Colorado Field Institute

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THE MISSION of Colorado Field Institute (CFI) is to provide in-depth, outdoor learning and research opportunities for educators, students, residents and visitors that will expand stewardship of the natural and cultural resources of the San Luis Valley for the benefit of present and future generations, and to promote sustainable economic development.

The Institute is the culmination of a long series of discussions among many SLV residents on the best ways to promote stewardship of the Valley’s natural and cultural resources. When CFI became operational in spring 2005, the Board of Directors went to the leaders of the major organizations in the Valley with similar concerns—like the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve and The Nature Conservancy—and asked what would be useful to them as they deal with the issues of our land and its resources.  Those leaders continue to provide CFI with input and act as an informal advisory group.

CFI intends to fulfill its mission to expand stewardship in 3 key ways:

  1. Fill a need for more education, especially outdoor field experiences
  2. Support research about the wildlife, plants and land in the SLV
  3. Have an impact on sustainable economic development. Development affects quality of life and is part of the stewardship equation

An elected Board of Directors is responsible for overall policy, direction and operation of CFI, which is a Colorado Not-for-Profit organization.  CFI operates under the auspices of the Rio Grande Water Conservation and Education Initiative, a 501(c) 3 Corporation