Mission Statement

Yampatika's mission is to inspire environmental stewardship through education.


Yampatika has been connecting people to nature for more than 25 years. Originally a part of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Yampatika became its own 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 1992. Yampatika’s mission is to inspire environmental stewardship through education. We accomplish this mission by providing science-based, education opportunities for children and adults residing in or visiting Northwest Colorado. Our belief is that this is best accomplished by taking the classroom outdoors for hands-on learning.
Yampatika offers year-round programs for both youth and adults. They include school-based programs, seasonal walks, and tours for adults and opportunities at our Environmental Learning Center at Legacy Ranch in Steamboat Springs. We are the only organization in the Yampa Valley focused on common sense environmental stewardship for individuals of all ages.
Last year, Yampatika impacted more than 20,000 individuals in NW Colorado. This included more than 2,650 youth in our school-based programs; 6,450 individuals in our adult and family programs and more than 500 people at Legacy Ranch. In addition, more than 10,000 individuals visit our nature stores or utilize information kiosks along Steamboat Spring’s core trail on an annual basis.
Yampatika programs are only possible through our strong partnerships with local, state and national partners. This includes the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), local school districts, the City of Steamboat Springs, Routt County and a variety of businesses including Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp (SSRC).
Yampatika has received state and national recognition for our programs. This includes recognition from the North American Association of Environmental Education (NAAEE). In 2013, Yampatika was named NW CO Partner of the Year by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. In 2017, Yampatika received the “Prime Award” from the Rocky Mountain Coordinating Group of the USFS and was named “Partner of the Year” by Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado.

Program Details

Our programs influence the lives of many residents and visitors to NW Colorado. Yampatika has three main program areas; advancing environmental literacy with youth; connecting people to nature, and providing experiential learning opportunities at Legacy Ranch.
Advancing Environmental Literacy with Youth. These are Yampatika’s school-based programs. This area includes Yampatika’s Environmental Literacy Program (ELP), TENS (Teaching Environmental Science Naturally), Wildfire Ecology for High School students, private school programs and several one-day programs for Moffat County elementary schools. All Yampatika programs meet Colorado State Learning Standards and are reviewed and updated on an annual basis.
ELP is our largest program in this area. Last year, more than 950 students in 45 classrooms participated in this program. Schools from Hayden, North Routt Charter School, and Steamboat Springs utilized this program that is offered free of charge to all public, elementary schools in Routt County. Yampatika’s program has become the Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) curriculum for many Routt County elementary schools. More than 50% of the youth served through the ELP are from low and moderate-income households. ELP is a three-part program that includes a classroom session, an outdoor session, and a service-learning piece. Topics change from year-to-year and build upon each other. Topics include birds and watersheds to sustainable energy.
TENS is a Colorado Parks and Wildlife curriculum that is site-based and was created specifically for schools in NW Colorado. Yampatika is the education partner that facilitates this free program to schools. Last year, 800 students participated in this program.
Yampatika’s Fire Ecology Program is for High School Students. This program was developed in partnership with the USFS. This semester-long program includes not only information about fire and its impact on the environment but also explores career opportunities.
Other programs include one-time programs for private elementary and high schools in the area on a wide range of topics. In addition, Yampatika participates in two day-long programs for 3rd and 6th graders that presents a variety of science topics outside of the classroom. Every student from those grade levels participates in this program. Yampatika also works in partnership with non-profits like Boys and Girls Club and others to offer after-school programming to their participants. Last year, more than 950 youth participated in these programs.
Connecting People to Nature Yampatika’s adult field schools offer a wide range of year-round, hands-on outdoor activities, such as wildflower and medicinal herb walks, bird watching, geology hikes, watershed walks, and ski and snowshoe tours. Yampatika provides unique and quality services to residents and visitors that are offered in partnership with area businesses such as the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation, other non-profits such as Tread of Pioneers Museum, and government agencies including the USFS. By ensuring that what we offer is partnership-driven and need-based, we avoid duplicating services with the many educational organizations in our community. Last year, more than 6,450 individuals participated in these programs.
Providing Experiential Learning Opportunities at Legacy Ranch.
Yampatika’s Environmental Learning Center (ELC) at Legacy Ranch resides on a 132-acre hay meadow. We provide service-learning opportunities, summer and winter camps, 4H livestock stewardship and is a destination for many school field trips. Yampatika provides programs for youth and adults that create an appreciation for our community's history, ranching heritage, and local environment. There are very few places left in close proximity to a town where children can take part in activities associated with ranching and farming. Adults can visit the site for a self-guided walking tour. Thanks to this innovative partnership between Yampatika and the City of Steamboat Springs, the site has transformed from just a historic homestead into an educational learning center that brings history, agriculture, environmental learning, open space preservation, sustainability, and community service to life. Last year, more than 520 people participated in programs at Legacy Ranch.
Primary Issue
Climate Change
Secondary Issue
925 Weiss Drive
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
United States
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