Schools and Outdoor Learning Environments (SOLE)

SOLE is designed to increase interest and participation in the outdoors. We connect Colorado 4th grade students and their families to local environmental education programs and outdoor locations.

We do this by:

  • Providing field trip opportunities and access to transportation to take 4th grade students on field trips.

  • Providing in-class programs, curriculum support, and professional development for teachers and partners.

  • Facilitating opportunities for students and their families to connect with partner programs and opportunities to recreate outdoors.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife's Schools and Outdoor Learning Environments (SOLE) program began in 2013 as a pilot program funded by Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO)​ with one simple mission:  

Connect kids and their families to the out​doors!

The program began with fourth grade classes in two schools: Pennock Elementary (Brighton) and Roxborough Intermediate School (Littleton). 

Since that time the program has expanded across Colorado into 53 elementary schools for the current school year. Schools have been added to the program in partnership with the GOCO School​ Yard Initiative​ Grant Program and through recommendations by CPW field staff.​  For the current school year, SOLE is not expanding in number of schools but rather continuing to work with current SOLE schools and growing the programming offered to these schools.

SOLE School 4th Grade Classes Get To:

  • ​Participate in three fully-funded field trips selected by the teachers to augment what they are already teaching. Teachers are asked to select a trip from each of these three categories:

    • Colorado State Park or other CPW property

    • The ​History Colorado Center​ or affiliate​ museum

    • Partner organizations offering outdoor field trip opportunities

  • Have a Family Nature Night at their school. CPW and our partners bring activities, food, prizes and fun for a night of exploring fun outdoor opportunities.

  • Experience in-class programs from CPW staff and our partner organizations.

  • Explore their creative side in the annual SOLE Student Art Contest.

SOLE Also Provides:

  • Family events at CPW locations and partner locations

  • Professional development and networking opportunities for teachers, CPW staff, and our partners

  • Basic Archery Instructor certification for PE teachers and archery equipment provided for the entire school through the Colorado Archery in the Schools program.

  • Program evaluation surveys and focus groups during and after program participation

School Commitment:

  • Work with CPW and partner organization staff to schedule services (field trips, classroom visits, and family nature nights) for participating classrooms.

  • Follow CPW funding guidelines and ensure your school is up to date on reimbursements

  • Select programs and field trips that best correlate with in-school curriculum.

  • Participate in agreed program components.

  • Participate in end of school year teacher survey and end of year grant survey report.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commitment:

  • Coordinate with schools and partner organizations to ensure smooth communication.

  • Fund program and transportation costs for all SOLE events and programs.

  • Coordinate, offer and fund teacher professional development opportunities.

Map of Current SOLE Schools

SOLE Schools 2019-2020 map.PNG

Contact Information:

Erin Kendall, School Programs Coordinator​

P 720-618-1893 or 720-666-9941 Email: erin.kendall@state.co.us

or  dnr_cpwsole@state.co.us

Thank you for making SOLE happen!