Colorado has some of the best outdoor leisure opportunities you’ll find nationwide because of its more than 67 million acres of land. Colorado has world-class locations for many types of outdoor activities, including mountain biking, skiing, hiking, trail running, climbing, and whitewater kayaking.
But with such amazing natural riches comes great responsibility: To preserve the health and abundance of our public lands for upcoming generations of outdoor enthusiasts, advocacy and upkeep are necessary.
Thankfully, Colorado is home to several non-profit groups that are concerned with conservation and sustainability.
These groups are blazing the trail for Colorado’s future by creating and maintaining trails, supporting the preservation of public lands, and imparting stewardship knowledge to the next generation of leaders.
Let’s take a look at them.
Table of Contents
Environmental Organizations in Colorado
- Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
- Colorado Youth Corps Association
- Big City Mountaineers
- Western Resource Advocates
- Colorado Fourteeners Initiative
- Conservation Colorado
- Environmental Learning for Kids
- Frack Free Four Corners
- Great Old Broads for Wilderness
- 350 Colorado
- Clean Energy Action
- Colorado Communities for Climate Action
- Eco-Justice Ministries
- Environment Colorado
- Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center
- Colorado CATTLEMEN’S Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT)
- Colorado Open Lands
- Conservation Lands Foundation
- Conservation Legacy (SCC)
- The WILD Foundation
- Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE)
- Rocky Mountain Youth Corps
1. Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
In the past 30 years, if you’ve hiked on a Colorado trail, there’s a high chance that Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) helped develop or maintain it. Over 105,000 volunteers have worked on hundreds of projects at some of Colorado’s most cherished and recognizable landmarks since VOC’s founding in 1984.
VOC projects give volunteers the chance to develop practical skills while working long hours to build new trails, repair flood, and fire-damaged lands, and maintain well-traveled routes that are in critical need of some TLC.
2. Colorado Youth Corps Association
The advantages of the youth corps are extensive. Young people gain practical experience on conservation projects, get involved in their communities, and benefit the public by significantly enhancing public lands and recreational opportunities.
The Colorado Youth Corps Association (CYCA) raises money and advocates for Colorado’s nine corps groups, enabling children and young adults to contribute to the preservation of the health of the forest, the improvement of vital wildlife habitat, and the acquisition of essential life skills.
The conservation corps that changes lives and communities through service, personal growth, and education is represented by the Colorado Youth Corps Association. The goal of CYCA is to strengthen the youth Conservation Corps movement in Colorado.
3. Big City Mountaineers
Students who take part in the Big City Mountaineers (BCM) initiatives in Golden are more likely to finish school and to be less violent and drug-using. This may seem like a daunting task, but take BCM youngsters on a weeklong camping trip or overnight camp experience, and you’ll see the positive changes these kids go through.
With a one-to-one teen-to-adult ratio, BCM works with underserved youth in Denver (as well as at its satellite offices across the country) to help them develop their leadership and self-efficacy.
4. Western Resource Advocates
The American West is facing significant environmental issues in the twenty-first century due to its expanding population and correspondingly higher energy needs. Western Resource Advocates uses law, science, and economics to preserve rivers, provide renewable energy, and protect the unique Western landscape.
The group has led initiatives such as creating a blueprint for a carbon reduction credit program and collaborating with Glenwood Springs whitewater boaters to keep water in the Colorado River.
5. Colorado Fourteeners Initiative
The 54 fourteeners in Colorado—peaks that rise above 14,000 feet—represent some of the state’s most well-liked treks, drawing a quarter million tourists each year. This implies that several pathways lead to summits across delicate alpine tundra that urgently need rehabilitation.
To safeguard the fourteeners and maintain their accessibility, the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative (CFI) collaborates with the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, regional volunteer organizations, and private benefactors.
6. Conservation Colorado
The first step in defending Colorado’s environment is advocacy, and Conservation Colorado has been leading the charge for 50 years. The organization, which has its headquarters in Denver, works throughout the state to inform and mobilize Coloradans about important topics and environmental dangers.
They also work to elect policymakers who support conservation. A conservation scorecard that counts politicians’ votes is maintained by Conservation Colorado, along with a bill tracker tool to inform the public about environmental legislation.
