Our Programs

Underserved, culturally and racially diverse youth do not have the same opportunities to succeed and thrive as other youth. ELK serves to provide students with the chance to explore their passions for science and the outdoors and achieve success in all aspects of life through supportive, hands-on mentoring.

83% of the students that ELK works with in-school programs, mostly in Denver, Commerce City and Aurora, qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. In Denver Youth Naturally (DYN), ELK’s core program, 2022 demographics are broken down in the following approximate percentages:

45% Hispanic/Latino
27% African American
22% Multiracial
1% Asian/Pacific Islander
0% Native American
5% Caucasian

Through Learning Environmental Activities for Families (LEAF), ELK’s family-based program, ELK encourages parents to experience the outdoors with their children. Parents are invited to attend all ELK activities.

As an additional source of support for students, ELK’s Youth in Natural Resources (YNR) program offers leadership development, mentoring and one-to-one assistance as students prepare for college. To date, ELK has helped secure more than $1.1 million in scholarships for students to attend college.

Learn More About Our Programs

School-Based Programs

ELK offers a selection of science and natural resource programs to grades K-12. All programs are correlated to CO Academic Standards and Next Generation Science Standards and model effective teaching practices.

Denver Youth Naturally

Denver Youth Naturally is for students 8-14 years old, and is all about outdoor experiences, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and career exploration.

Youth in Natural Resources

Youth in Natural Resources (YNR) encourages youth, ages 14-25, to explore career options, gain real-work experience in environmental sciences and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), be successful in high school, and pursue higher education.


Our family program, Learning Environmental Activities for Families (LEAF), is for all ages and enables family members to enjoy healthy outdoor activities with their ELK student(s) while establishing strong family bonds and strengthening the support system for students to succeed

Urban Rangers

The Urban Ranger program is a youth employment opportunity that provides extensive educational and professional development experiences to underserved and underrepresented youth from the Denver metropolitan area in addition to increased hands-on learning for youth in our community.