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Outdoor Wilderness Lab (Mesa County Valley School District 51)

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About Outdoor Wilderness Lab (Mesa County Valley School District 51)

Outdoor Wilderness Lab (OWL) was created in 2012 when a group of teachers from Bookcliff Middle School and officers from Colorado Parks and Wildlife took thirty-three 6th graders on an unforgettable outdoor learning experience. 

During its first 7 years, OWL was run as a pilot program, for 1 week per school year with a volunteer staff at various camps in the mountains surrounding the Grand Valley. Its focus was developing its curriculum and building systems that allowed the amount of students who attended each year to steadily grow. 

By year 7, OWL was serving 150 students in a single week and the time had come to begin looking for a permanent home. In order to continue growing the amount of students it could serve, it needed both a facility and a staff that could operate year-round.  So many selfless volunteers and generous community members contributed to get OWL to this crossroads, and we can't thank them enough! Yet, in 2019 when the opportunity arose to move to the D51 Gateway School, it became clear that OWL had finally found its home. 

In the fall of 2019, construction began at the Gateway School, bringing OWL to life. Staff were hired and programming was developed that focused on the unique natural environment of OWL's new home. In the spring of 2019, OWL hosted its first students.

OWL continues to operate today and is proud to call beautiful Gateway, CO home.

Why Work here

Working at OWL provides you with the opportunity to be a member of our dynamic, dedicated team that fosters social-emotional development and experiential science learning in 6th graders in organic outdoor classrooms. As a part of OWL, you will contribute to a valuable mission and jumpstart your career in outdoor education.

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