Bear Smart Trail Camera Program

Bear Smart Durango began monitoring bear activity in 2007 via remote motion-activated trail cameras. In 2017, we invited students at Needham Elementary to participate in a pilot program monitoring bear and other wildlife activity near their school, using trail cameras. They captured many interesting photos of wild critters!  Photo gallery here.

We would like to expand this to include your school, classroom, organization, homeschoolers, hiking clubs and more!  Curriculum will be based on age of group and can be adjusted to what you need for your classroom or area of study. 

For more information or to enroll, contact Bear Smart Education Director, Karen Hickerson at 970-769-4215 or


Needham Elementary: 2017














Sharing Our Space: Trail Camera Observations with Bear Smart Durango


This program is designed for schools, groups, organizations, homeschoolers, hiking clubs and more and is appropriate for ages 9 and up.  Groups of five to 25 are welcome.  Note that larger groups will need helpful adults for assistants to keep this at one adult for every 8 students.  A teacher is enough for classes remaining on campus.


Participants will learn about:

  • Using trail cameras in unobtrusive wildlife monitoring
  • How to record and analyze observations
  • The natural history of animals with whom we share our space
  • The importance of spending time outdoors
  • Tracking and wildlife sign
  • Our area black bears, and
  • Measures in reducing human-bear conflict in our area


This program is available at your request.  The first class would be one to two hours and classes one hour there after.  A three-week minimum commitment is required.

This is limited for now to your location in La Plata County, including within city limits.  Locations with known, or high bear activity (alleyways, travel corridors, unsecured trash containers) are most beneficial.  We would love establishing some locations for long term monitoring.



Thank you so much to Gardenswartz Outdoors for your generous support of this program!