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Family Nature Summits are annual gatherings that offer a mix of environmental and outdoor education and adventure, with notable environmental and wildlife educators providing classes and activities for adults and children. The National Wildlife Federation created the concept in 1970 (a harbinger of present day ecotourism and green living trends) with the first Summit, originally called "Conservation Summits", on July 20-25, 1970 at the YMCA of the Rockies, Rocky Mountain National Parkmarker, Colorado. There have been 109 Summits since 1970, with notable environmental educators, naturalists, authors and artists such as Robert Michael Pyle, Jim Halfpenny, Clare Walker Leslie, Roger Tory Peterson, Annie Tiberio Cameron and Craig Tufts serving as faculty at many of the Summits. Family Nature Summits also provide fun and entertaining educational programming for youth, teen and young adults, led by nationally recognized environmental educators such as Stephen Houser, recipient of the 2009 Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award For Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching.

Summits have been held in Alaska, California, Michigan, West Virginia, Maine, New York, Colorado, Utah, Canada, among other places. The National Wildlife Federation changed the name to Family Summits in 2000. In 2006, several longtime Summiteers formed a non-profit corporation, Family Summits, Inc., to take over the project from the National Wildlife Federation and continue the Summit tradition. Family Summits, Inc. has produced three Family Nature Summits as an independent organization, in Black Mountain, North Carolinamarker in 2007, Mt.marker Hood, Oregonmarker in 2008, and the YMCA of the Adirondacks in Silver Bay, New Yorkmarker in 2009. The 2010 Family Nature Summit will be held in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, at Tahoe Citymarker, Lake Tahoemarker, Californiamarker in the El Dorado National Forestmarker, July 5 - 10, 2010.


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