Bluff Lake Nature Center is a unique urban natural area dedicated to educating and inspiring people of all ages to respect, protect, and connect with our natural world.
Bluff Lake 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.
Tens of thousands of visitors, including over 8,000 area school children, 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!
Check out this article all about Bluff Lake by the Front Porch: Northeast Denver in Winter 2019. (Photo Cred. Front Porch)
BLUFF LAKE SUMMER CAMP
Our weekly outdoor nature camps offer a unique opportunity for kids and teens! We have something for everyone, with Weekly Camp Themes for ages 5-6 or ages 7-12, and a Junior Counselor Program for ages 13-17. All camps run for one week each from 9am-3pm Monday to Friday. These camps are for every kid or teen with some energy to play, grow, and build a strong future for themselves and the planet!
We inspire our campers to better understand and appreciate the outdoors through a blend of weekly environmental topics, nature exploration, animal encounters, hands-on lessons, games, crafts, and free creek play. Small group sizes organized by age and parent preferences give every camper the opportunity to be curious, active, and appreciated! Parents will also get to share in the experience by receiving camp photos and activity summaries from the counselors at the end of each week.
Extended pre-camp care (7:30-9am) and post-camp care (3-5pm) are also available through the first week of August. Half-days (9am-12pm) are available for Ages 5-6 only. See Hours & Location for full info.
Scholarship applications are available for families who cannot pay camp fees.
We learned a lot in 2020, and are excited to announce the following camp improvements for 2021:
We will again be welcoming 5 year olds to camp! This year we will have a separate small group camp for 5-6 year olds, capped at 8 campers with 2 counselors.
We will divide up our 7-12 year old campers into smaller teams, each with their own counselor (group size and multi-group engagement dependent on COVID updates).
The half-day option will only be offered for the Ages 5-6 camp this summer. Pre- and post-care will still be available for all ages through the first week of August.
We are expanding the age range for our Junior Counselors to ages 13-17!
This summer will bring MORE kids, MORE counselors, and MORE of the activities that make Bluff Lake camp awesome!
Smaller group sizes with consistent members and leaders
Social distancing throughout the day
Updated mask policies based on most recent CDC and CDPHE guidelines, along with specific parent preferences
Frequent sanitization and minimized equipment sharing
Dedicated hand-washing breaks for campers throughout day
All campers and staff report on any symptoms and exposure upon arrival
Campers or staff exhibiting symptoms or reporting exposure will leave camp and not return until receiving a negative COVID test result or completing two weeks of home quarantine. If this occurs, parents of the other campers will be notified and updated when the test results arrive.
Refunds will be offered for unused days for campers who must leave camp due to COVID symptoms or exposure. Refunds will also be issued in the unlikely event that camp must be cancelled entirely.
Planned COVID precautions may be updated as more information about the virus becomes available. We will be monitoring CDC guidelines and city regulations during the coming months, and throughout the entire length of camp. We will continue to provide updates here over the coming months.
For more information, please visit our FAQ page or contact:
Bluff Lake Nature Center offers a variety of environmental education programs at our nature center, including guided school field trips, after school enrichment programs, self-guided tours, and customized programs. All of our programs are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards to ensure a rich authentic experience in content and practice.
Contact Education Manager Heidi Pfeiffer at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
ONGOING OPPORTUNITIES AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Bluff Lake Nature Center is a nonprofit organization whose work every year includes:
teaching over 7,500 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.