have bad dirt. But it's much easier to xeriscape in urban spaces."
The free walking tour will leave from LoDo's Tattered Cover, 1628 16th Street, at 2 p.m. For details, call the bookstore at 303-436-1070 or visit www.tatteredcover.com.
"These gardens are critical spaces; they can be very spiritual and restful," Tweit adds. "All of us crave a little bit of wildness and greenness in our lives." -- Julie Dunn