Robert F. Smith’s Lincoln Hills Cares: Expanding Outdoor Education for Next the Generation

Today, too many of our communities of color lack access to the great outdoors. 

In 2008, Robert F. Smith co-founded Lincoln Hills Cares to help fix that. The non-profit organization is focused on expanding access to outdoor education to underserved populations and communities of color. Last year, more than 50,000 people participated in one of Lincoln Hills Cares’ programs and the organization held more than 450 hours of outdoor education. 

Throughout the year, Lincoln Hills Cares partners with a wide range local and national organizations like the Audubon Society, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Habitat for Humanity, the Rocky Mountain National Park and United States Forest Service to provide tailored outdoor education programs for underserved students across the Denver-metro area and beyond.

For instance, Lincoln Hills Care partnered with Mo Betta Green Marketplace, The Mental Health Center of Denver and The Colorado Health Foundation to create a summer program that teaches young people about urban agriculture. The program employed young students at local farms, helping them learn where their food comes from, see how difficult growing food is and explore the benefits of healthy food. 

Lincoln Hills Cares also routinely partners with Denver Water to teach the next generation about the outdoors but also dives into the teaching about water quality and conservation. 

“We love working with Lincoln Hills because they have such a great age range of kids that can come and experience wildlife and natural environment up at Lincoln Hills and other places around the metro-Denver area where they can learn more about water and becoming water stewards,” said Sheryl Horton, the Youth Education Coordinator for Denver Water.