The Present at The Park

Intent is one thing, action quite another. What actually is occurring after a decade of quiet existence? Activities and opportunities at EarthTeach are numerous, diverse, and growing.

EarthTeach hosts school field trips for all grade levels, including: Nature awareness, observation skills, basic science, and self-expression for elementary students; natural science, ecology, environmental and arts studies for middle and high school students; geology, plant and wildlife biology; environmental education, and anthropology for college students.

Like an urban park, this forest counterpart requires care and stewardship. Youth Conservation Corps-type experiences are ongoing at EarthTeach, and its 1680 wild acres offer plenty of work opportunities. The Job Council of Southern Oregon, and many school groups, such as Ashland’s magnet school,
The John Muir School, assist and volunteer in educational maintenance programs on the land year round.

Virginia explores the snow covered rocks at the Park


Springtime in the Park not only heralds a forest in full bloom, but full use of the Challenge Ropes course that we have on site. Over 3000 graduates of Rogue Valley middle schools over the past seven years have spent a day or more on the Course that was built and is managed by
Team Synergo of Portland. Many of these teens declare their ropes course expereince the highpoint of their school year! Youths, families, athletic teams, corporate staffs and several Southern Oregon University groups use the Course to learn about life transitions, team building, and leadership…all intent upon having fun while getting themselves “on the same page.” Several programs for youth at risk and adjudicated teens have also tapped into the Park's challenge course curriculum and facilities to produce tremendously positive results.

Summers at EarthTeach are amazing.

2008 starts with
Coyote Trails School of Nature. The CTSN curriculums expose youth, teens, and families to the benefits of wilderness through tracking, awareness, storytelling, primitive skills, and nature study. In addition to Fox and Bear Trails of study, CTSN will offer adult vision questing this season.

A Coyote Trails camper learns how to start a fire using a bow drill kit


In summer's past, parents of enthusiastic young artists described the magic of their child’s week of painting, dancing, music making, and theatre at Fine Arts at EarthTeach, the Park’s flagship youth camp. Evolving into
EarthArt! this wild and nature arts immersion day camp guided by professional artists from the Northwest and wilderness instructors from Coyote Trails School of Nature will offer two week long sessions this year for children aged 7-13.

Wataru Sugiyama works with a camper during EarthART!


Another exceptional EarthTeach camp is
LEAP–the Leadership Edge-ucation Adventure Program. Using the Challenge Ropes course, initiative games and the rocks, boulders and wild terrain of the Park, LEAP focuses on teens discovering and developing their leadership “self."

Throughout the year the Park hosts initiation and rite-of-passage experiences, including vision quests and Native American sweat lodges, as well as the Celebrations of Season and Cycle, outdoor observations of the Equinoxes, solstices and cross-quarter Earth festival days that mark the turning of the year. Many of these events at are honored with spectacular bonfires and potluck dinners.

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Last, but not least is EarthTeach's "crowned jewel," the 55’-diameter stone and gravel labyrinth, set in a mountainside meadow at 4000-foot elevation. The
EarthTeach Labyrinth was consecrated on the Summer Solstice of 1999 and has been walked on by thousands of Park visitors since that time. This ancient tool of meditation and introspection provides for group and individual ceremony, celebration, insight, instruction, and many a solace-seeking hiker has found it be a unique place of peace and reflection.