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Over the course of its 37-year history, The Greenway Foundation has introduced tens of thousands of children to the South Platte River through its SPREE program. On SPREE excursions these children learn about the river, its role in Denver’s history, and that the South Platte River was, and still is, Denver’s most valuable natural resource. Last year alone, SPREE educators guided over 5,000 learners on environmental education field trips along the most urban stretches of the South Platte River.
By the time a student completes their 5th grade year at a SPREE school, they have had six school-based excursions to the River and have developed a meaningful personal connection with the River and its inhabitants. These learners have acquired the knowledge to be educated citizens, critical thinkers, and engaged decision makers, and they have built the skills that they will need to take action on environmental issues.
SPREE programming connects learners to the environment through ecology, history, folklore, and recreation along the South Platte River in Denver. From plant identification to boat navigation, learners on SPREE excursions spend their day interacting and engaging in a hands-on way with Denver’s urban waterways.
In addition to excursions, The Foundation hosted four free family events on weekends throughout the year providing students and their families the opportunity to learn and have fun along the River. The Foundation also provided over 1,000 children with award winning at-home curriculum that allows them to expand their connection to the South Platte River while becoming special agents in the SPREE Force outreach program.
The future health, protection, and vitality of the South Platte River rests in the hands of the children that The Greenway Foundation serves through the SPREE program. The excursions, events, and curriculum help these children learn to think critically, problem solve, and build the skills that they will need to be active and engaged decision makers.
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