Programs for All Ages
SKI FIELD TRIP
BIKE FIELD TRIP
SUP FIELD TRIP
For Delta County School District & Olathe Students
Learn to Bike
Designed for elementary students in K-3rd grade, this brand new program (in 2020) helps students build confidence on bikes and teaches stewardship of our trails. Nature Connection staff and volunteers will bring a trailer full of bikes to a participating school and offer instruction to students during PE class.
Brings 3rd grade students from throughout Delta County out of their classrooms for a hands-on environmental education experience in the spring, hosted by our partner Western Slope Conservation Center and others at the Paonia River Park.
Skis for Kids
4th graders are introduced to their first cross-country skiing experience on public land. We partner with the United States Forest Service to provide youth with an Every Kid in a Park pass as well as Junior Snow Ranger booklets. Winter wildlife and their adaptations are introduced as well as how to ‘dress like an onion’ while preparing for a day outdoors in the wintertime. At almost 11,000 feet on top of the Grand Mesa, youth learn to fall and get back up again on xc skis — in return they ‘grow their grit’.
National Public Lands Day
Every Kid in a Park celebrates National Public Lands Day with the U.S. Forest Service at Lost Lake on the Gunnison National Forest. Students build bird boxes, hang with Smokey, learn about geology, wilderness, forestry, how to use a compass and discover the forest on an exploratory hike.
Explore Your Park
Colorado Parks and Wildlife hosts field trips to Sweitzer Lake State Park or Crawford State Park in the spring or fall. Students experience canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding, archery and fishing at their local reservoir.
Cottonwood Days is a field trip event for 6th graders across the Western Slope to learn about the vital waterways that shape our landscape. Students learn to tie flies, handle native fish, collect invertebrates, and much more in this seriously fun event targeting art, history, and science standards. Hosted by the Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Canyons Association and other partnering organizations.
Winter Ecology Days
Winter Ecology Days is a day-long event cross-country skiing on the Grand Mesa National Forest. Lessons are taught by professionals from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the United States Forest Service and educators from the Nature Connection. There are plenty of hands-on activities including watershed and snow studies, avalanche safety basics, plus winter ecology topics. Following a pre-trip classroom discussion, students are provided with a second opportunity beyond 4th Grade to learn and ski in the winter.
Summer Jobs & Internships
Jobs and internships are available through the Nature Connection each summer. Some positions include: Summer camp counselors, water sports leader at Sweitzer State Park, social media internships, bike techs, Wilder Bunch trail crew and backcountry youth trail crew with the Forest Service. We help partner organizations recruit high school students for other outdoor positions throughout the county. Check out our position openings page in the spring to apply!
9th grade students explore the Gunnison River by watercraft while learning about geology, desert ecology and the cultural history of our area. Students will visit the Eagle Rock Shelter- the oldest continually occupied archeological site in North America. They will also experience the beauty and fragility of the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area on single a day raft trip with our partners at Western Slope SUP.
Cross-Country Ski Day
High school teachers can contact us for a winter adventure on their national forest as a custom field trip. Our staff may also be able to support teaching avalanche safety, snowpack tests and understand how interconnected they are to the local landscape. Another option is taking a group of students xc skiing by becoming a member of our Gear to Go Program.