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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Walking Mountains Science Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education

Mission: To awaken a sense of wonder and inspire environmental stewardship through natural science and sustainability education.

Results: Our new 5-acre campus, certified in February 2013 for Platinum LEED certification, opened in August 2011. During the 2013-2014school year, we provided 77 field study programs to 3,426 students from 20 Eagle County public and private schools. We have several thousand drop-in visitors each year who participate in our science education programming for adults and families. 2013 summer science camps served 467 children this year, and $10,000 in financial assistance was awarded to families whose children could not have participated without it.

Target demographics: The 5,800 K-12 Eagle County, CO students, 55% of whom are low income and/or Hispanic. Our programs serve both residents and visitors to this mountain resort area.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 29,000

Geographic areas served: Eagle County, CO

Programs: School Field Studies Programs, Summer Science Camps, After School Science Programs, Sustainability and Stewardship Programs

Community Stories

54 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

Can't tell how much I love Walking Mountains for both adults and children. Wonderful place to spend time!

Jason113

Board Member

Rating: 5

I'm the Superintendent of Eagle County Schools and I just can't say enough about the quality educational experiences Walking Mountains brings to thousands of our kids. Their facilities and staff are absolutely amazing but what puts this organization over the top in terms of quality is their commitment to real science education and creating hands-on learning opportunities for kids. It is amazing what they are doing for our community's children and their future.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Walking Mountains Science School's Earth Keepers Program is one of the most educational programs for Pre-k children at an affordable fee. Amazing program due to knowledgable and caring staff. Being able to explore the beautiful campus during each EK session, only adds to our littles outdoor appreciation.

Former staff

Rating: 5

Not only is Walking Mountains a fantastic organization to work for with clear goals, ingenuity and passion, it is an exceptional community center. Their commitment to teaching real science to all members of the community is commendable.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Walking mountain science center is a wonderful green building. The organization
educates youth and adults about ways to help our environment by making experiences available that are enjoyable and informative. We have visited the center when vacationing in the area and have found the visit worthwhile..
Tom and Pat

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We live in Avon. My family love Walking Mountains Science Center. The staff are so knowledgeable and willing to answer all our questions. I love the way they engage with the kids. We went to Vail where there 'a a science but there and didn't realize that it was part of the Walking Mountains. The gals there talked to us about the trails and the different locations and what to look for.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Excellent staff and programming. Great partnership with ECSD. So grateful to have this resource in our community!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a teacher who has been on several Walking Mountains field trips. Last year's winter trip was incredible. The facilities are beautiful; inside and out, the teachers are wonderfully patient and knowledgeable, and the learning was exactly what we needed from the science center. Not only did our Fifth graders learn the Science content, teachers and students learned a great deal about each other. Students were coaching each other when the trail got really tough and played great learn-about-each-other type games at the top of a ridge overlooking Beaver Creek mountain. What a great resource Walking Mountains is for our community.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

WMSC Is an amazing educational non-profit that provides supplemental programs for our school curriculum and an amazing opportunity for our students to experience outdoor education to the fullest! They have a well-trained and knowledgeable staff base who help to inspire learning and exploration in the students they teach.

Former staff

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Walking Mountaibs since I was a little kid, and non of its greatness has faded. The inspiration and opportunity it provides for everyone in the valley is amazing.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Walking Mountains is devoted to spreading science education throughout the valley. I have had several students come back from their programs with excitement and curiousity about science and nature. I have also attended their educational sessions for adults, and really appreciated the information and great atmosphere of learning.

Benjamin12

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience visiting Walking Mountains Science Center was amazing. The staff was friendly and I learned many things about the Colorado ecosystem that I did not know before.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Walking Mountains is a vibrant and inspiring non-profit making an awesome and meaningful impact on Eagle Valley. They have so many programs to offer for all ages, interests, and lifestyles! I really enjoyed their free to the public programs and nature walks and their naturalists were on top of their game. What a cool place to work and play!

