Our Mission

To interpret the natural world, emphasizing insects and their plant relationships, through field studies and research in order to further scientific knowledge and to instill and inspire the general public an acquaintanceship, awareness and appreciation of all nature.


Some History

Granite Ridge Nature Institute, established by Lynn and Gene in 1999 as a non-profit organization, was a way to formalize their interests in nature studies and education. It is located at Granite Ridge, named for its granite hilltop location, about 25 miles northwest of the city of Boulder, Colorado in the foothills of the eastern edge of the Front Range, the easternmost range of the Southern Rocky Mountains. Granite Ridge at about 6500' elevation includes 18 acres of mountain meadows and ponderosa pine forest and a small canyon with intermittent creek within Roosevelt National Forest.  A nearby rock quarry, active in the first half of the last century, was mined for this beautiful granitic ornamental rock (Precambrium Silver Plume quartz monzonite) that is composed mainly of orthoclase and plagioclase feldspars plus quartz and mafic minerals such as micas, hornblende and augite.


Where We Work

          Boulder County, Colorado and environs and
          Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

          Anza-Borrego Desert State Park(R) & environs,
          East San Diego County, California

What We Do

Surveys and censuses, especially of butterflies and other insects as well as of amphibians and reptiles, birds and mammals, in various locations and habitats on a periodic basis in order to monitor changes in abundance of species and individuals to help in evaluating the impact of climate and human influences.

Some of these include:

  • Anza-Borrego Desert State Park(R) & Environs
  • Granite Ridge, Boulder County, Colorado
  • NABA 4th of July Butterfly Counts
    • Borrego Springs & Environs, California
    • Roosevelt National Forest, Colorado
  • Rocky Mountain National Park Butterfly Surveys
  • Boulder County, Colorado Wildlife Inventories
  • Cornell Ornithology Lab Bird Box Studies
  • Butterfly caterpillar/food plant relationships
  • Other insect/plant relationships
  • Life Histories of butterflies, moths and other insects
    Insect/parasite & insect/predator relationships
  • Butterfly/weather relationships
  • Documentation by photograph and computerized data collection
  • Periodic reports to the parks and agencies where research has been conducted.

  of our 
Io Moth Caterpillar eating Golden Banner

Granite Ridge and the adjoining Roosevelt National Forest, under 25 acres in all, have proved to be a rich area for studying insects and other arthropods. Butterflies are very diverse. Our Granite Ridge list includes 106 species, with photographic records of 105 species.

View our Granite Ridge List

Publications by Lynn and Gene Monroe

About Lynn and Gene

Lynn and Gene are avid naturalists with life-long interests in the outdoor world. Upon retirement in 1989 from their professional careers they were able to pursue some of their nature studies with more intensity. Granite Ridge Nature Institute is an outgrowth of these interests. Memberships in the Lepidopterists' Society, the North American Butterfly Association, the Xerces Society and the Colorado Native Plant Society reflect their special fascination with insects and the associated plant life.

Lynn, a college English teacher with a special interest in native plants, has written many articles on flowers and gardens. Gene, a geologist/minera-
logist and dentist, served on the faculty of the State University of NY, College of Ceramic Engineering and has numerous publications in the fields of biomedical materials and mineralogy. Together they authored Sonnenberg Garden (1985), a photographic guide. Several of their garden and plant photographs were selected for inclusion in Gardens of America: Three Centuries of Design (1989). In 2004 they authored Butterflies & their Favorite Flowering Plants: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park(R) & Environs. In 2013 they authored The Desert Insects of Southern California: A Photographic Survey & Natural History - Anza-Borrego Desert State Park(R).