In 1976 the Belgrade Charter was adopted by the United Nations to provide a widely accepted goal statement for environmental education. “The goal of environmental education is to develop a world population that is aware of, and concerned about, the environment and its associated problems, and which has the knowledge, skills, attitudes, motivations, and commitment to work individually and collectively toward the solutions of current problems and the prevention of new ones.”
The Audubon River Trails Nature Center was founded in 1979 by the Arkansas Valley Audubon Society to preserve an area where the community could observe, explore, and enjoy nature. In 1981 we added wildlife rehabilitation to our mission with the founding of the raptor center. In 1983 The Greenway and Nature Center of Pueblo was incorporated in the state of Colorado as a Nonprofit Corporation and received 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt status from the IRS. In 2008 we again changed our name to the Nature and Raptor Center of Pueblo to better reflect our current mission. Pueblo is very proud of our early recognition of the importance of environmental education for our families.
Our founders realized that the location, in the heart of Pueblo County and along the Arkansas River, would provide a perfect setting not only for bird watching but also for people to enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities. From our very beginning these activities have included wildlife viewing, fishing, horseback riding, hiking, and opportunities for families to introduce their children to the wonder of nature through a walk along the river under the Cottonwoods.
Over the years more than just our name has changed. Today, our environmental education programs stress the interrelationships among all forms of life. It is our goal to increase Pueblo County community members’ awareness, appreciation, and support for our natural environment through these programs.