Client Served

Rating: 4

Going through the Actively Green Certification process was not always easy but the staff at Walking Mountains Science Center were incredibly helpful and encouraging. My company would not have been able to achieve this milestone with out them!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing staff! They are very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Stopping by the Science Center, Discovery Center and Nature Center were the highlights of my trip.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

BEAUTIFUL campus! Very knowledgeable staff. I highly recommend a visit here. They are an asset to our beautiful mountain town.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Walking Mountains offers many programs and camps that can help our community's environmental knowledge grow. Sustainability being the main focus, is the best part! At first I thought it was just for kids, but then I learned adults are welcome too! With so much to learn about the environment, we are very fortunate to have a place such as this. My favorite program offered, is Girls in Science. This is such an amazing course where girl's can really delve deeper into science, and be creative with it! When I saw how much fun the kids were having while learning, I thought to myself "wow, I wish I had something like this growing up." After talking with some of the "girls in science", I learned a few things too! I would recommend any program Walking Mountains has to offer. The best educational program in Vail Valley by far. Two thumbs up!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great programs, wonderful campus, and top notch employee's. Walking Mountains works wonders for the Vail Valley. When you think of Vail, and our environment, Walking Mountains is the perfect organization for education and info. Just an all around asset to our valley!

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a fantastic facility! Our company loves holding our retreats in the beautiful setting of Walking Mountains Science Center. Walking Mountains serves the community with the highest level of professionalism.

Client Served

Rating: 5

A "must-stop" for any family visiting the Vail Valley. Truly an incredible asset that offers an incredible education center, knowledgeable staff, and wonderful nature trails. All of these factors combine to create the perfect balance of education, fitness and fun.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Walking Mountains plays an important role in the Vail Valley, giving children, students and families endless opportunities to become environmental stewards while enjoying the great outdoors.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter has been attending the summer camps at Walking Mountains every summer for the last 4 years and LOVES it! She wants to do every camp they have to offer her age. She also participates in the Girls In Science Club that Walking Mountains offers to the local elementary schools here in the area. She has been apart of that club for the last 3 years and comes home and does all the experiments that she learns and explains them to me and her dad every week! She loves to learn all about science and discovering new experiments to try out.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Walking Mountains Science Center is a true asset to our mountain community!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Walking Mountains Science Center was a great experience. They have great information for everyone.

Donor

Rating: 5

Walking Mountains is making a huge impact on the science literacy of over 3,500 Eagle County students each year through their hands-on field science programs. In addition, 29,000 visitors to this resort area annually are experiencing and learning about our mountain environment by participating in guided hikes, campground programs, and other activities for adults and children. The organization is playing a vital role in our community that continues to grow.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Walking Mountains provides an valuable service to our community. It enhances the quality of life for the total community thru there educational programs, hands on science projects, community awareness about our environment and most of all the programs connected with our schools. WE are fortunate to have this organization in our community.

Client Served

Rating: 5

In addition to its extensive programming for children, Walking Mountains also provides a wide array of programs for adult community members, many of which I've been so fortunate to enjoy over the years. From timely, informative and thought provoking lectures to educational and invigorating hikes, Walking Mountains has enriched my life here in the Vail Valley beyond measure. It is a treasure to have such a resource in our community.

mmj in vail

Board Member

Rating: 5

Walking Mountains brings outdoor, science education to our diverse school population. The programs are integrated with the curriculum, and bring to life the topics that students are studying. We are so lucky to have this organization in our community.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Walking Mountains is a truly wonderful organization providing science education to both children and adults in the Vail Valley. My children love the school programs and camps. As a family, we all enjoy the educational programming. What an asset to our community!

Buck2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Walking Mountains has truly made a difference in the greater Eagle Valley in bringing a sense of environmental awareness and sustainable practices to the community through education and informative community programs!

Board Member

Rating: 5

In addition to being a board member of Walking Mountains, I am also a donor and client. My three children have attended school programs and summer camps put on by Walking Mountains. They provide wonderful, educational programs for children and adults. My children have loved all of the camps that they have attended. The new science center in Avon provides a perfect venue for Walking Mountains programs and is worth a visit if you are in the area. Walking Mountains provides a great service in our community, providing natural science and sustainability education and programs.

