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Natasha Gardner, Articles Editor

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. Koehler). 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.

Author Article Archive

Meet Denver’s New District Attorney: Beth McCann

Beth McCann has made a career of breaking gender barriers, and she did so again this past November when she was elected to be Denver’s first female district attorney. One year after her historic victory, what’s next for the trailblazer?


Testing Ground

When Jon Hanover launched Roots Elementary, a charter school in Northeast Park Hill, in 2015, he hoped to create an innovative, high-performing community school by transforming the way elementary education is taught—all on a spot once devastated by gang violence. Two years later, has the school made the grade?

The Guide to Colorado’s Best Wilderness Areas

Ten of our favorite federally protected wilderness areas in the Centennial State where you can hike, camp, hunt, and fish—and just generally fall more deeply in love with Colorado.

The Investment Bank

A small facility in Fort Collins is home to one of the world’s largest curated seed collections. The lab could save our food supply in the case of a disaster—but only if the federal government continues to fund it.


Everything You Know About Denver’s Real Estate Market Is Wrong

Well, maybe not everything. But thanks to scant housing inventory, massive population growth, and still-low interest rates, buying or selling a home in—or even near—the Mile High City means stepping into a fierce game with ever-changing rules. Here’s how to play the market right now.

Classic Denver

Sure, you’ve tried all the hot new places. But what about the old? Here, our list of the restaurants, landmarks, museums, events, and more that make Denver special.

Free Things to Do: January 2017

Seven ways to save cash and keep your Instagram feed filled with like-worthy pics from local events—plus one way to splurge. 


10 Free Things to Do in December

From holiday events and traditions to snow-filled activities, here are 10 ways to give your wallet a break (while having fun) this month. 

Our Children, Ourselves

More than 180 kids are born in Colorado every day, and as many as one in four will be abused or neglected by their caregivers during their early years. Why is it so difficult to stop this from happening—and even harder to find justice for victims? 

Neighborhood Guide: Stapleton

This sprawling, family-friendly neighborhood is packed with restaurants, shops, and more than 50 parks. And with an influx of new residents, it's only growing. 

10 Free Things to Do in November

From a Day of the Dead celebration to complimentary admission to the Denver Zoo, here are 10 fun ways to give your wallet a break this month. 

10 Free Things to Do in October

From perfect-for-fall hikes to a Native American film festival, here are 10 ways to give your wallet a break (while having fun) this month. 


Living Off The Land

For a family to own and work a spot of land in Colorado for just one growing season is a feat of perseverance, temperance, tenacity, and luck. The Edgars have done it for more than 100 years. 

10 Free Things to Do in September

From festivals and film screenings to hikes worth traveling for, here are 10 ways to give your wallet a break (while having fun) this month. 


Spring Reading

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