University Park Holiday Inn Presents Annual $20,000 Donation to Support Colorado State’s Environmental Learning Center

University Park Holiday Inn management today presented Colorado State University officials an annual $20,000 donation toward the hotel’s $150,000 pledge to the College of Natural Resources and its Environmental Learning Center. Holiday Inn Regional Vice President Veanne Stocking and General Manager Ken Somday presented the gift to Colorado State President Larry Edward Penley and Natural Resources Dean Joyce Berry at an early morning meeting.

Today’s gift payment brings Holiday Inn’s total donation to $100,000, continuing their longstanding support that allows the ELC to enhance its renowned programs.

"We are very grateful to the management of the University Park Holiday Inn for today’s gift and their ongoing support of Colorado State and the College of Natural Resources," said Berry. "Building on a continuing partnership that has existed for many years, this support will go far in enhancing the important programs of the Environmental Learning Center that benefit Colorado State and K-12 students as well as Colorado communities."

University Park Holiday Inn’s support will go toward enhancing the Environmental Learning Center’s public education and outreach programs through improvements to the aesthetics, functionality and comfort of the ELC/Colorado Welcome Center building.  

The ELC is situated on 212 acres of land located about three miles east of Colorado State’s main campus in Fort Collins along the banks of the Poudre River at the end of the Poudre River Trail. It is managed through the College of Natural Resources with a staff mostly of Colorado State students.

The mission of the ELC is to advance environmental stewardship among students and the community through opportunities for experiential learning, self-study and educational programs. That mission is accomplished through the provision of programs for school kids, scout troops, the general public, families and others.

The ELC is a unique natural resource for northern Colorado. With four distinct ecosystems within its 212 acres – wetlands, riparian, cottonwood forest and prairie ecosystems – the ELC is home to a diversity of flora and fauna. The ELC is also home to some of the birds in the care of the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program including bald eagles, golden eagles, great horned owls and other native birds.

In addition, the ELC conducts and/or hosts many research projects affiliated with Colorado State. From evaluating the effectiveness of experiential learning to studying the song patterns of chickadees, research at the ELC supports the endeavors of undergraduates, graduates and faculty.

For more information about the ELC, visit the Web at or call (970) 491-1661.