The High Plains Environmental Center works to educate communities to become replicable "living laboratories" which demonstrate restorative examples of land-stewardship, native plants, and wildlife habitat.
The High Plains Environmental Center (HPEC) is located within Centerra, a 3,000-acre mixed-use development in Loveland, Colorado. HPEC consist of 275 acres of wildlife habitat including the surfaces and shorelines of Houts Reservoir and Equalizer Lake. In addition HPEC is contracted by other Centerra landowners to maintain an additional 135 acres of open space.
Like many conservation areas, HPEC is constantly striking a balance between recreation, conservation and education. Studies have shown that exposure to nature has immediate, measurable impact on our physical and emotional well-being. Providing public education about the environment is also a core value of HPEC, and we believe that it is essential to allow children access to natural areas. Since Richard Louve's Last Child in the Woods (2006,) which links what the author identifies as "Nature Deficit Disorder" to ADD/ADHD, parents and educators have focused on the necessity of eco-literacy and allowing children unstructured time in nature, in order to promote the development of critical thinking skills.
Regarding the development of a conservation ethic, if children and adults do not create a personal connection with open spaces and lakes full of fish, frogs and birds it is likely that they will become advocates for their stewardship and preservation. The preservation of Colorado's unique natural beauty within our growing urban areas provides all of the above, as well as wildlife corridors that are essential for foraging, breeding and migration patterns that are critical for survival.
Please take a look at our Letters of Support by clicking the "Documents" tab.