Tina63

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you, Walking Mountains, for the wonderful youth summer programs. This is the third summer I have sent my twins to your day camp programs. They come home every day eager to share interesting facts about their environment, and an appreciation of the role we play as humans to affect the health of our community's greatest resource-- our mountains. Great job and thank you for all of your thoughtful, hard work!

Trent B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love walking mountains! I try to attend their special events... sometimes adult events like watercolor painting or mushroom hunting. Often I bring my kids to their events (like raptor nights or halloween party) and appreciate something that is both educational and entertaining. My son attended one of their multi-day camping trips this summer and loved it. Keep it up!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Walking Mountains has made great progress over the last few years with the building of their campus in Avon. They provide outstanding programs for children and adults to get excited about nature and science and the sustainability aspects of protecting our environment.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Walking Mountain is a very forward thinking organization, bringing the wonder of the environment and science to the young people in our coummunity. It also provides excellent programs for visitors to the community.

Rosalie I.

Client Served

Rating: 4

Walking Mountains offers a wide range of learning experiences for all ages. I think I've just begun to scratch the surface and hope to see the organization thrive. Hooray for Science for adults and kids.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Walking Mountains has grown to be a valued part of our community. I have had the opportunity to participate and witness first hand the hard work and genuine dedication that goes into both the adult and youth programs. The staff that run the programs have an amazing love of what they teach, to people of all ages. They aren't in it for the money but rather the chance to convey true respect of our environment to others and help them learn to know more about their surroundings. I feel so incredibly lucky to have this non-profit in our community.
Denise Kipp

Board Member

Rating: 5

Walking Mountains Science Center is a treasure in our community and consistently lives up to its mission to "awaken a sense of wonder and inspire environmental stewardship through natural science education." We have participated in programs as diverse as hunting for edible mushrooms and learning about how ancient mastodons roamed our valley. Our grandchildren have participated in full day school science programs as well as day and overnight summer camps. We all eagerly look forward to our next Walking Mountains learning adventures.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have watched walking mountains grow, and with each step, the organization remains true to their mission of inspiring stewardship for the environment. From the new campus built platinum LEEDS rated, to the education of our youth, when so many science programs are cut, to offering courses to adults, this non-profit is examplary in its management all the way through to the people it serves. I will be a lifetime donor!

Heather173

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our older son is more of a cerebral type, while his younger brother is all about the sports. It is easy to find summer activities or camps that appeal to the younger one. We are so grateful to have Walking Mountains in our area. Our older son has gone to two summer camps. The first year he did a day camp. Last summer, he participated in a week long overnight camp.

Both camps were the highlight of his summers. He enjoys getting outside, hiking in our beautiful mountains- and the bonus is that he is learning every moment of every day. The counselors are fun, knowledgeable, and very kid-oriented. The curriculum is varied and interesting.

Bottom line? It's fun for him, and seeing him so enthusiastic is fun for us!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My 6 year old son visited earlier with his grandmother and had a blast with the backpack of useful tools while they wandered on their adventure. He enjoyed the experience so much, that when his great grand parents came to visit he wanted to make sure that they went there and explored the grounds. They can't get out and explore some of the tougher terrain and Walking Mountains Science Center was perfect for their ability.

