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Natasha Gardner

Natasha Gardner writes and edits longform journalism and multimedia projects for 5280 and is a regular columnist for She was named a finalist for a 2012 National Magazine Award in the public interest category for “Direct Fail,” an expose of Colorado’s “direct file” policy of sending juveniles to adult prison. Since that story was published, the state has dramatically changed the direct file law. Her investigation of the Colorado foster care system (“Unwanted”) received multiple awards, including a prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2010, she was also a National Magazine Awards finalist for “Low on O2,” a service package that explores the impact of altitude on day-to-day life in Colorado (co-written with Lindsey B. King). She also won The Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism for “Dry Times,” an investigation of Colorado’s water crisis that she co-wrote with Patrick Doyle. Gardner has appeared on Colorado Public Television to discuss her work and current affairs. She was a Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma Ochberg Fellow in 2011. Before settling in Colorado, she worked in book publishing in New York. She has a BA from Smith College and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado. She lives in Denver with her husband and son.

Articles By Natasha Gardner

The Best Ski Run at (Almost) Every Mountain in Colorado

From tight trees to fast chutes to wide-open bowls, these are the best ski runs in Colorado.

Is Colorado Ready for November?

Whether it’s 1920 or 2020, any election cycle is fraught with talk about security and voting rights—but this year is unlike any ballot season we’ve seen.

By the Numbers: Women in Office

The push for equal political representation for women has gone beyond the ballot box in recent decades.

How Suffragist Strategies Are Used Today

Suffragists didn’t invent political organization tactics, but they took what others had used before, adjusted them for their needs, and found success. And campaigns and advocates are still using that same adopt-build-change strategy.

Why Colorado Women Vote

In their own words, Centennial State women explain what exercising their right to vote means to them.

Voting Rights Milestones

Making sure that Americans have equal access to the polls has been a long process—and it’s still evolving.

The Ongoing Fight Against Voter Suppression

Securing franchise—the right to vote—didn’t end in 1920.

Inside Colorado Women’s Tactics

Centennial State suffragists devised a broad and brilliant strategy to earn their spots at the ballot box.

Road-Trip Itinerary: Suffragist Sites

Get in the car for a historical road trip planned around suffragist hangouts and exhibits in both Colorado and Wyoming.

Was Colorado the First to Let Women Vote?

Awarding a blue ribbon is complicated—but Western states, including Colorado and Wyoming, were early adopters when it came to extending suffrage to female citizens.

How Colorado Women Won the Right to Vote

One hundred years ago this month, women across America gained the right to vote—something Colorado women had already been doing for 27 years.

From Sunrise to Sunset, 5 Perfect Denver Walks

Strike out, slow down, and discover some of Denver’s best walks.

ICYMI: Ten Stories from May that We’re Still Talking About

Restaurants open, graduates celebrate, and moths descend. Here’s some of the Centennial State’s biggest stories this month.

Local Custom Furniture Maker Pivots to Design Homeschool Desks for Kids

Homeschooling parents: You can finally get your kitchen table back with this easy-to-assemble desk.

Despite Stay-at-Home Orders, April Was Still (Mostly) a Seller’s Market For People Looking to Buy

While plenty of local real estate stats took a dive in April, prices held steady and houses were still being sold (even faster than before).

ICYMI: Five Feel-Good Stories from April (Plus the Biggest Headlines)

There was plenty of news to keep up with—and even more stories to make us feel good about the Centennial State.

5 Big Ideas to Transform Denver’s Infrastructure

We spoke to transportation experts and mobility advocates about how we might create ideal infrastructure—you know, if money wasn’t holding us back.

The Transportation Challenge: Can You Change the Way You Move?

Three 5280 staffers set out to do just that. Did it work—and will we be able to keep it up?

The Commuter Shuffle: How a Shifting Population Impacted Denver’s Traffic

Colorado’s population is growing, and as a result, we’re often putting more distance between work, home, and play. This makes planning for the future a bit like fortune-telling.

Memory Lane: What Traffic Looked Like in Denver More Than a Century Ago

Take a ride through Denver’s traffic snarls over the decades.

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