Deborah Purce

Empowering Urban Youth to Protect Colorado's Water Through Conservation Education.

"Environmental Learning for Kids has traditionally  focused on wildlife, ecosystems, and general natural resources science as a framework for its education and youth development programs for underserved youth in Denver. The purpose of this project is to develop a new and comprehensive water resources program area utilizing ELK's existing program model. The project will build water conservation partnerships and increase ELK's staff expertise related to the issues, science, teaching strategies, and socio-cultural implications of water supply and quality protection in Colorado. With this improved organizational capacity in place, the project will develop and deliver programming on water conservation through ELK's school-based programs, outreach events, and ELK's core program of year-round, experiential, science-based learning activities. Through water conservation education, ELK youth will develop a water stewardship ethic, become better science students, build leadership skills, and learn about pathways to study and work in water and other natural resources conservation fields.

Goals: Develop a water conservation education area within ELK's existing program portfolio as a framework for cultivating science knowledge, stewardship ethics, and interest in water related fields of study and careers (not just jobs) among youth and communities traditionally underrepresented in these areas. Cultivate the next generation of environmental leaders who reflect the demographics and diversity of our present and future society and who strive, through their studies, work, and civic activities to enhance and protect Colorado's water supply and water quality to the benefit of human and nonhuman biodiversity."

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