Yampatika’s Environmental Learning Center at Legacy Ranch provides a rural backdrop for cutting edge environmental educational programs for children and adults. At the Ranch, we strive to:
- make environmental education universally accessible;
- create a demonstration site where people can learn about the history, societal significance and practical aspects of sustainable living;
The site is home to our popular summer camps for youth ages 5-14, school field trips and service learning opportunities. Adults and families can visit the site for a self-guided walking tour, or join one of our talented Naturalists to snowshoe through the extensive hay meadows that are preserved in perpetuity through a conservation easement.
Since opening our doors in 2009, we have won many awards for our efforts to breathe life into this historic ranch and integrate sustainable technologies into its operation.
- 2011 Sustained Contributor Award, Yampa Valley Sustainability Council
- 2010 State Honor Award, Colorado Preservation, Inc.
- 2009 New Pioneer of the Yampa Valley, Community Alliance of the Yampa Valley
The Legacy Ranch was homesteaded by a woman, Elizabeth Hutchinson, in 1899. It changed hands a number of times until 1977 when the Yampa Valley Land & Cattle company bought it. In May of 1999, the Ranch became the property of the City of Steamboat Springs. It was part of the Legacy Project which brought together people with varied interests and one common goal: to conserve the unique natural areas and agricultural lands along the Yampa River while managing recreation and protecting biologically sensitive features and private property.
Today the City owns the Ranch and leases the grazing land and meadows to Paul Orton and the Ranch complex to Yampatika. In 2000, the Ranch was placed on the Routt County’s register of historical places. Yampatika opened the Environmental Learning Center at Legacy Ranch in 2009.