An Eco-School in Vail?

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine

Family Vacations, Summer

An Eco-School in Vail?
Summer classes your kids will want to attend

Happily, Colorado's Vail Valley isn't entirely consumed by golf courses — yet. And residents are doing their best to preserve any remaining land that hasn't already turned a suspicious-looking shade of green.

Enter the Gore Range Natural Science School, a new nonprofit educational center for grades one through 12 that's housed in a 1937 red-brick schoolhouse in the town of Redcliff, nine miles south of Vail. Modeled after Wyoming's Teton Science School, GRNSS was the brainchild of Kim Langmaid, a naturalist who grew up in Vail and felt a strong urge to teach local children the importance of the Eagle River watershed as it becomes more and more developed.

During the school year, GRNSS is a hands-on complement to Eagle County schools' science curriculums. This summer, however, GRNSS will open its doors to vacationing kids, teaching Radical Rocks, Stalking the Wild, and Creek Critters and Water Waders for third- through sixth-graders; Young Women in Science for seventh- through ninth-graders; and Art and Literature in Nature for tenth- through twelfth-graders. Ranging in length from three to ten days, courses cost approximately $65 per day. And though kids may dread the thought of science-related activities during their vacation, most will come away wanting to be the next Rachel Carson. As 15-year-old Liz Spanel put it, "Missing one day of GRNSS was like missing a whole week of normal school." Call GRNSS at 970-827-9725.

— Stephanie Gregory

Copyright 1999, Outside magazine

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