7. Environmental Learning for Kids
Through Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK), 5,000 children from underserved urban communities in the counties of Denver, Adams, and Arapahoe have access to after-school activities. Staff members from ELK visit schools to deliver interactive lessons including “Skins & Skulls,” “Our Colorado Water,” and “Schoolyard Habitat.”
The organization also offers a program called Youth in Natural Resources that encourages young people to investigate potential careers and find summer jobs and internships in the outdoors.
Earthworks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing the negative effects of mineral and energy development while advancing sustainable solutions.
9. Frack-Free Four Corners
The mission of Frack Free Four Corners is to raise awareness about the following fracking-related issues: health and cultural effects on locals, including indigenous peoples; methane emissions; the destruction of our ancient and cultural sites; water contamination; earthquakes; and the devastation of farming and their communities.
10. Great Old Broads for Wilderness
A national grassroots group called Great Old Broads for Wilderness is run by women and encourages activism to defend wilderness and wild regions.
11. 350 Colorado
350 Colorado thinks the only way they can hope to combat the influence of the fossil fuel business in our society is through organized grassroots people power. The three main objectives of 350 Colorado are to build the movement, keep fossil fuels in the ground, and promote local solutions.
12. Clean Energy Action
Clean Energy Action works on issues relating to renewable energy and preventing climate change at the municipal, state, and federal levels.
By motivating, educating, and equipping citizens to promote a reduction in the use of fossil fuels and nuclear power and a rise in the use of clean energy sources like renewable energy and energy efficiency, CEA hopes to achieve its objectives through Citizen Power.
13. Colorado Communities for Climate Action
A new collaboration of local governments from throughout Colorado, Colorado Communities for Climate Action, works to maintain Colorado’s climate for both present and future generations.
To maintain Colorado as a great place to live, work, and enjoy, the state and federal steps CC4CA seeks are necessary to complement the robust local climate initiatives CC4CA members already have underway.
14. Eco-Justice Ministries
An autonomous, ecumenical organization called Eco-Justice Ministries assists churches in developing ministries that are steadfast, timely, and successful in advancing social justice and environmental sustainability.
15. Environment Colorado
An initiative of Environment America, Environment Colorado is a citizen-based environmental advocacy group.
Her team of experts combines independent research, useful suggestions, and tenacious campaigning to overcome the objections of strong special interests and achieve significant environmental achievements for Colorado.
16. Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center
The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center is committed to fundamentally progressive social and personal change and is rooted in the philosophy of unconditional nonviolence.
They are a multi-issue group that strives to repair and defend the environment as well as human rights. To foster a culture of peace and justice, they educate, organize, act, and foster community.
17. Colorado CATTLEMEN’S Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT)
The Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust works alongside ranchers and farmers to maintain productive agricultural lands and the conservation values they provide, safeguarding Colorado’s ranching heritage and rural communities in the process.
18. Colorado Open Lands
Through private and public collaborations, creative land conservation, and strategic leadership, Colorado Open Lands seeks to protect the state’s important open lands and rapidly vanishing natural heritage.
19. Conservation Lands Foundation
Through collaborations, lobbying, and education, the Conservation Lands Foundation seeks to preserve, grow, and improve the National Conservation Lands.
Icast serves communities in ways that increase capacity locally while also bringing about economic, environmental, and social benefits. We create and put into practice market-based remedies for the problems that underprivileged and rural communities face.
21. Conservation Legacy (SCC)
In Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico, the Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC) runs conservation service programs that enable people to make a positive difference in their own lives, their communities, and the environment.
22. The WILD Foundation
The WILD Foundation works across cultures and frontiers to protect wilderness while also serving the needs of human populations. They do this by partnering with local people, organizations, the corporate sector, and governments to develop innovative and practical projects.
23. Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE)
To increase energy and water efficiency and contribute to the environment and the growth of a more sustainable economy, CORE collaborates with organizations, people, utilities, and governmental bodies.
24. Rocky Mountain Youth Corps
In NW Colorado, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps will take the lead in offering a variety of options for youth to engage in outdoor-based service and education for their development, respect, and responsibility to themselves, others, and the environment.
As shown in the article above, there are some of these environmental organizations that have been making an impact for more than 20 years. You can do well to be a part of this positive impact on Earth. One way you can do this is by donating any of these nonprofits; another is to volunteer.
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A passion-driven environmentalist by heart. Lead content writer at EnvironmentGo.
I strive to educate the public about the environment and its problems.
It has always been about nature, we ought to protect not destroy.