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!


News (Featured)


Bluff Lake Living Laboratory

Check out this article all about Bluff Lake by the Front Porch: Northeast Denver in Winter 2019. (Photo Cred. Front Porch)




Summer Camp


BLNC Small Group Summer Camp Update and FAQ- 5.15.2020

CDPHE Guidance for Children’s Day Camp

We have heard your thoughts and concerns, talked to our licensing team, and decided that Bluff Lake will be switching to a small group camp format for summer 2020. This new format will allow for increased safety for our staff and campers as well as provide campers a unique small group team experience! Please read the above FAQ for more info about what this means and how it will impact you. If you have additional questions, please reach out to Bluff Lake’s Director of Operations, Maggie Willden, by email at maggie@blufflake.org.

To decrease the risk of exposure and provide plenty of adult oversight for campers’ hygiene practices, we will be having primary group sizes no larger than 4 campers per 1 counselor. The 4 campers + 1 counselor will be the same individuals throughout the week. To add additional opportunities for campers, and to maximize campers’ access to favorite site areas, each group of 4 campers + 1 counselor will have a partner group. At times, these two groups may participate in shared activities. The partner groups will remain consistent throughout the week, and physical distancing practices will still be maintained. Camp itself will look very similar to our regular Bluff Lake camp. A day will be filled with crafts, crawdad hunting, nature walks, and games. However these small groups will not be sharing the same space at the same time. We plan to use a lot of new spaces at Bluff Lake including our updated onsite building, additional new shaded spaces, and our exciting new nature play areas. We plan to cap weekly registration at 28 kids (7 groups). If campers show any symptoms of COVID-19 during camp they will be sent home immediately, the other campers will be notified, and the symptomatic camper will be asked to get a COVID test completed.

At 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 5-11 or ages 10-12, and a Junior Counselor Program for ages 12-15.

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. Small group sizes and family feel give every camper the opportunity to be curious, active, and appreciated!

Weekly themes delve into environmental education topics, while also giving campers plenty of time for creek play, hands-on science activities, animal encounters, crafts, and hikes. Each week will be enhanced by presentations from science and nature experts. Campers’ families will also receive emails from camp leaders that describe the week’s events and discoveries, and include photos of the adventures!

These camps are for every kid or teen with some energy to play, grow, and build a strong future for themselves and the planet!

(Hidden) School Programs


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 heidi@blufflake.org for more information.



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.