Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership

Major funding needs for 2020 are: 1) Future Fund providing for flexible sustaining support and priority projects 2) Programs (especially for youth) to experience and enjoy nature along the trail. 3) Volunteer programs to support habitat restoration. 4) New trail enhancements such as murals, signage

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Future Fund

Class

Community Development 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Adults
Children (4-12 years)
Families
General population

Description

In 2020, we're celebrating our 20th year as a 501 c 3 nonprofit, and we're planning for another 20 years in the community. With your gift support we're able to restore and preserve natural species along Sand Creek, promote volunteerism, provide environmental education through outreach to kids, and work on trail improvement. The Future Fund is a flexible fund meant to tackle projects of greatest importance to the Greenway and the sustainability and future of our organization. The first project is to create a mural along the former runway tunnel wall on the site of Denver's original airport, with a design by artist Yulia Avgustinovich, depicting the wildlife and natural resources of the Sand Creek corridor.

Donors to the Future Fund with gifts of $100 or more may receive a special neck gaiter with the mural design. Fair market value of the neck gaiter is $18; a $100 gift would result in a tax-deductible charitable donation of $82. Please consult your tax advisor if you have questions.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Trail Enhancements including Signage and Murals

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Adults
Families
General population
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

Provides a way for members of the public to participate in creating a better Greenway--from new signage and other trail amenities such as public art and murals.

Donors to trail enhancements with gifts of $100 or more may receive a special neck gaiter with the mural design depicting wildlife of the Greenway by Yulia Avgustinovich. Fair market value of the neck gaiter is $18; a $100 gift would result in a tax-deductible charitable donation of $82. Please consult your tax advisor if you have questions.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We are working to install our first mural on the Greenway to celebrate the wildlife species that live in the Sand Creek corridor. This will also create a teaching tool for our environmental education programming, a meeting place and an outdoor classroom along the former runway tunnel walls of the original Denver airport. We are working closely with city staff in Aurora, Denver and Commerce City to create new signage series, including mile markers for the Greenway trail.

Neighborhood Partners Environmental Team Volunteer Program

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Families
General Public
General Public/Unspecified
Outdoor Recreationists
Wildlife Enthusiasts

Description

The Neighborhood Partners Environmental Team (NPET) is SCRGP's monthly volunteer group. This volunteer team consists of neighbors from Commerce City, Denver and Aurora. We partner with Westerly Creek and the Bluff Lake Nature Center and rotate the location of each month's event.

The Neighborhood Partners team meets on many Saturday mornings throughout the year from 10 a.m. until noon. Volunteer activities include removing invasive species, picking up trash, planting native trees and shrubs, removing graffiti, and repairing the trail. The team is open to everyone in the community and is a vital resource for improving and maintaining the Greenway.

SCRGP hosts volunteer projects for corporate groups, students, and local organizations.

We would like to thank Xcel Energy and Suncor as well as individual donors for monetary support of the Neighborhood Partners Environmental Team/Volunteer work days, plus all our volunteers who provide sweat equity and enthusiasm for the program.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We consider the volunteer program to be a success based on the amount of volunteers who join us for our clean-up events. Since starting the program in March of 2011, we have hosted over 150 volunteer events with more than 1500 volunteers! Our NPET program has roughly 30-40 volunteers show up each month, although in this year of COVID, we're following public health directives and working with much smaller groups of volunteers.

Each year the number of volunteers, volunteer hours, and work accomplished has increased steadily. Because SCRGP does not have a maintenance crew on some sections of trail, these volunteer hours are essential for making sure that the Greenway is free of trash, weeds, and graffiti.

In the past year, we've added "appreciation" component to our volunteer days, including presentations by experts from the Butterfly Pavilion, American Birding Association, and Denver Botanic Gardens; plus we've prepared handouts and information about natural history topics related to the Greenway. This adds extra value to the experience of the volunteer.

We receive significant positive feedback from our volunteers. Many volunteers and neighbors thank us for providing volunteer events in their own community. In a recent volunteer survey, a volunteer complemented SCRGP saying, "I've volunteered on a couple of projects, and they've been very well run and organized. I think you do a great job making the projects accessible and accomplishable for volunteers."

Giving neighbors a way to improve their community not only helps the SCRG become a cleaner and safer trail system, but gives these neighbors a sense of community pride.

Next Generation Partners of the Sand Creek Regional Greenway

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)
Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General
Hispanics
Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged/Indigent

Description

The Next Generation Partners is a youth outreach program for low income, at-risk pre-K, elementary, middle and high school students who live in Commerce City, northeast Denver (including Montbello and Northeast Park Hill) and northwest Aurora. The program provides students with a unique blend of outdoor environmental education, exposure to careers in the natural resources field, volunteer opportunities, and recreational activities on the Greenway throughout the year.

The Next Generation Partners program officially began in February 2011, and has grown every year.

For many of the students who participate in our program, their visits to the Greenway are some of the only field trips that they will attend all year, and one of the few opportunities they have to spend time in nature.

In the latter part of 2017, the program became part of a GoWILD, Generation Wild coalition of environmental partners providing environmental education and activities to children in the northeast metro area. Sand Creek's primary service was extended to several Boys & Girls Clubs: although we provided additional services to the COMPASS program in Aurora, Parks and Recreation programs for Commerce City, private and public schools and scout groups.

We reached more than 3,300 children last year, and we're expanding our reach by connecting with additional schools, youth programs and Boys & Girls Clubs facilities. We're responding to a need by building a "clothes closet" after we learned some kids are hesitant to enjoy the outdoors for a lack of clothing they can get dirty.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We have received very positive feedback about the Next Generation Partners program from the students we work with, as well as their parents, supervisors, and teachers.

Perhaps the biggest benefit that most of these students receive is an exposure to nature. We worked with several middle school students who were terrified of being on the Greenway; one girl thought that a bear was going to eat her. After spending multiple sessions on the Greenway, it was obvious how much more comfortable the students were with being outside in nature.

We are developing a more robust evaluation method that will monitor the educational gains students have made, as well as tracking changes in physical activity level and attitudes about the environment.

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.