Founded in 1984, our mission is to create lifelong learning experiences about the natural and cultural treasures of the Colorado Plateau for people of all ages and backgrounds through conservation, adventure, service, and education programs. Our vision is to build a diverse community of people who are committed to conserving the natural and cultural resources of the Colorado Plateau, through hands-on engagement in placed-based programs.
The Four Corners School of Outdoor Education has a bold vision for the future by building a state-of-the-art campus to serve and inspire diverse local, regional, national and international visitors, students, educators, and researchers. Located at 7,000 feet in the heart of the Colorado Plateau, the Canyon Country Discovery Center, our new 48-acre campus, integrates existing and new field and campus-based programs in a unique learning center now open to the public.
The Discovery Center is a hybrid science and nature facility, with 45 indoor and outdoor learning stations. Developed for culturally diverse audiences; children and adults will explore and discover the natural history and landscapes, people and places, land use and energy, astronomy, and water and climate of the Colorado Plateau. The site has been creatively engineered as a place-based facility with an informal science center, riparian area, visual art installations, nature play-scape, classroom, night sky observatory, research lab, conference area, cultural pavilions, and staff offices.
Our campus will promote economic development in San Juan County by using local business services and attractions and encourage visitors to get outdoors and experience the natural world of the Colorado Plateau.
Programming is focused on:
1-Teacher Continuing Education: Teachers of all grades levels can participate in interactive, science-based professional development at our Discovery Center campus; and K-8th grade teachers across the Colorado Plateau can join our Bioregional Outdoor Education Project, a professional development outreach program.
2-Student Learning: Kindergarten through college students can engage in interactive, inquiry-based, onsite and outreach, informal science-based Discovery Center campus programs, in addition to home school and family programs.
3-Young Adult Development: Young adults can participate in service-learning projects; and diverse youth ages 15-25 can join the Canyon Country Youth Corps, a workforce development program that completes conservation projects on public lands.
4-Lifelong Learning: Visitors of all ages can join campus activities, citizen science, research and certification programs, and astronomy programs; and our Southwest Discovery Ed-Ventures, educational adventure trips throughout the Colorado Plateau for adults, children, and families.
5-Conferences and Events: Organizations and families can rent specific rooms or our entire campus and, if desired, staff can provide unique programming to facilitate a wide variety of special events.
Since 1984, FCS has provided a wide range of place-based outdoor education programs for some 114,504 participants, ranging in age from 6 to 90. FCS has provided over 265,000 hours of youth and adult service on public lands, 937,000 hours of student/youth outdoor education, 418,000 hours of adult outdoor education, and 186,460 hours of teacher training in outdoor education. The School has awarded 200 teacher scholarships for our outdoor programs; repaired or rehabilitated hundreds of miles of roads, springs, and trails; and worked to protect over 40 archaeological sites on public land.
FCS’ work has been honored 21 times locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.