Environmental Education

In 2010, the Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership began our first youth outreach program, called the Next Generation Partners of the Sand Creek Regional Greenway (NextGen).

NextGen is focused on getting out into nature. Our goal is to provide accessible and equitable environmental education and outdoor programming for local youth in the Denver metro area. We aim to inspire youth and their families along the Greenway to access the nature in their neighborhoods. We provide hands-on, interactive environmental education workshops and service learning/volunteer opportunities. All while having fun!

In 2021 our NextGen program served more than 900 youth. In 2022 we hope to get even more youth outdoors. Our network is always growing, as we are continuously expanding our outreach to the many diverse neighborhoods along the Greenway. Our current partners include Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver, Aurora Public Schools, Denver Public Schools, Academy 360, Women’s Wilderness, Compositive Primary, New Legacy Charter School, and more! 

For many of the students who participate in our program, their visits to the Greenway are the first opportunity they have had to fully immerse themselves in the outdoor classroom. 

The SCRGP works with many community partners, agencies, and other environmental organizations to make NextGen possible. Some of these organizations include Aurora’s Morrison Nature Center, Bluff Lake Nature Center, The Urban Farm, Hardt Family Cyclery, Second Chance Bike Shop, Eagle Point Recreation Center, and more. We would like to thank the Xcel Energy Foundation, the cities of Denver, Aurora and Commerce City, and others for funding our NextGen program.

If your school, community organization, or non-profit are interested in partnering with the NextGen program please contact our Education Program Manager at esmith@sandcreekgreenway.org.

Teacher and Student Memories on the Greenway

We asked some of the students and teachers involved in our program this year what their experience has been like in their local outdoor classroom. 


What is your favorite part about going to the Greenway? 

“I like to see all the nature, learn about new things, take a break from school, and get to explore.”-Roberta (2nd grade student)

“You get to see all the animals!”-Roma (1st grade student)




What has been your favorite activity or memory on the Greenway?

“Walking around the whole park.” -Jack (2nd grade student)

“Looking for bugs in the water!” -Riley (2nd grade student)


What is the value of taking your students to the Greenway?

“It provides an avenue to dive more in depth into what we are learning in the classroom.” -Tamara (teacher)

“Learning should not just be in the classroom, and this gives them the opportunity to do that.” -Olivia (teacher)


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Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership

About the Greenway

The Sand Creek Regional Greenway is a jewel in the necklace of trails that has made Denver a national model for linked trail systems.

This 14-mile public greenway connects the High Line Canal in Aurora, Colorado with the South Platte River Greenway in Commerce City. Along the way, it passes through northeast Denver and the new Stapleton community.

The Sand Creek Regional Greenway is open every day from dawn until dusk. Runners, walkers, nature viewers, horseback riders, and leashed dogs are encouraged to enjoy the trail. We invite you to become acquainted with our wilderness in the city.


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