Since 1998, cityWILD has engaged in a bold effort to bring the typically exclusive world of outdoor experiential education to a broad, inclusive audience. Our comprehensive, tuition-free programs promote themes of personal empowerment, leadership, and community participation while motivating participants to reach their full potential at school, at home, and in their communities.
cityWILd’s mission is to engage youth in experiential learning opportunities that boldly address issues of inequity in education, economic opportunity, and access to the outdoors. cityWILD motivates participants to reach their potential at school, at home and in their communities – and they succeed!
cityWILD was founded in 1997 by Jere Lester, MSW, Lara Solomon, and Read McCulloch. The agency’s first outdoor adventure pilot trip was launched in the summer of 1998. Later that year, the organization began targeting young people in northeast Denver. Over the next nine months of all volunteered time, cityWILD founders wrote curriculum, developed community connections, and secured funding to more formally launch the cityWILD program. Since then, the organization has operated for eight successful years, slowly expanding services to meet demand. Using the outdoors as a classroom and laboratory for hands-on learning, cityWILD offers year-round, youth development programs which provide at risk students with challenging activities, opportunities for growth, healthy lifestyles, peer bonding, and supportive adults.
In early 2008, cityWILD merged with RiverReach, an organization charged with connecting Denver at-risk youth to their community through volunteering and urban environment. This union of RiverReach’s rafting operations on the South Platte River with cityWILD’s Arkansas River rafting operations and its Denver-based year-round Youth Programs allowed cityWILD to serve more youth, more effectively, with greater synergy.
For more information about the program contact us.