Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Your support helps the Museum (1) provide fun, engaging science experiences for the entire community; (2) advance scientific research; (3) preserve and share the rare artifacts and specimens in our collections; and (4) host world class temporary and permanent exhibitions for the Denver metro and Colorado communities.

If you would like to purchase or renew a membership, please visit our membership page, We are unable to process memberships through ColoradoGives.

Organizational Overview

Denver Museum of Nature and Science
2001 Colorado Blvd
Denver, CO 80205
(1948)Colorado Museum of Natural History
Be a catalyst! Ignite our community's passion for nature and science.

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is more dynamic and more accessible than ever. Following are a few examples from across the Museum:

More Free Access: The Museum has recently multiplied its efforts to increase access for low-income and other underserved audiences by offering more opportunities for free admission. Eighty-eight percent of the school audience of nearly 300,000 was served for free or reduced cost last year. We now offer the Cultural Pass Program in partnership with Denver and Aurora public libraries, which enables families to check out free museum memberships. Participating libraries are located in some of the metro area's most diverse neighborhoods. DMNS is also participating in an expansion of the MY Denver Card, offered through the City's Office of Children's Affairs, which gives free admission to Denver youth during select out-of-school times throughout the year. We participate in the City of Denver's 5 by 5 Program, which enables all children and their families from Head Start and Early Head Start to visit for free. Through our participation in the Blue Star Museums program, we provide free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families all summer long. Additionally, our military membership discount program enables all military families to purchase memberships at half price.

Through other community-centered work, the Museum is also examining barriers other than cost for underserved audiences and inviting our community to help us understand the solutions to those barriers.

Making (Ice Age) History: The Research and Collections team recently wrapped up the science, publications, and outreach related to the 2010 discovery of an internationally significant Ice Age fossil site in Snowmass Village, Colorado. This project represents the largest scientific undertaking in the history of DMNS and arguably ranks among the largest paleontological undertakings in U.S. history. Countless volunteers and students contributed to the science. The Snowmastodon Project culminated with the November 2014 publication of a special volume in the peer-reviewed journal Quaternary Research that contained 14 articles on the science behind the project by 47 authors.

Guest Amenities: The Museum's guest amenities are just as important as our exhibits to the guest experience. Many improvements are being made to these non-gallery spaces and experiences to make every aspect of a guest's experience enjoyable, easy to navigate, inclusive for a range of needs, and accessible. For example, we have already made a switch in our food services to healthier and locally sourced food. Because the Museum experience begins before our guests even enter our doors, we have long invested in programs to encourage staff and volunteers to not park onsite, leaving more spaces for visitors and alleviating parking frustration. We are also building on the improved access to the outdoors afforded by the new Boettcher Plaza and outdoor studio to better integrate with City Park and the natural world.

Girls and Science: The Museum is increasing focus on getting girls inspired to pursue science. In February 2015 DMNS hosted a Girls and Science event with CBS4, which featured a variety of Science Clubhouses where girls met women scientists, tried their hands at science experiments, and learned about many diverse opportunities a future in science, technology, engineering, art, and math can afford. We anticipate more community events around girls and science throughout the year. A staff-led affinity group called Skirts in Science is bringing additional opportunities for girls to meet other women scientists and learn about how they began their careers.

Discovery Outpost: In 2015 DMNS is reimagining and rebooting offsite programs for schools and community engagement. Just as our onsite school group experiences were reinvented as Field Trip Adventures in 2014, we will be adopting a whole new look and feel for the offsite experience that is more streamlined, relevant, and impactful. Products could include a pop-up museum on wheels or traveling facilitated exhibits allowing for open-ended and co-created experiences, enhanced by performances and storytelling by our enactors and educators. Our approach to program development will be design-centered and audience-driven. We have interviewed teachers, administrators, and students from 13 schools within the SCFD counties. These interviews enabled us to learn more about our audience needs before we begin to build new programming.

Awards and Accolades: Colorado was named one of the top 10 states for LEED by the US Green Building Council in 2014 largely because of our Morgridge Family Exploration Center wing ( The Museum received the Tourism Star Award from the Denver and Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame this year for its Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed and Whales: Giants of the Deep temporary exhibitions.

Impact Statement

Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, DMNS brings the wonder of science education and scientific discovery into the lives of people of all ages. In 2014, the Museum served over 1.43 million people both onsite and offsite, a third of whom were served for free through a variety of programs and passes, and an additional third of whom were served for reduced cost. The Museum's 16 PhD curators focus their research and outreach around six core content areas: anthropology, geology, health sciences, paleontology, space sciences, and zoology. The Museum's collections number nearly 1.5 million objects, including an extensive library/archives and education demonstration collection. In addition to its award-winning permanent exhibitions and historic diorama halls, DMNS brings the world to Denver through temporary exhibitions, IMAX films, and planetarium shows. Our education and community programs reach broad audiences through Field Trip Adventures, adult programs and field trips, camps and camp-ins, teacher professional development, children's workshops, and outreach.

Background Statement

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science provides rich opportunities for informal science education through offering a variety of exhibitions, programs, and activities to help visitors experience the natural wonders of Colorado, Earth, and the universe. Founded in 1900 by a group of Denver citizens interested in preserving the natural history of the Rocky Mountain region, the Museum has grown to become one of the largest natural history museums in the western United States. The Museum continues to evolve, expanding in both size and breadth of activities, as its exhibits, programs, research, and collections offer endless opportunities for discovery.

Executive Director Statement

Since opening its doors more than 100 years ago, the Museum has grown to meet the changing interests of the community. We see every day how the informal science education the Museum provides-both through the hands-on, inquiry-based opportunities for students and professional development for teachers-makes possible experiences that they could not have within the walls of the traditional classroom. These experiences spark interests, and that spark can lead to a lifelong love of science. We are integral partners with our local school districts in creating a scientifically literate community. As the largest natural history museum in the Rocky Mountain region, our scientists serve as subject matter experts; they are entrusted to study, analyze, preserve, and educate.

Board Chair/President Statement

This is a memorable point in time for the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. The Museum's new wing-including the Morgridge Family Exploration Center and the Avenir Collections Center-is now open for the community's enjoyment. The new wing has literally changed our way of doing business and greatly enhanced our capacity to serve and inspire, with updated field trip experiences for today's schools, space to bring even more temporary exhibitions to Denver, and a state-of-the-art "forever" home for our timeless science collections.

These extraordinary milestones are the culmination of a strategic plan that guided the Museum for nearly 10 years. Our new strategic vision is characterized by a commitment to being a leading community resource here, there, and everywhere, whether on Colorado Boulevard, at schools and public gatherings, or on a digital platform, accessible to all. Our fresh outlook guiding where we go next will focus on being relevant to everyone in our community and on enjoying and sustaining our natural world.

Needs Statement

Your support through Colorado Gives Day helps the Museum (1) provide fun, engaging science experiences for the entire community; (2) advance scientific research; (3) preserve and make accessible the rare artifacts and specimens in the Museum's vast collections; and (4) host world class temporary and permanent exhibitions for the Denver metro and Colorado communities.

If you would like to purchase or renew a Museum membership, please visit the membership page on our website, We are unable to process memberships through ColoradoGives.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.

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