An important part of our mission here at CCLC is to protect our open space “from rim to rim” so that future generations can enjoy the scenic vistas, wildlife habitat, hiking trails, and outdoor recreation that are an integral part of the canyon experience.
Since long before Lee Hovey King took these evocative photos of Jan Wilkin’s son standing at Windy Saddle on the Beaver Brook Trail, gazing west toward Centennial Cone, young people have been enjoying the canyon. Thank you, Lee Hovey King and the Wilkin’s family for reminding us of the joy of just plain being alive and young in the great outdoors.
Outdoor Education and Family Fun
Richard Louv’s bestselling book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder became an instant success when it was released in 2005 and brought to the nation’s attention that our children are in crisis. “Today, average eight-year-olds are better able to identify cartoon characters than they are native species, such as beetles and oak trees…” Environment-based education and childhood experiences in nature improve everything from emotional and physical health, to test scores and creativity.
Many of our Partners provide educational opportunities for youth in Clear Creek Canyon. Lookout Mountain Nature Center has ongoing programs which provide outdoor experiences taught by experts, as well as school and group programs. The Colorado Mountain Club and Denver Mountain Park Lands also offer education opportunities. See our Partners page for links to these and other organizations.
If you would like to visit with CCLC about outdoor education, you may also Contact us.
Inner City Youth Touched by Rainy Day in Canyon
Thirty inner-city teens hiked into Clear Creek Canyon in the rain during the summer of 2001. They hiked out with sore feet but with smiles on their faces and poetry within the pages of their journals. These are the images that filled their hearts that day:
Birds chirping in the morning sun
dung droppings from an elk
flowers and meadows
green, green, green natural world
leaving a lovely after-smell
The field trip was conceived and planned by CCLC volunteer Geoff Wood and sponsored by the Conservancy. The students were from teacher Ann Siber’s class at Emerson Street School, a school for some of Denver’s most troubled youth. CCLC director, teacher, and naturalist Jeff Bogard volunteered as chief guide.
It began badly, Geoff recalls, “with intermittent drizzle and a morning fog like San Francisco.” But the canyon worked its own magic, even in the rain!”
If you would like to visit with CCLC about outdoor educational opportunities, you may also Contact us. If you would like to learn about the Children and Nature Network, please contact Page Lambert, CCLC’s Creative Consultant. Page is also a Senior Associate with the C&NN.