FRUITA, Colo.- - Colorado Canyons Association and the Bureau of Land Management host almost 900 third grade students at McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area.
The event lasts over two weeks, with four days being the Nature Knowledge Days. Students explore eight different educational stops along the trail. "We're engaging kids in our public lands. Because this is a great resource in our area and for our country, that many people don't know about," says Rob Gay, the Education Director for the Colorado Canyons Association.
The children are exposed to topics ranging from geology to biology. Many of the students say they like getting outside to learn. "I like to be out in the nature and I learn new things," says Scotty Lambert, a third grader at Clifton Elementary School.
The goal of this educational session is to instill environmental values in children at a young age, according to officials. "We think that by bringing kids out here to the National Conservation Areas that eventually, over time, they'll learn these places are here and come out on their own time and be environmentally conscious citizens," says Paul Sever, the Outdoor Recreation Planner for the Bureau of Land Management.
Each year of this event, around 60% of the students say the trip is their first excursion onto public lands.