Outdoor Wilderness Lab

Vision:Engage EVERY D51 learner in unique learning experiences that explore conservation of natural resources in our local environment and empower health and wellness for our learners. 

About OWL:
 The 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 33 6th graders on an unforgettable outdoor learning experience. Since then, OWL has continued to innovate and grow so that this year, for the first time, every 6th grader in D51 has the opportunity to attend! 

 OWL creates a unique learning experience that challenges students to engage with academic skills and social and emotional learning in an outdoor setting. At OWL, students form connections with both the people and the natural environment surrounding them, making their learning meaningful and lasting. 

Visit: www.outdoorwildernesslab.org to learn more about OWL!



September 9, 2020


On behalf of the entire OWL staff, we sincerely hope you're off to a healthy and productive start to your school year. While our overnight programming continues to be "on hold", we're certainly making the most out of the opportunity by improving our instructional methods, our curriculum, and our facilities. 

Specifically, in collaboration with District 51's leadership, we've developed a plan to teach outdoor science and social-emotional lessons at school sites during the fall of 2020 and hope to begin implementing the plan soon. We're also hopeful to begin hosting students for overnight programming again in the spring of 2021 using several possible scenarios around existing COVID-19 policies and procedures. 

We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic to determine when we might be able to restart programming. We're so excited for the day we finally see smiling students, engaged in learning along the banks of West Creek, surrounded by junipers and sandstone cliffs 'neath the wide-open sky of gorgeous Gateway!

We want to sincerely thank all of OWL's supporters during this challenging time, especially the continued partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Great Outdoors Colorado, Friends of Youth and Nature, The Western Colorado Community Foundation, and the Grand Junction Lions Club. We couldn't do it without you!

We will keep you updated as we know more. Please feel free to contact us any time. Until then, check our social media accounts to learn more about the daily happenings at OWL. Stay safe! Keep learning! 

With Warmest Regards,

Mark Allen - mark.allen@d51schools.org

Greg Weckenbrock - greg.weckenbrock@d51schools.org

Supplemental Forms 



Additional Information

  • Click HERE for the parent meeting presentation slides.
  • Click HERE to find OWL at Gateway School on Google Maps.
  • Click HERE for current weather in Gateway, CO.
  • Click HERE for OWL's Facebook Page to find out the latest news at OWL!   Image result for facebook image

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