Thank you for providing such a wonderful learning environment for they young and old.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Walking Mountains was founded by Kim Langmaid who grew up in the Vail Valley exploring the Rocky Mountains, woodlands, streams and wild life. Her vision has been manifested in the creation of this fabulous, GREEN facility and educational programs for all students and adults who live and visit Eagle County. The success of these programs and adventures is due to the hard work of faculty, staff and volunteers.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Walking Mountains Science Center is a wonderful asset for our community. Their programs teach children and adults about the natural world and are a lot of fun!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Walking Mountains helps children and adults alike discover the scientific wonders of our natural world. With the understanding Walking Mountains provides, people of all ages become engaged in separating fact from fiction and in developing a true appreciation for the balances and complex relationships of our natural world.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Walking Mountain Science Center is truly a gift to everyone who enjoys all that Mother Nature has to offer. It is an oasis that is extremely easy to get to. The staff couldn't be more passionate and caring for the outdoors as well as other people. I have been volunteering throughout the summer as often as fits into my schedule. I thought it was admirable how welcoming the staff was to me and how generous they were to share their experiences and expertise. They were concerned with making it a mutually beneficial relationship. They were attentive to what I would like to get out of the experience and extremely accommodating to the hours I had available. I always left a more positive person than when I walked in and would highly recommend volunteering at the Walking Mountain Science Center to anyone with any amount of extra time. I believe there is something there for everyone!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first learned about Walking Mountains Science Center last year when I got to go on a mushroom foray with them, and have been in love with the organization ever since. They do an amazing job of educating the Vail, CO area children and young people about the wonders of nature and science by participating with all the scools in the valley in providing interesting fun programs throughout the year. Its a great place for tourists to stop in and get educated in a fun way about all the dynamics of nature that make Vail the beautiful pk ace it is. The staff is dedicated to their mission and deserve to be acknowledged for their hard work.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our community is very blessed to be surrounded by such amazing beauty and fun activities within nature. We are grateful to have an organization like Walking Mountains Science Center to help inspire and educate so many in the area of natural science which enhances our experiences and those of our children.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am always impressed by the fun and education programs offered at Walking Mountains! Both me and my kids always have a blast!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is an inspirational organization that collaborates with other non-profits, organizations, and the school district for maximum impact. Everyone who is exposed to WMSC programming walks away with a better sense of their community and an increased knowledge of the natural world. It's a great place where you can just drop by and explore for 5 minutes, or spend the morning on a naturalist-lead hike, or experience a day with a school group on a program.

Nicole72

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I began working with Walking Mountains Science Center (WMSC) in June of this year. I was immediately impressed with the steps the organization has taken to make their facility LEED certified, implementing sustainable energy techniques in all the campus buildings and making this information accessible to the general public. The youth programs staff are extremely passionate and dedicated to the organization's mission. This is reflected in the school curriculum, summer camps and other community programs produced as well as the finesse in which the educators implement these programs. Within the community, the organization has a plethora of committed donors who believe in the mission of the organization and are involved in many aspects of the organization's work. I feel honored to be a part of this team and I'm excited to see what is in store for the future.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Walking Mountain Science Center has a great local presentation series called The Science Behind. The topics are always useful or locally relevant, like "how to compost". The fee to attend is sometimes nothing and other times includes a small amount to cover presentation materials. How to Compost was $15 to attend but included making your own compost bin to take home with you afterwards. My only complaint is that these fill up so fast! I called too late for the first Composting presentation and then was out of town during the second presentation held to accommodate all the people that signed up too late. Oh well, I will call earlier to get on the list next year.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Walking Mountains offers fantastic community programs, events, and a great opportunity for local and visiting kids to learn so much. We are so lucky to have a place like this in our area!

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a phenomenal organization! Our son (12) attended one of their day camps this summer- a great program that blended physics and nature. He came home every day excited to share what he had learned, end enthusiastic about the next day's activities. They have different programs all summer long, serving varying age groups and interests.

In addition, a good friend of mine came from Chicago. She had a group of kids with her, and called Walking Mountains. They sent one of their knowledgeable instructors to her hotel. The instructor showed the kids the constellations and planets that are visible in our beautiful Colorado sky, but which these city kids had never seen before.

They have many scholarships available to local children, so that there are no barriers that would keep their program out of anyone's reach.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Walking Mountains brings lots of exciting and fresh programs to the community that are typically low cost or free. I was surprised to learn that I could take a seminar on foraging or learn the science behind cheese making. Their family-oriented events are also fantastic, live raptors, reptiles and partnered days with the Denver Museum - always fun for the whole family. Good to know all of this is supporting a very worthy cause too - science education in Eagle County!