An Unparalleled Classroom
The future of Yellowstone depends on the young. They are the caretakers, the stewards, who will preserve and protect the park for posterity. And young people need Yellowstone—from witnessing Old Faithful erupt to glimpsing a grizzly bear for the first time, Yellowstone sparks a passion for learning and an appreciation for nature that lasts a lifetime. Through incomparable education experiences, the new Yellowstone Youth Campus will deepen this connection by expanding opportunities to discover and learn about the rich natural and cultural history of this unparalleled landscape.
The Yellowstone Youth Campus will be a modern, environmentally-advanced facility designed for young people to have immersive educational experiences in Yellowstone National Park. Embodying the conservation principles of the National Park Service, the campus will protect park resources and encourage responsible interaction with the environment.
The new campus will cover 51,954 square feet, populating the 15-acre site with ten buildings, utilizing natural grading and native landscaping. At the heart of this project is the Living Building Challenge, a framework that is a significant step ahead of LEED. This regenerative campus of living buildings will be the first of its kind in a national park.
The Yellowstone Youth Campus will replace the existing Youth Conservation Corps Campus in Yellowstone National Park. The current campus, built in 1978, is outdated, fails accessibility requirements, and inadequately serves our current educational needs. Site limitations and restrictions, as well as a variety of maintenance and fleet operations that take place adjacent to the current facility, have created the need to relocate an expanded campus. The new site was chosen for its proximity to Mammoth Hot Springs and will make use of a site that was previously disturbed, thereby minimizing any expanded facility footprint in the park.
Inspiring Tomorrow’s Stewards
Yellowstone Forever and the National Park Service are committed to ensuring that the legacy of preservation endures for generations to come, and that the wisdom of creating and caring for national parks and other natural ecosystems is an essential part of the thinking and learning for the next generation. All of the programs offered through the Yellowstone Youth Campus will cultivate future stewards of parks and wild places. Upon completion, the new campus will double the number of youth served by expanding overnight capacity up to 140 participants.
Building on a rich legacy of educational programming that dates back to the earliest days of Yellowstone National Park, National Park Service rangers and Yellowstone Forever instructors continue to work side by side to provide a comprehensive array of immersive educational experiences, allowing people to learn about, engage with, and experience Yellowstone in meaningful ways. The new Yellowstone Youth Campus will magnify that success, allowing us to serve more students with innovative programs for the future, including:
- Curriculum-based programs for middle school through college
- Summer residential youth work programs
- Citizen Science experiences connected to on-going research in the park
- Field trips for K-college, customized to serve the needs, interests, and learning standards of participating schools
- Distance learning and digital education for learners around the world
- Teacher workshops to expand knowledge and teaching skills