Outer Range is a New Initiative to Get Kids Learning Outside
What if there was a place where young people are radically seen? Where courage is fostered through new experiences in the outdoors? Where confidence was activated by community connection and transformation was just a part of our natural rhythm? What if there was a school with no walls?
Outer Range, Montrose County School District’s new outdoor learning center, is the answer to these questions. Not only is Outer Range a manifestation of what is possible for young people in our community, it provides a critical foundation for positive growth and development. The innate and intentional outcomes from these joyful, shared experiences will have a long-lasting impact on the young people in our community, but they will also open a world of possibilities for them, too.
Outer Range provides outdoor programs and expeditions that are immersive, relevant, and student driven. These programs aim to serve all youth, ages 3-18, in Montrose and Olathe. In addition to outdoor programs, Outer Range serves as a public outdoor school. Opening next year with a forest preschool and nature kindergarten, it will fill a critical need in our community for childcare. Our high school pathway will also begin next year, with an elective course to develop skills through real-world experiences, and propel our work in designing career pathways in the outdoor industry and environmental science.
Throughout the next few years, Outer Range will grow into a preschool through 12th grade pathway to graduate high school, emphasizing integrated, relevant projects. Outer Range hopes to provide kids with a supportive network to nurture growth and development, and opportunities to be uniquely prepared to enter careers in the local and global outdoor industry.
Located along the Uncompahgre River on 9.5 acres and nestled amongst groves of willows, elms, and cottonwood trees, Outer Range has been transformed into an outdoor learning campus through state and federal grant funding. The development of Outer Range is rooted in support of more outdoor experiences, alternative pathways for education, and early childhood opportunities, and will serve 6,000 students in Montrose and Olathe.
Outer Range is hosting a gear drive and fundraiser in partnership with San Juan Brews and Wayfinder magazine on Saturday, June 25, 2022 from 2-7pm in Centennial Plaza after the Farmer’s Market. If you are interested in supporting or partnering with Outer Range, visit mcsd.org/OutdoorEducation_OuterRange