Community Agriculture Alliance: Yampatika – Celebrating 25 years in the Yampa Valley |

Community Agriculture Alliance: Yampatika – Celebrating 25 years in the Yampa Valley

Joe Haines For Steamboat Today

Yampatika has been celebrating its 25th anniversary year since April. In September, the celebration reaches its peak with our 25th Anniversary Celebration and Fundraiser on September 25 at the Chief Theater. This event will include a look at our past, what we are currently doing and a vision for the future.

During the past 25 years, Yampatika has undergone many changes. Staff and volunteers have come and gone; programs have come and gone. In many ways, Yampatika continues to adapt to the needs of the community. Every year, Yampatika impacts thousands of youth and adults through our three main program areas Environmental Literacy in Youth, Connecting People to Nature and Environmental Learning Center at Legacy Ranch.

In fact, odds are that if you have had a child in a Routt County public elementary school in the past five years, your child probably participated in our Environmental Literacy Program. Last year, more than 50 classes and nearly 2,000 youth participated in our different environmental education programs.

Yampatika's mission is straightforward: to inspire environmental stewardship through education. Yampatika believes this is best accomplished by getting people outside. Our programs are multi-faceted and often include elements of history, geology, water and even archeology in addition to any topic at hand. We want people to understand that we all impact the environment we live in, residents and visitors, young and old, ranchers, farmers, hunters, everyone. Moreover, because of this, we all have a responsibly to be a steward of the environmental we all share.

During the rest of the month, there are several opportunities to participate in Yampatika programs. Every Tuesday you will find us at Mountain Tap Brewery as a recipient of their Token Tuesday program. On Sept. 21 we are co-sponsoring a talk at the Bud Werner Memorial Library titled "How's Your Aspen." This program is also co-sponsored by the library and U.S. Forest Service. On Sept. 23, we will be hosting our final 25th Anniversary Hike of the season. This will be a hike from our 25th Anniversary hiking companion book, "Come Explore with Us." Sept. 25 is our 25th Anniversary Celebration at the Chief Theater. Finally, Sept. 30 is our 2nd annual Fall Festival at Legacy Ranch. Fall Fest is a free, family-friendly event. Check out for more information about these events.

Yampatika, like many organizations, adapts and changes over time. What hasn't changed is our commitment to the community and the environment. We look forward to seeing you on a Yampatika program sometime in the near future.

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Joe Haines is the executive director of Yampatika.

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