Generation Wild NEMC Project

FFRWR is the host of a unique project – the Generation Wild Northeast Metro Coalition, funded by a grant from the Generation Wild program of Great Outdoors Colorado. Click here to find out more about Generation Wild NEMC and click here to find out more about GOCO’s Generation Wild program.

The vision of the Northeast Metro Coalition is that every young person – wherever they live and regardless of resources – has abundant opportunities to connect and engage with the outdoors in ways that are inspirational, transformational, and meaningful to them and will cultivate a new generation of stewards of nature.

Full group cropped June 30 2016

In 2018, the FFRWR became the host of a major grant from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Generation Wild grant program (, the Generation Wild Northeast Metro Coalition (Generation Wild NEMC). Five governments and seven nonprofits work together to provide opportunities for youth to get outdoors and to pursue jobs and careers in the outdoors.

The Generation Wild NEMC report is available here. Go to the Generation Wild NEMC web site for more information:

Every week in four neighborhoods surrounding the RMANWR, youth get to enjoy and work in the outdoors. Northwest Aurora, Montbello, Northeast Park Hill, and Commerce City youth go rock climbing, snowboarding, hiking, and learn about the environment from the Generation Wild teams.

GenWild-Northeast Metro Coalition-Ladybug Logos-01

GenWild-Northeast Metro Coalition-Porcupine Logos-02

The Generation Wild government partners are:

Aurora Parks, Recreation and Open Space
Commerce City Parks, Recreation, and Golf
Denver Parks and Recreation
Barr Lake State Park
US FWS at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge

The Generation Wild nonprofit partners are:

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver
Bluff Lake Nature Center
Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK)
Groundwork Denver
Mile High Youth Corps
Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership
The Urban Farm

FFRWR is proud to help fulfill the mission of Generation Wild NEMC.

For more information, contact Kate Kramer, Manager,

Youth getting outdoors at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge and elsewhere is getting noticed by Outside Magazine! See the article below or click here.

These Outdoor Education Programs Are Inspiring the Next Generation of Climate Activists

Outside Magazine | January 5, 2023

After creating local parks and trails with communities across the state for 20 years, Great Outdoors Colorado<> saw that kids were spending less and less time outside. Since 1992, GOCO has been receiving 50 percent of the proceeds from the Colorado Lottery to protect wetlands, rivers, and open spaces. In 2017, GOCO launched the Generation Wild<> initiative with a 29 million dollar investment, “with the intent being that if kids and towns can’t connect to the outdoors, they won’t be compelled to advocate for it in the future,” says executive director Jackie Miller, who helped spearhead the project. GenWild funds central community hubs, which it calls coalitions, that bring families together to not only get outdoors but also imagine new ways of engaging with nature.

Today, there are 12 coalitions across the state, which have collectively reached more than 40,000 youth through programs, jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities. In addition to free community events for all ages, such as trash cleanups in Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge or Pencils in the Park art lessons in Pikes Peak, GenWild has offered 1,598 paid opportunities for kids ages 15 to 22. These include positions leading land stewardship projects on public lands, organizing recreational activities at nature centers, and leading environmental education workshops.

Prior to rolling out GenWild, Miller says GOCO looked at what the barriers were to getting youth outside and gear was top of the list, followed by lack of time and lack of representation. “We knew we had to provide resources,” she says. “Now there are many gear lending libraries such as Get Outdoors Leadville<> at Colorado Mountain College, which is a hub for their Generation Wild activity.” Miller credits part of the program’s success to experiences that allow for bonding with peers, creating a sense of community, and generating personal growth by doing things kids never thought they could.

That has been the case for Jovani, a high school senior from Sheridan, who’s been involved with the program since he was in seventh grade, and has worked in various paid GenWild positions for the past six years. “The people in my community notice the work we do-the gardens, the river cleanups, the rain barrel installations, planting over 40 trees in our neighborhood. I think it gives people hope in our community and more faith in those around us,” says Jovani, who got a tree tattoo to show his love for nature. “I’ll stand up for natural places no matter the cost.” Besides discovering a love of camping and public speaking-despite being an introvert, he points out-Jovani has found a passion for water sampling. “It’s actually quite fun to go into the river and test the quality of the water to make sure that every little organism lives and prospers so that the entire ecosystem is healthy. It helps everyone around us to get this data down so that people can be informed because it impacts us all as a community together,” says Jovani, who was just hired as the water assistant at a GenWild affiliated organization, Groundwork Denver.