CU Restoration Ecology Experiential Learning Program

Program Contact

Tim Seastedt (CU) and Rachel Brett (WRV)

timothy.seastedt@colorado.edu

303.492.3302

The United Nations declared 2021-30 the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration.  Our CU Boulder outreach effort, initiated in 2018, recognized the value of ecological restoration in an era of rapid environmental change, and we envision restoration as a mechanism to enhance both mitigation and adaptation to climate change. This program is about relating restoration, ecosystem services, and human well-being to middle-school and high school students through ‘knowing and doing’ activities. In 2021-22, a major focus of the program will be on involving youth in fire mitigation and post-fire restoration activities.

CU Boulder faculty, staff,  graduate student, and STEM instructors partner with the nonprofit Wildlands Restoration Volunteers. WRV’s youth program helps participants build a relationship with nature through service-learning and education. Other partners include schools, such as Boulder Preparatory High School; youth organizations like the Nature Kids/Jovenes de la Naturaleza program; and WRV’s Youth Leadership Development (WYLD) program.

Our program also recognizes that access to experiences in nature as well as to STEM pathways and careers is inequitable. Over 75% of youth engaged will come from low-income, minority or “at-risk” populations. As a result, underserved youth will have access to the many benefits of a connection to nature and will be able to explore potential careers in environmental sciences and see their own capacity to make a positive impact. We also partner with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement to engage underrepresented CU Boulder students in science fields to connect directly with youth as mentors.

Find additional information on youth restoration project programs as well as a photo gallery from past projects.

  • WRV Youth Leadership Program

    Location

    In Colorado

    Longmont

    Dates

    5/24/2021 - 5/31/2022

    Public or Private

    Public Program (open to the public)

    Program Fee

    No charge to attend/participate in activity or program

  • Lafayette Open Space Restorations

    Location

    In Colorado

    Lafayette

    Dates

    Ongoing

    Public or Private

    Public Program (open to the public)

    Program Fee

    No charge to attend/participate in activity or program

    Additional Info

    Multiple projects to remove invasive species and restore native species and pollinator gardens on Lafayette Open Space.

  • Lone Hawk Wetland Restoration

    Location

    In Colorado

    Hygiene

    Dates

    Ongoing

    Public or Private

    Public Program (open to the public)

    Program Fee

    No charge to attend/participate in activity or program

    Additional Info

    Project involves multiple projects per year and will continue for multiple years.

  • Native Seed Collection

    Location

    In Colorado

    Boulder

    Dates

    7/8/2021 - 7/8/2021

    Public or Private

    Private Program (by request only or for a specific audience or group)

    Program Fee

    No charge to attend/participate in activity or program

    Additional Info

    Program partnering with Boulder Youth Services Initiative.

Sponsoring Units

  • College of Arts & Sciences

  • Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
  • Department of Geography
  • Environmental Studies Program
  • Research Institutes

  • Institute of Arctic & Alpine Research (INSTAAR)

Program Partners

  • Wildlands Restoration Volunteers
  • Nature Kids/Jovenes de la Naturaleza
  • Youth Services Institute
  • Youth Exploring Stewardship Coalition
  • Boulder Valley School District

Audiences Served

  • At-Risk Youth
  • Children & Youth (outside school)
  • Families
  • General Public
  • Minority Group(s)
  • Non-Profit Organization
  • Students - Middle School
  • Students - High School