Colorado Kids Outdoors
Grant Program Legislation
The Colorado Kids Outdoors Grant Program, enacted in 2010, created a grant fund that is a conduit for public or private gifts, grants, or donations to be dispersed to organizations and schools, with an emphasis on outdoor learning for urban and/or low-income youth. The grant program was to be administered by a public-private advisory council.
In its first year, the grant program was funded with $100,000 remaining from another discontinued program. While the Department of Natural Resources had been set to further fundraise for the program, a perceived conflict of interest around both fundraising for and distributing grant funds remained unresolved through the initial phase of the grant, and no further funding was secured.
In addition to the fund, however, the legislation required the creation of Colorado Environmental Education Plan, a strategy designed to foster the partnerships and awareness needed to promote, coordinate, and sustain standards-based environmental education across the state. A two-year stakeholder feedback process culminated in the enactment of the Environmental Education Plan and four regional Environmental Education Leadership Councils. These councils were tasked with empowering the formation of environmental education networks and local partnerships and sharing success stories. After several years developing a guiding framework, additional supports provided starting in 2017 through the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (the Colorado NAAEE Affiliate) have enabled regular regional and statewide meetings and teacher outreach.