In March 2018, I started working with Wildsight to create a brand new education program called the Columbia River Field School (CRFS). After six months of brainstorming, planning, networking, and organizing, our efforts bore fruit when we journeyed by canoe for two weeks with sixteen local youth from the headwaters of the Columbia to its confluence with the Kootenay River, learning from the land and its people all along the way. We met with more than twenty guest experts and covered a rigorous and wide ranging curriculum that touched on perspectives from the various fields of geography, ecology, hydrology, technology, economics, politics, history, culture, and outdoor leadership. We strengthened our connections to the land and built connections with each other. We thought critically, but spoke from the heart. By all counts, it was a huge success. Read more about it here.
In 2019, we did it again with a new group of sixteen students from eleven different Basin communities — and this time it was for high school credit! Explore the journey for yourself through our interactive Story Map, below.
We are also working to cultivate a community of alumni and support them with continued opportunities to stay engaged and build from the base of knowledge that they acquired in the Field School. Read more about what they’re doing recently here.