Generation Wild is a statewide effort motivating Colorado’s kids and families to get outside more often. Why? Because kids grow better outside. A coalition in Colorado Springs has taken the movement’s youth-and-outdoors mission and run with it, producing amazing results for the local community. The group, called Generation Wild of the Pikes Peak Region (GWPPR), formed to offer new outdoor experiences for kids and families in Southeast Colorado and inspire a love and appreciation for the natural beauty of their hometown and nearby outdoor spaces.

Generation Wild of the Pikes Peak Region.  Photos by moxie82inc.
Generation Wild of the Pikes Peak Region. Photos by moxie82inc.

To date, the GOCO board has committed $2.4 million of funding to the coalition through its fiscal agent, the City of Colorado Springs, to support the City and all partners in the broader collaborative. GWPPR works with community-based organizations to bring to life a full spectrum of programs driving toward the primary goal: reconnect kids with nature and get them to experience the incredible benefits right outside their door.

Through free and affordable programs, younger kids explore nature close to home or at their District 11 and Harrison School District 2 schools, and older kids experience adventure in Colorado’s backcountry. The coalition also provides paid internships and positions at partner organizations, providing young people the opportunity to develop teaching skills, learn about natural resources, and gain the skills needed to become camp counselors.

GOCO funding also supports GWPPR in strengthening its community-led model to ensure the coalition is responsive to community needs and providing additional training for partners in topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion so they can better connect with community members.

Coalition partners include Catamount Institute, Rocky Mountain Field Institute, Kids on Bikes, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Colorado Springs Community Centers, UpaDowna, YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region, Mile High Youth Corps, Fountain Creek Watershed District, the Southeast RISE Coalition, Hillside Connection, and Blackpackers.