Youth Outdoor Network

TNC is working with the US Forest Service, Western Slope Conservation Center, and the Delta and Montrose County School Districts to create a ‘youth outdoor network’ within local high schools.

Youth Outdoor Network

What is the ‘Youth Outdoor Network’?

The Nature Connection is working in conjunction with the US Forest Service, the Western Slope Conservation Center, and the Delta and Montrose County School Districts to create a ‘Youth Outdoor Network’ within high schools in Hotchkiss, Paonia, Delta, Cedaredge, and Olathe. The Youth Outdoor Network will provide high school youth with an opportunity to understand and enter into the natural resource sector job market. From this group, leadership from each school will help to influence the GOCO Inspire grant that the Nature Connection has been awarded. The Youth Outdoor Network provides youth input into the overall process of identifying the best ways to get youth outdoors in their community.

Creating opportunity to inspire the next generation

Young people receive tailored learning opportunities to encourage their interests and provide them with chances to ‘test’ jobs at a young age in hopes of inspiring their future career paths. This will be accomplished by providing networking opportunities between students and professionals in the natural resource sector as well as providing exciting outdoor field trips that incorporate hands-on learning experiences. We will also engage local high school students in the formal US Forest Service Forest Plan Revision process through the upcoming Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forest.

Benefits of the program

Students will learn what jobs are available in the natural resource sector, how and when to apply for jobs, and what experience will be necessary to attain such jobs after high school. They will also gain a basic understanding of the forest plan revision process and how to provide meaningful comments. Additionally, students will gain a network of professionals, new friends, and mentors to assist with future endeavors as well as self-confidence, and leadership skills!

Student Information & Job Resources

The Nature Connection would like to thank Partners in the Outdoors and Colorado Parks and Recreation Association in partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife as well as GOCO (Great Outdoors Colorado) for their grant support of this project. We would also like to thank our partners for their assistance.

For more information, please contact the Youth Outdoor Network Coordinator at

Youth Outdoor Network Articles

Read these student written articles from the Youth Outdoor Network: