A Wild Idea
For elementary school educator Jill Dreves, nature has always been the best teacher. Jill grew up riding her horse in the mountains of northern Colorado, where she came to know every plant and insect that crossed her path. She learned firsthand the joy of letting her imagination run wild and the deep satisfaction of coming home tired and dirty after a long day of playing outdoors. As a teacher, she wanted her students to know it too. So, with $500 from her savings account, Jill founded Wild Bear in 1995.
Once a Wild Bear, Always a Wild Bear
That first summer, 25 children joined Jill in exploring the mountains around Nederland, Colorado. Today, Wild Bear engages thousands of people each year through its interim nature center, ecology programs, workshops, and events. In 2010, Wild Bear opened a free nature center in downtown Nederland. With hands-on exhibits and homegrown art, the nature center is a beloved destination for explorers of all ages. Wild Bear enjoys tens of thousands of visitors to the interim nature center every year.