The Rocky Mountain Conservancy has supported the research and educational programs of Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) since 1931.
As one of the 65 cooperating nonprofit associations nationwide that work with the national park system, the Conservancy supports the mission of Rocky Mountain National Park and other public lands by providing educational opportunities and publications for the public and raising funds for improvement projects within Rocky.
The Conservancy has helped the park rebuild trails, acquire land within and adjoining the park, and restored historic buildings. It also provides more than $500,000 annually through its Next Generation Fund to support educational programs for youth.
To date, the Conservancy has raised more than $30 million for RMNP. Additional program funding is generated through Nature Store sales located in park visitor centers, and through generous donations to the Conservancy.
Classrooms without Walls
The Conservancy’s Field Institute Program offers lectures and field trips that allow participants of all ages to experience RMNP as a classroom. The field-based, hands-on classes include wildflowers, mammals, birds, cultural history, outdoor skills, photography, painting, and writing. rmconservancy.org.
The Field Institute also offers half- and full-day adventures that include geocaching, hiking with a naturalist, bus tours, and photography. You select the day and the topic, and the Field Institute provides the exploration and learning. Teachers can receive teacher recertification units for full- and multi-day classes. 970-586-3262, rmconservancy.org
Note: Entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park for these classes is included in the registration fee. For a complete list of all classes go to rmconservancy.org.
The Conservancy also develops publications and keepsakes for kids and adults that highlight the park’s natural and cultural history. RMNP guidebooks, maps, collectibles, and apparel are all available for purchase in park visitor center nature stores and online at rmconservancy.org
One of its signature programs is the Conservancy’s Conservation Corps. The Conservancy raises funds to hire more than 65 young adults to serve, learn, and live in Rocky and the surrounding Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forests through a summer-long AmeriCorps opportunity. These crew members support trail maintenance, habitat restoration, historic preservation, and visitor-use site improvements. Over the course of their summer of service, they earn a living allowance, gain valuable professional skills, learn about public land management, and develop a conservation ethic.
A primary source of funds supporting the Conservation Corps program comes from the RMNP License Plate Program, which offers a unique RMNP plate for a $30 donation. 100% of the funds generated through this license plate program support this worthwhile youth experience. Visit rmconservancy.org to learn more about this fun program.
The Conservancy partners with RMNP to create stewardship among young park visitors through the Junior Ranger program. Anyone can pick up a free Junior Ranger Activity Booklet at any visitor center, discover Rocky, and earn their badge. There are activity books for kids 5 and under, 6-8, and 9 and up. By earning a badge, Junior Rangers learn why we need to protect our national parks!
Junior Ranger Headquarters, located at Hidden Valley along Trail Ridge Road, is open and a great place just for kids! It is free to participate, and an adult must be present with children at all times. There are 30-minute programs offered four times a day, seven days a week, at 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, and 2:30pm.