Youth Ecological Literacy Program (YELP)

GARNA strongly believes that all students deserve access to outdoor experiences to learn and build skills while gaining a personal connection to nature, at no or low costs to students and school districts.  9 out of 10 YELP programs are free to participants and funded through GARNA memberships, grants, and sponsorships.

Participation in YELP strengthens young people’s connectedness to the natural world and inspires them to practice taking care of the environment and communicate these concepts to peers and family.  YELP energizes school curriculum by adding a hands-on outdoor learning component to enhance teachers’ curriculum while state standards.

Through environmental education, GARNA envisions a generation that is environmentally literate and makes choices that support well-being of healthy ecosystems in the Upper Arkansas Valley.


YELP History: 

YELP was first developed from a grant from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and we have received financial support from the US Forest Service (USFS), the Town of Buena Vista and other sources. Representatives from the USFS, BLM, CO Parks and Wildlife, Trout Unlimited, Southwest Conservation Corps and others assist in implementing the program.

Want to help?

You can provide financial support by joining GARNA and/or by providing a cash donation. An individual membership at $25 pays for one student to go on 2 all day field trips and benefit from 4 classroom visits with the GARNA Youth Ecological Literacy Program.

Do you have a background in the natural sciences or just find it rewarding to work outside with kids? We’re always looking for volunteers to help us with field trips and other activities.


GARNA is the Arkansas River Valley’s only local broadly focused conservation and educational institution with non-profit status. GARNA is supported by membership fees…will you join us?

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