Visit Bluff Lake
Sunrise to Sunset
Free of Charge
Bluff Lake Nature Center's mission is to
"foster lifelong learning and environmental stewardship of a unique urban wildlife refuge...Bluff Lake."
Bluff Lake Nature Center occupies 123 acres adjacent to Sand Creek on the eastern edge of the Stapleton development. It offers a variety of native habitats including a seasonal lake, wetlands, short-grass prairie, a riparian zone and wetland woodland. Thanks to its 60 year history as an airport buffer, Bluff Lake has become an urban wildlife refuge for waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, songbirds, deer, fox, beaver, reptiles, amphibians and other types of wildlife that visit or live at the site.
Bluff Lake Nature Center is
much more than a place for plants and animals.
It is an oasis in the city where people can
come to view wildlife, appreciate the peaceful
sights and enjoy the sounds of nature. It is
also an outdoor classroom for thousands of students each year. It is
our goal to encourage children's and adults'
interest in natural science and stewardship
through curiosity, observation, activity and
a sense of wonder.
This unique oasis in the city literally brings
curricula to life as kids who seldom experience
nature see, hear, smell and touch their lessons.
Bluff Lake is a featured stop along the Sand Creek
Regional Greenway and an important supplement to Stapleton's park and open space system.
From the top of the bluff, school groups and other visitors have a superb view of Denver and the Front Range. Once they
walk down from the bluff and walk into the basin,
they enter a small but authentic slice of nature
literally hidden from the surrounding urban
world. Because that part of the property is
managed as a wildlife refuge, no motor vehicles,
bicycles, dogs or horses are allowed.
Bluff Lake was originally constructed
as an irrigation reservoir in the late 1800s.
In the mid-1990's, after Stapleton International
Airport closed, a consent decree led to the
protection on the land and creation of Bluff
Lake Nature Center.
The site is currently owned and managed by the Bluff Lake Nature Center, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Bluff Lake Nature Center grew up around the belief that the area is a valuable urban resource, specifically for its wildlife and educational benefits. Bluff Lake Nature Center receives its funding
from private foundations, private individuals, corporations
and government grants. Site preservation and the education program depend on our many volunteers through our award
winning Volunteer Program.
"Reflections" photo by May Chou