InSTEM Station on the Prairie Donation

Poudre Learning Center Expansion is making progress!


​To Donate to the InSTEM Station on the Prairie project, click here:

(Please see bottom of page for Pledge Donation Forms to donate by check, or call 970-352-1267 to pledge or obtain additional information)

~~We are pleased to announce the launch of the new InSTEM Station on the Prairie at the Poudre Learning Center (PLC) in October 2016. The Center offers hands-on interactive learning, educating visitors on the contributions the Poudre River has made to our local economy, to area agriculture, and to our way of life. Whether netting critters along the prairie grass trail, wading in and learning from a natural river and our Learning Lake, collecting insect specimens, learning to use a compass, or ways to conserve water, students, families and the local community eagerly explore the sixty-five acres of prairie, the 18-acre pond and the historic Poudre River that flows alongside the short grass prairie and the Poudre River Trail. The PLC currently serves in excess of 22,000 visitors each year.

The PLC’s executive director and Rotarian, Ray Tschillard, is ecstatic that seven area Rotary Clubs are spearheading efforts which will soon culminate in a much needed 7,000 square foot structure and outdoor amphitheater to augment the schoolhouse structure now at the PLC. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) all take on additional meaning and impact when they are Inspired by Nature.  Discoveries will be limitless, like the invention of Velcro by a scientist who observed burrs adhering to the fur of a dog. Students are driven by the question, “what if every time I started to invent something I asked, ‘How would nature solve this?’"

One elementary student recently wrote:  “Dear Mr. Mike. Thank you for teaching me about erosion and deposition. I will keep a close eye on my lawn for erosion, since someone in my neighborhood has a broken water pipe.” Thank you, Harrison.         
But recently, an entire class of 2nd graders couldn’t come to the PLC because it was raining.  To address this problem, and to allow year round learning, opportunities for discovery, and activities at the PLC, area Rotary Clubs launched efforts to create this new community asset in August 2015.   Entire cadres of community volunteers have invested considerable time and energy in raising donations and commitments for the new facility. Many area businesses are offering in-kind contributions of building materials, construction expertise, and equipment. The picture above is of the progress made as of August 30, 2017.


The building and infrastructure carry a budget of $1.735 million.  To date, community efforts have netted nearly $1.635 million in cash, pledges, and in-kind donations towards the overall goal.  Several large grants have been secured for the project, and community members have stepped forward with additional contributions.  However, we are hopeful to have an additional $200,000 available to furnish the structure with interactive learning displays, historical information, and balanced information on water law, agricultural, industrial, and urban uses of water, conservation, natural resource development and quality of life sustainability.

The Poudre Learning Center Foundation would be so grateful for your support.. Contributions are tax deductible.  If you want to support a project that will be educating and serving our families and youth not only now, but 100 years from now, it is time to pitch in and help complete the funding for this project.

Site preparation began in June of 2017, and completion is anticipated in late November or early December of 2017. This is a true community “barn-raising” collaboration that will culminate in a new gem that will sparkle brightly along the Poudre River Trail.  The new Prairie InSTEM Station will serve as a beacon of learning to illuminate how the Poudre River has served as a catalyst for advancing lives in northern Colorado for centuries. We will inspire tomorrow’s leaders to preserve and protect the Poudre River for centuries to come.



The mission of the Poudre Learning Center is to awaken a sense of wonder and
 inspire environmental stewardship and citizenship through education of students, families and
 the local residents along the Colorado Front Range.