Thorne Nature Experience was founded in 1954 by Dr. Oakleigh Thorne, II. Thorne was one of Colorado’s first environmental nonprofits and has a storied history and many accomplishments that include connecting more than 300,000 youth and adults to nature.


Thorne Nature Experience builds Earth Stewardship by providing joyful, hands-on, place-based environmental education experiences that foster an emotional connection to nature.

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Thorne Nature Experience, formerly known as Thorne Ecological Institute, was founded by Dr. Oakleigh Thorne, II in Boulder, Colorado in 1954 and has been connecting youth to nature for more than six decades.

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Thorne programming is envisioned, designed, and implemented by a dedicated Board of community volunteers and a talented staff with decades of nonprofit management and environmental education experience.

We’re always looking for enthusiastic people to volunteer and intern with us. Learn how to get involved now!


See for yourself how much Thorne participants enjoy Thorne’s joyful, hands-on, place-based programs.

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