Take I-25 to Exit 192 (Ridgegate Pkwy), then proceed 2.5 miles east. Stepping Stone is on the south side of the roadway. View Map

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Parker’s dynamic duo: The Wildlife Experience and CU South Denver
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Parker’s dynamic duo: The Wildlife Experience and CU South Denver

Good news, Stepping Stone. Living close to The Wildlife Experience just got even cooler.

Why? Because in January, The Wildlife Experience merged with CU South Denver. So not only do Stepping Stone residents still have an amazing natural history museum and art gallery right in their own backyard, they have greater access to higher ed opportunities, too.

CU South Denver


Here’s what happened. Last year, Dave Liniger, chairman emeritus of The Wildlife Experience and co-founder of REMAX International, donated The Wildlife Experience to the University of Colorado. Valued at $40 million, this was the largest real estate donation in the university’s 138-year history. The Wildlife Experience had already leased space to CU with the goal of making higher education more accessible to south metro area residents. But the gift of the entire building (now called the Liniger Building) permitted a greater expansion of services.

Already, CU has converted space into two 48-seat classrooms, a 32-seat computer lab, faculty and student resource center, student lounge, and state-of-the-art nursing simulation lab. This year, CU will provide additional space for classrooms, faculty offices, and student study rooms. Classes are offered for degree-seeking and continuing education students and include popular-interest areas such as nursing, engineering, education, and business.

empty classroom

But none of that will diminish The Wildlife Experience locals have come to know and love. It will carry on as a cultural center, featuring an extensive wildlife art collection and “Globeology,” an exhibit featuring open dioramas that interpret eight biomes of the world. Also continuing: large-screen movies, seasonal events and activities, community and K-12 education programs, and catered events for business, weddings, and other private functions.

Movie (and libation) fans will be pleased to know that the popular Movie and a Martini and Whiskey and a Western nights remain on the schedule. This month, you can jeer with your friends at evil Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest while indulging in hors d’oeuvres, popcorn, trivia, prizes, and access to the museum. Friday, May 15. $28; $18 for designated drivers.

Another May activity to put on your calendar: AstronomyNight: Saturn, an exciting night of stars, planets, solar systems, and s’mores. Retired CU astronomy professor Win Pendleton will discuss the spring equinox and share images of stars and planets in the Science on a Sphere exhibit. This will be followed by a campfire, s’mores, and a chance to look at the planets and other objects through the telescope. 7:45pm-9:15pm. $8.

Learn more about other Wildlife Experience happenings here. And if you’d like to explore options for CU classes that are conveniently close to home, check out their class list here.

May 11, 2015

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