Thorne Nature Experience

A nonprofit organization

$107,507 raised by 235 donors

Thorne believes kids grow better in nature and that nature is for everyone! Do you? If so, we need your support! Donate today to help ensure ALL our community's youth discover the wonders of nature and receive the benefits that come from spending time outdoors.


"Thorne has been an amazing experience for our kids. The quality of care and quantity of fun has not been diminished because of COVID. The kids come home happy, tired and played out and looking forward to the next day. We're looking forward to next summer already!"
- Summer Camp Parent

"What a wonderful opportunity Thorne has been to break free of quarantine! To let (Luke) wiggle and giggle and be collaborative with nature. He's had fun making friends and being social again. He understands the way he can be creative with using nature in his own life every day...things we haven't been able to do in months! This has been an awesome experience."
- Summer Camp Parent

"I don't like Thorne nature. I really really really really really really really LOVE it!"
- Noah, Age 6 and 11/12ths

"The instructor engaged the students in every way. Students learned vocabulary and concepts by being actively involved. Students incorporated the learning into their play at recess- that is how exciting the instructor made learning!"
- Resource Room Administrator

"Thorne's mission and programs for children are excellent and are needed now more than ever. I just love what you do and am honored to support Thorne!"
- Thorne EdVenturer Club Member


To build Earth stewardship by providing youth with joyful, hands-on, place-based environmental education experiences that foster an emotional connection to nature.

Background Statement

Thorne Nature Experience, formerly Thorne Ecological Institute, was founded by Dr. Oakleigh Thorne, II in Boulder, Colorado in 1954. During its first three decades, the organization focused on a diverse array of environmental projects ranging from land conservation, to educating governments, businesses, adults, and children locally and nationally about the Principles of Ecology and how these relate to economics, human welfare, and the health of the environment. Since the environmental movement became more mainstream in the 1980's and 90's, there has been significant growth in the number of specialized businesses and nonprofits engaged in the protection of natural areas and conservation of natural resources. In response, Thorne has streamlined its programming to focus on what has always been its core competence, environmental education for Boulder and Denver Metro Area youth. The success of Thorne's natural science programming has led to the development of permanent teaching facilities at Sombrero Marsh in Boulder and Waterton Canyon in Littleton. During the past six decades, Thorne has connected more than 300,000 children and adults to nature and become a nationally recognized leader in the field of environmental education.

Organization Data


Organization name

Thorne Nature Experience

other names

Thorne Nature Experience, Thorne Ecological Institute

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Environment, Education

Organization Size

Large Organization


1466 N. 63rd Street
Boulder, CO 80303

Service areas

Boulder County, CO, US



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