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200+ community members reached at SPREE events

“The staff was great and not only informative, but also supportive. “
-Cory Elementary teacher

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South Platte River Environmental Education

For over 40 years, The Greenway Foundation has introduced tens of thousands of children to the South Platte River through its SPREE program. SPREE aims to develop a positive relationship between the South Platte River and Denver area youth through school excursions, day camps, weekend events, internships, and summer employment. 

Over 2000 students attended in-person field trips held in over 20 schoolyards

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SPREE Excursions

Understanding the current complexities and changing realities of the classroom, SPREE field trips took place in each school’s outdoor space in the fall. Three new age-specific excursions were created for students in ECE through 5th grade. These hands-on experiences introduced students to the River and their natural environment through fun and engaging activities that teach science, history, and the importance of the River to the city and its residents. 

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“Of all the camps in the world… this one is my favorite!“
-School Break camper

School Break Camps

SPREE hosted School Break Camps for students 6 years old to 5th grade at Johnson Habitat Park for fun and educational days filled with games, crafts, and adventures. When Denver Public Schools are out... SPREE is in! With themes like Animal Senses, Things with Wings, and Prehistoric Pandemonium campers were sure to have a blast completing our beaver boss, Chompers' missions.

200+ campers attended SPREE Summer Camp over 10 weeks

“Our kids had an excellent time at their SPREE camps this year. It was a terrific experience for all of us! Thank you for a great summer!“
-Summer Camp parent

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4 families received free fishing gear

325 gallons of trash & 585 invasive snails removed from the South Platte River 

SPREE Family Events

Stewardship Days are where families can work together in caring for Denver's green spaces and the South Platte River.  50 participants worked together on projects such as removing invasive mud snails from the river and picking up trash in and around Johnson Habitat Park. In the fall,  SPREE, along with Denver Parks and Recreation, and over 50 adults and children came together for a fun morning of picking up trash in Globeville Landing Park along our River, collecting about 325 gallons of trash total. Art on the River was held in Shoemaker plaza, where 40 groups of children and adults stopped by to learn about SPREE programming, ask questions about the South Platte River, and receive free craft materials to make right there along the River.

300 books were given to the community in our Little SPREE Library

16 River Rangers were hired as interns this year

Over 100 teens attended GLC events

High School River Rangers

Despite the uncertain year, The High School River Ranger Program was still able to have awesome (and safe) spring internships and summer river ranger positions contributing to our SPREE programs and learning how to be environmental educators! 12 River Ranger Interns from Denver area High Schools joined the SPREE team to learn and create environmental education content. 6 Summer River Rangers worked on professional development, stewardship projects along the South Platte River, environmental education workshops, community science, and more. They even interviewed natural resource professionals in Colorado & wrote blogs for the CAEE website!

Greenway Leadership Corps

Greenway Leadership Corps (GLC) quickly adapted to providing free in-person/social distanced events in 2021! High schoolers in and around Denver became River stewards by picking up trash from Denver Parks, restoring wildfire bun areas, trail building, learning about the importance of our mental, physical, and spiritual connection to nature, and so much more!

Summer Camps

Summer 2021 looked different for SPREE than it has in the past. We were able to run very limited outdoor camps this summer after our submitted application was granted by CDPHE. In these weeks of camp, we required masks and social distancing, but there was no shortage of fun while learning about the environment through game play and River exploration.

80 families received free crafts they could create outside

SPREE in the Community

SPREE participated in and led many community events this year. These events were free for all participating families, and all encouraged families to get outside and create connections with nature, whether it be through an arts and crafts project, going fishing, or cleaning up a local park.