Welcome to the natural world

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) is a nonprofit environmental science education organization. Inspired by the words of our founder, Elizabeth Paepcke, ACES’ mission is

“educating for environmental responsibility.”


ACES has worked since 1968 to inspire a life-long commitment to the earth by providing innovative and immersive programming for all ages. We have four locations: Hallam Lake, Rock Bottom Ranch, Catto Center at Toklat, and Spring Creek. Our programs focus on ecological literacy, regenerative agriculture, forest and ecosystem health, land restoration, and environmental leadership. We are committed to a sustainable future. 

ACES is also working to contribute to a national agenda for increased environmental awareness. Our programs reach over 75,000 individuals every year. We teach daily in Aspen, Basalt, and Carbondale elementary schools, provide kids camps, adult classes, guided hikes and field programs for all ages, with over 62 partner organizations. We also engage our community by hosting public lectures and community events. ACES also collaborates with land trusts, public agencies, and other nonprofits to achieve our mission.

In the next 50 years, ACES seeks to foster an environmentally responsible community so that children, parents, consumers, decision-makers, and leaders can make informed decisions in an increasingly complex world.