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 completed its 126,000 square foot addition in early 2014 on time, on budget, and with no debt thanks to successful fundraising and the generosity of our community.

The new Morgridge Family Exploration Center opened to the public in February 2014, which was followed by the launch of several new complementary education programs. Field Trip Adventures for PreK-grade 8 school groups are now available and are designed to maximize the learning impact of the onsite field trip experience. Science on the Fly, a 10-minute interactive and fun theatrical show geared toward families with children, now takes place daily in the new Science Atrium.

In June 2014, the Museum opened the all-new Discovery Zone permanent exhibition for early learners. Nearly twice the size of the old Discovery Zone gallery, the new space engages young children in open-ended play and provides an early exposure to science. The new Discovery Zone welcomed over 100,000 children and their families in the first two months. The Museum's investment in early childhood education, which is innovative among natural history museums and science centers, is helping to establish DMNS as an important partner in advancing science education for early learners.

This year, the Museum is doing even more to increase access for low-income and other underserved audiences through offering more opportunities for free admission. New this year, the Museum launched the Cultural Pass Program in partnership with Denver Public Library and Aurora Public Library, which enables families to check out free memberships from the library. DMNS is also participating in the MY Denver card, which gives free admission to all Denver youth. Through the 5 by 5 Program all children and their families from Head Start and Early Head Start 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. We continue to provide 12 SCFD Community Free Days per year, free general admission to all school groups, and many other programs are free as well.

Now that the Rocky Mountain Science Collections Center is fully constructed, collections staff have begun the process of rehousing nearly 1.5 million objects and artifacts into new collections storage equipment within this state-of-the-art facility. This systematic process, which will vastly improve the preservation and accessibility of these treasures that the Museum holds in the public trust, is expected to take up to two years to complete.

The Museum has received several recent accolades, including Charity Navigator's highest four-star rating for four consecutive years. ColoradoBiz Magazine picked DMNS as one of Colorado's 50 greenest companies and the U.S. Green Building Council certified the new addition LEED Platinum, its highest level of Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design. Westword named the new public art, "Iridescent Cloud," on display on the new addition's Boettcher Plaza, best new public art in Denver. Also this year, the Museum received a Tourism Star Award from the Denver & Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame.

Finally, DMNS has updated its strategic plan. The plan outlines new goals, measurable objectives, and actionable initiatives for the entire organization that will set a five- to ten-year course of renewed commitment to serving our community. The strategic plan is described in more detail within this profile.

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 2013, the Museum served over 1.35 million people both onsite and offsite, a third of whom were served for free or reduced cost through scholarships, Free Days, and a variety of free programs and passes. The Museum's 15 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, 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 Denver Museum of Nature & Science 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

For generations, the Museum has been committed to serving our community and being the catalyst that ignites people's passion for nature and science. Thanks to generous community support, the Museum has tackled enormous challenges so it may continue to grow and serve Denver and the region. Construction on the new Morgridge Family Exploration Center and Rocky Mountain Science Collection Center was completed early this year. Within these walls a fresh approach to discovery is encouraging our visitors to newly engage with our amazing world, and nearly 1.5 million artifacts and specimens have a consolidated "forever" home. Schoolchildren fill the halls, exploration studios, and exhibits. Professional and citizen scientists are conducting new and engaging research. There is much for visitors, educators, grandparents, parents, adults, and children to look forward to experiencing at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

Needs Statement

Your support through ColoradoGives 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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