Denver Public Schools votes to ban field trips to Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge

National wildlife refuge will soon open to public

DENVER -- As Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge prepares to open to the public this summer, Denver Public Schools says it will not be taking students to the site. The school board has decided to ban field trips to the former nuclear weapons arsenal.

DPS is joining a growing list of school districts that have deemed Rocky Flats too risky. But it’s not the only place in the metro that may pose some level of risk to visitors.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment lists 19 Superfund sites in the state. These are areas that have undergone cleanup from hazardous contamination or radiation.

Superfund sites include Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Adams County, which was used to make chemical weapons in World War II. Now a wildlife refuge, Rocky Mountain Arsenal hosts regular field trips for K-12 students.

Another Superfund site in the metro areas is the I-70 expansion project. Crews have been required to dig up contaminated dirt for the project.

As for Rocky Flats, it was designated a Superfund site in the 1990s and underwent an extensive cleanup. A central area in the middle of the wildlife refuge remains a Superfund site.

Denver Public Schools is just the latest district in the metro area to ban field trips to Rocky Flats. The others are Boulder Valley School District, St. Vrain Valley School District, Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Adams 14, Jefferson County Public Schools and Westminster Public Schools.

Print this article Back to Top