“Get Kids Outside” Environmental Education Scholarship Grant

Experiences in nature also help foster passion and concern for nature and natural spaces. “Simply being outside,” says Lindsay Glasner, K-12 outreach coordinator, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, “can drastically change a child’s mindset and foster a love for the world around them.”

Although many schools and organizations can afford to include outdoor programs in their curriculum, for some this is a challenge.  That is why the Friends of Lory State Park established the “Get Kids Outside” grant, to provide a way for eligible nonprofits and schools to “get students outside” at Lory State Park. 

The grant was established in 2015 by a generous donor who wanted to connect local youth to the incredible ecology around them. With pine forests, riparian corridors, granite canyons, red sandstone hogbacks, diverse wildlife and migratory bird and butterfly paths, Lory State Park is an excellent “outdoor classroom” with a team of staff and volunteers dedicated to delivering fun and educational programs.

Lory State Park has hosted K-12 school groups from Larimer County, Weld County and Thompson school districts, including Chappelow (Greeley), Bauder Elementary, Laurel Academy, Putnam Elementary, Cache La Poudre, Lincoln and Preston middle schools, Wellington middle school and Salida del Sol Academy to name just a few. 

Our programs cover geology, wildlife, botany, orienteering, ecology, history, and more.  We serve approximately 1600 students each year. Apply for a scholarship today!

Sample Program

Second and fifth-grade students arrive at Lory State Park and are quickly paired into buddies. Each fifth grader has a second-grade friend for the day.  Dividing into four groups, each group is assigned to one of four stations where they will interactively learn about a different feature of the natural world. After an allotted time, groups rotate to the next station, ultimately rotating through all four stations. (Note: This field trip meets the second-grade life science standards and fifth-grade earth system science standards as established by the state of Colorado.)

  • Station one: Students learn about the wildlife inhabiting Lory State Park.  They touch real animal pelts, look at skulls and tracks and learn about the unique characteristics, habitat and diet of each animal. 
  • Station two: Students learn about animal camouflage and go on a short walk to see if they can locate hidden objects along the trail.  
  • Station three: Steps back in time to explore the geological and historical changes that have occurred in  the landscape around them to become the park they are visiting today.  
  • Station four: Students enjoy a mile and a half hike on the Well Gulch Nature Trail where they observe the changing vegetation and animal habitats as the trail winds through six different ecotones. (Students physically unable to participate in station four will be provided with an alternative activity approved in advance by teachers and the park naturalist.)

To hear about the natural world is one thing, to know is to see, smell and touch.  The outdoor experience is true environmental learning. 

In the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.”   – Baba Dioum   

Apply Online today: Get Kids Outside Scholarship application