Our programs influence the lives of many residents and visitors to NW Colorado. Yampatika has three main program areas; advancing environmental literacy with youth; connecting people to nature; and providing experiential learning opportunities at Legacy Ranch.
Advancing Environmental Literacy with Youth
These are Yampatika’s school-based programs. This area includes Yampatika’s Environmental Literacy Program (ELP), TENS (Teaching Environmental Science Naturally), Wildfire Ecology for High School students, private school programs and several one-day programs for Moffat County elementary schools. All Yampatika programs meet Colorado State Learning Standards and is reviewed and updated on an annual basis.
ELP is our largest program in this area. Last year, more than 1,100 students in 50 classrooms participated in this program. Schools from Hayden, North Routt Charter School and Steamboat Springs utilized this program that is offered free of charge to all public, elementary schools in Routt County. Yampatika’s program has become the Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) curriculum for many Routt County elementary schools. More than 50% of the youth served through the ELP are from low and moderate-income households. ELP is a three-part program that includes a classroom session, an outdoor session and a service-learning piece. Topic change from year-to-year and build upon each other. Topics include birds and watersheds to sustainable energy.
TENS is a Colorado Parks and Wildlife curriculum that is site-based and was created specifically for schools in NW Colorado. Yampatika is the education partner that facilitates this free program to schools. Last year, more than 630 students participated in this program.
Yampatika’s Fire Ecology Program is a new program for High School Students. This program was developed in partnership with the USFS. This semester-long program includes not only information about fire and its impact on the environment but also explores career opportunities.
Other programs include one-time programs for private elementary and high schools in the area on a wide-range of topics. In addition, in the 2016-17 school year Yampatika created and facilitated a 23-week science program for a local Montessori school incorporating its unique teaching elements into the curriculum. Lastly, Yampatika participates in two day-long programs for 3rd and 6th graders that presents a variety of science topics outside of the classroom. Every student from those grade levels participates in this program.
Connecting People to Nature
Yampatika’s adult field schools offer a wide range of year-round, hands-on outdoor activities, such as wildflower and medicinal herb walks, bird watching, geology hikes, hunting for wild mushrooms, and ski and snowshoe tours. Yampatika provides unique and quality services to residents and visitors that are offered in partnership with area businesses such as the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation, other non-profits such as Tread of Pioneers Museum, and government agencies including the USFS. By ensuring that what we offer is partnership-driven and need-based, we avoid duplicating services with the many educational organizations in our community. Last year, more than 4,000 individuals participated in these programs.
Providing Experiential Learning Opportunities at Legacy Ranch
Yampatika’s Environmental Learning Center (ELC) at Legacy Ranch resides on a 132-acre hay meadow. There we provide service-learning opportunities, summer camps, and 4H ranch & livestock stewardship. We provide service-learning opportunities, summer and winter camps, 4H livestock stewardship and is a destination for many school field trips. Yampatika provides programs for youth and adults that create appreciation for our community’s history, ranching heritage and local environment. There are very few places left in close proximity to town where children can take part in activities associated with ranching and farming. Adults can visit the site for a self-guided walking tour. Thanks to this innovative partnership between Yampatika and the City of Steamboat Springs, the site has transformed from just a historic homestead into an educational learning center that brings history, agriculture, environmental learning, open space preservation, sustainability, and community service to life. Last year, more than 350 people participated in programs at Legacy Ranch.