“It’s an organization that raises wildlife awareness in kids/students. It’s lots of fun and they are helpful with helping us get ready for college. It’s AMAZING.”

- Rosario, ELK student

Success and Statistics

  • ELK serves over 7,000 youth each year through year-round intensive programs and in-school/after-school programs
  • ELK reaches over 18,000 youth and families each year through educational outreach
  • 100% of ELK’s youth graduated high school 2011-2019 (90% or more since the founding of ELK)

ELK Graduation Rates

  • 62% of tracked ELK alumni are studying or working in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) related career field
  • Each year ELK conducts over 171 day-long educational programs and 123 school programs
  • ELK serves 30 schools within 4 districts along Colorado’s Front Range
  • ELK has assisted ELK youth in acquiring over $1,083,596 in college scholarships, including 6 ELK students who are Daniels Fund Scholars

ELK Urban Rangers

2019 Program Evaluation

Awards and Recognition


  • Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals – Project Excellence Award 
  • Big City Mountaineers – Nonprofit of the Year Award
  • Denver Beer Company – 2018 Charity Partner
  • Denver Petroleum Club – one of three 2018 Charity Partners
  • Hit the one million mark for scholarship dollars we’ve helped students achieve  


  • ELK’s Student Coordinator, Yesica Chavez, received the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education’s Outstanding Youth Environmental Leadership Award


  • Received National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), Great Urban Parks Campaign grant - Denver was selected as one of only four cities in the nation to receive this prestigious award
  • Received a portion of Great Outdoors Colorado’s Inspire Initiative grant to make the outdoors more accessible for Colorado families 


  • BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Trust Semi Finalist
  • Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE) – Innovative Environmental Education Award Program, ELK Urban Ranger Program


  • Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver – Nonprofit of the Year Award


  • 21st Century Conservation Corps member, only 91 organizations named nationally through America’s Great Outdoors
  • BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Trust Semi Finalist


  • ELK named the Small Nonprofit of the Year by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce


  • 2010 Governor's Service Award for Outstanding Non-Profit of the Year


  • Steve Graham Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service
  • Fatherhood Award: Be There for Your Kids 2008 - Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Colorado Works
  • El Pomar Award for Excellence Finalist


  • Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education Nonprofit award
  • El Pomar Foundation Robert V. Menary Award for Environmental Issues
  • El Pomar Award for Excellence Finalist