Funding boon to Jeffco’s Outdoor Lab program

$235,000 donation ensures innovative programming will continue

Bob Wooley
bwooley@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 5/25/21

The Outdoor Lab Foundation announced a donation of $235,000 to Jefferson County public schools for Outdoor Lab. The money will help sustain the popular program that’s been part of the district for …

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Funding boon to Jeffco’s Outdoor Lab program

$235,000 donation ensures innovative programming will continue

Posted

The Outdoor Lab Foundation announced a donation of $235,000 to Jefferson County public schools for Outdoor Lab.

The money will help sustain the popular program that’s been part of the district for six decades. 

Outdoor Lab offers sixth grade and high school students a unique opportunity to spend a week in one of two mountain locations learning about earth science, wildlife biology, astronomy and forestry.

Outdoor Lab reports that the donation funding will be distributed to 36 community schools to ensure every eligible student can attend the program regardless of their ability to pay. Funds also directly support intern stipends and special projects for both the Mount Evans and Windy Peak campuses. 

According to Bryan Martin, Executive Director, Outdoor Lab Foundation, the donation will help cover costs for 2020-21. He said the foundation plans to make a similar donation next year. 

Martin described the past year as a “roller coaster,” but said despite the fundraising challenges of the pandemic and the potential for reduced philanthropy, the foundation’s partners, old and new, came through for Jeffco’s students. 

According to Martin, 5,000 sixth graders — and some seventh graders who had to miss out when schools went remote last year — were able to attend Outdoor Lab during the 2020-21 school year.

“The Outdoor Lab program is a fun and transformative rite of passage for thousands of Jeffco kids annually,” Martin said. “We are thrilled to offer this additional funding to allow all Jeffco sixth grade students to participate in Outdoor Lab and for youth to develop teamwork, an increased sense of self, an understanding of their place in the world, a passion for lifelong learning and a commitment to environmental stewardship.” 

The Outdoor Lab Foundation was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2003 to ensure the preservation and contribution of the Outdoor Lab program. The Foundation forges relationships with businesses, the community and nonprofit organizations to fund Outdoor Lab programs.

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