Our Mission 

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Nature Education for Children & Families

Our main mission is to connect children and their families to the wisdom of nature and build important life skills and community resiliency through conservation of vital urban forests, access to outdoor education, and inspiring good stewardship in the community and the next generations.

Develop a Community Nature Sanctuary

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Coordinate Forest Conservation Projects

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Our 
Mission

Our main mission is to connect children and their families to the wisdom of nature and build important life skills and community resiliency through conservation of vital urban forests, access to outdoor education, and inspiring good stewardship in the community and the next generations.

Our first goal is to acquire approximately 2 acres of urban forest from a development company. This beautiful mature mixed hardwood-coniferous forest with towering fir trees, ancient Western Red Cedar and big Maples that have held space as an unofficial community forest for many generations on the Eastside of Olympia. The parcels of forested slopes (aka Fern Gully Forest) connect to a system of wetlands and a creek that flows to the Puget Sound, as well nearby urban wildlife habitat corridors and recreational trails.

 

The vision for the conservation of this forest is to provide an educational resource and nature sanctuary for the whole community and to serve as an example for future regenerative community nature projects.

What’s the Problem worth Solving?

A major threat right now is the alarming rate of conversion of forests to urban development and a general lack of quality open spaces and wildlife habitat in urban settings.

 

A big opportunity right now is an increase in environmental awareness and a demand in our community for quality outdoor early-childhood education. And now with the Covid-19 pandemic and the negative impacts on our children's development of social skills there is an even greater need for outdoor education where our children can safely play, learn, and socialize. 

This global pandemic has also resulted in an even greater mental health crisis and access to nature has been shown to greatly improve mental health and overall happiness and well-being. Playing in forest soils has been shown to directly improve children’s immune systems!

What we’re doing about it

We recently formed the Community Nature Foundation to conserve an urban forest that is in threat of development. We collaborate with the Fern Gully School on the edge of the beloved woods to provide nature-based early-education programs and classes for the community. Being outside has been shown to be the safest way for our children to connect, play and learn during this pandemic. We see the need for outdoor education and the need to conserve urban forests as an opportunity to collaborate and provide benefits to the children and families in our community as well as the wildlife habitat and ecosystems we are stewards of. 

The Benefits of
Outdoor Education