Bluff Lake Nature Center is a nonprofit agency that owns and manages a unique urban wildlife refuge and outdoor classroom in Denver. The refuge is home to an abundance of animals and native plants which thrive in a variety of habitats. Bluff Lake is Denver’s largest open space managed as native habitat, and Denver’s only nonprofit nature center. We rely solely on community support.

Each year, nearly 4,000 area schoolchildren visit Bluff Lake as part of our mission to “share our unique urban natural area and inspire environmental connectedness and stewardship through experiential education, environmental engagement, and natural area preservation and restoration.”

Tens of thousands of visitors come to Bluff Lake each year to enjoy a few moments of solace and connection to nature or to take part in one of our scheduled programs or events. We hope you’ll visit us soon!


News (Featured)



Bluff Lake Nature Center is seeking an Executive Director to oversee our growing nonprofit agency which owns and manages an urban natural area and outdoor environmental science classroom in northeast Denver. The ED, along with the board of directors, is responsible for the organization’s fundraising and outreach efforts, as well as the overall vision of the organization. The ED thinks and plans strategically and inspires community members to become more engaged in the work of BLNC. The ED implements and develop policies and plans, and organizes, coordinates, and manages the programs and activities of BLNC.

For more information on how to apply and minimum qualifications, click here. For a detailed description of the position, click here.


Early January began our registration for summer camp. Join us again, or try out our camp, for a summer full of outdoor adventure, storytelling, small group fun, and friendship!

Bluff Lake Nature Center runs weekly outdoor nature camps for 6-11 year olds. Through a blend of nature exploration, hands-on science lessons, games, crafts, and unstructured free-play, we inspire campers to better understand and enjoy the outdoors. We offer Half-Day (9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) and Full-Day Camps (9:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m.) with Pre and Post Camp Extended Hours (7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.) available as well. Our Junior Counselor Program offers outdoor skills and leadership training for 12-15 year olds.

Sign up in January and receive 15% off your purchase. See all the details and register here.


Jan. 25 – Government Accountability Office, Energy & Impact on Birds

Visit with senior analyst Robert Sanchez regarding the pros and cons of energy sources such as fossil fuels, wind, solar, and nuclear energy.

Feb. 1 – Audubon Rockies, Western Rivers Action Network
Visit with Western Rivers program lead Abby Burk on the challenges and solutions to creating healthier western rivers for birds, other wildlife, and people.

Summer Camp


At Bluff Lake Summer Camp, campers ages 6-11 discover and play while learning about nature in Bluff Lake’s protected prairie and wetland habitats. “Bluff Lake Summer Camp has been the highlight of the past few summers for my family,” wrote Marnie, the mother of a 9 year old. “At camp, [my son] and his peers spend their entire days exploring the natural world. He comes home each day brimming with stories about what they saw and heard, things they built, and lessons for being good stewards of our world. The camp is the right balance of facilitated learning and unstructured work and play.”

Click here to learn more about our offerings this summer.

Programs for Schools


Bluff Lake Nature Center offers a variety of education programs at our nature center, including one-day field trips, a multi-day self-designed project for classrooms known as Nature Exploration Teams (NETs), as well as customized environmental education programs. All of our programs are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards to ensure a rich authentic experience in content and practice.

We offer field trips for ECE to 6th Grades graders on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9:30am-12:30pm. Field Trips cost $5 per student. (Schools with Title I status and/or 50% or more student enrollment in the free/reduced lunch program qualify for scholarships; these schools may also qualify for a reimbursement of school bus expenses.)

To learn more about our what we offer, check out our guided field trips, self-guided tours, and afterschool enrichment program.



Bluff Lake Nature Center is a nonprofit organization whose work every year includes:

  • teaching approximately 4,000 kids from area schools about natural wonders at Bluff Lake and their local ecosystems.
  • planting more than 300 native trees and shrubs.
  • hosting nearly 1,000 volunteers.
  • providing critical (and free) public events and programs.
  • working with our neighbors in Stapleton to develop clean up and restoration days along Westerly Creek and Sand Creek.

We cannot accomplish these things without support of the community. As Denver’s largest nonprofit-owned open space, we rely upon community gifts to continue offering our programs and restoration work. A donation to Bluff Lake Nature Center will go directly to support our environmental education and conservation efforts. Additionally, Bluff Lake has been designated as an Enterprise Zone Charity, meaning that donations over $100 will yield extra tax benefits above and beyond normal charitable donations, for both corporations and individuals. As always, we value your partnership and appreciate your support.