North Cascades Institute seeks to inspire closer relationships with nature through direct experiences in the natural world. Our mission is to conserve and restore Northwest environments through education. Since 1986, we have helped connect people, nature and community through science, art, literature and the hands-on study of the natural and cultural history of the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to help people of all ages experience and enjoy the mountains, rivers, forests, people and wildlife of the Pacific Northwest – so all will care for and protect this special place.
North Cascades Institute is committed to innovation and excellence in environmental learning and leadership in the nonprofit community.
- Powerful, place-based learning experiences inspire environmental and community stewardship
- Hands-on learning about the environment should begin in childhood and continue throughout life
- Intimate, informed contact with the natural world helps people lead healthy, well-balanced lives
- Fun is an essential part of learning, engagement and health.
Four key themes run through all our programs:
- We teach at the convergence of natural and cultural history, science, humanities and the arts
- We value the importance of public lands for education, recreation and renewal
- We strive to inspire and support broad participation in informed civic engagement
- We are committed to quality education, effective community engagement, sound business practices and a clear sense of purpose
Teaching all ages, we offer:
- Mountain School residential environmental education for students
- Summer adventures for youth
- Natural and cultural history retreats and field excursions
- a M.Ed. Graduate degree in environmental education and nonprofit leadership in partnership with Western Washington University
- Base Camp for flexible, affordable lodging and learning adventures
- Group programs, conferences and retreats at the Learning Center
- Family Getaway weekends
- Skagit Tours
- Special community events featuring natural history and humanities
- and more!
In 2005, North Cascades Institute opened North Cascades Environmental Learning Center on Diablo Lake in the heart of the North Cascades. A partnership with the National Park Service and the City of Seattle, the Learning Center is surrounded by millions of acres of protected public lands. It is a hub of discovery into one of the wildest, most biologically diverse landscapes in North America. Learners of all ages come to explore and participate in innovative programs that inspire and enrich their lives.
Learn more about the Institute and our work by perusing the resources offered in the sidebar.