Through experiential education, we take urgent issues and make them relevant to young people, shedding light on the power we all have to change to the world for good. This approach prepares the next generation of inspired environmental problem solvers to work together to make an exponential impact on the planet—now and in the future.
Our school programs reach more than 12,000 students every year at our 250-acre campus on Bainbridge Island, in Seattle neighborhoods, and at the King County Brightwater Wastewater Treatment Plant in Woodinville. In addition, we partner with teachers and schools across our region to provide curriculum, teacher professional development and support, and advocacy that helps connect classroom learning to real environmental issues in students’ communities. Through our graduate program we are also preparing future educators ready to ignite change in our schools, communities, and planet.
But this work can’t happen without the generous support of our donors. Approximately half of the 12,000 students who participate in our programs each year receive need-based scholarship support. The gifts we receive make sure our programs stay within reach of every student, every family, every teacher, and every school. Because the environmental change our world needs will take all of us.

Mission Statement

Through experiential education, we take urgent issues and make them relevant to young people, shedding light on the power we all have to change the world for good. This approach prepares the next generation of inspired environmental problem solvers to work together to make an exponential impact on the planet — now and in the future.

Program Details

OUR MULTI-DAY RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL OVERNIGHT PROGRAM on Bainbridge Island extends learning beyond the classroom engaging 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in critical thinking, scientific investigations, and actions that build awareness of and concern for the wellbeing of people and our planet.
Over 75% of students continue to demonstrate SOP program outcomes three months after their stay at IslandWood: Embracing Safe Adventure, Pro-Environmental Behaviors Engagement with Science, Teamwork and Collaboration.
We’re committed to ensuring equitable access to our programs. In the 2017-2018 school year we served 4,430 students, 620 teachers & chaperones, and schools. We provided $289,230 in need based scholarship dollars to approximately half of schools who attended.
ISLANDWOOD'S URBAN SCHOOL PROGRAMS have partnered with Seattle Public schools on a revised 4th grade science unit and teacher training program called Community Waters. This engineering unit incorporates next generation science standards and empowers students to design a solution to a local stormwater problem in their schoolyard.
Why is Community- Connected learning important? Research shows that when learning is connected to students’ lives and communities, all students do better. In fact, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project includes “real world connections” as a critical anti-bias teaching strategy. Join us in supporting teachers and engaging thousands of students in solving real environmental challenges in their schoolyards and neighborhoods.
THROUGH OUR TEACHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM, we help teachers connect learning to students' lives and communities. Washington state has formally adopted the Next Generation science standards (NGSS), which call upon students to study natural phenomena and use their scientific understanding to solve problems in their communities. For teachers and students alike, such personally meaningful and action-oriented investigations can be thrilling, but they do present logistical and instructional challenges. With assistance through OSPI's CLIMETIME program, we are able to help educators link these lesson plans to climate science and what actions can be taken to mitigate the impact of our changing climate on our local environment.
Looking for support and lesson ideas, teachers like Kathy Holder from Glenwood Elementary in Lake Stevens have been making their way to the Brightwater Education Center for IslandWood’s five-part professional development series. After Kathy and two colleagues took their students to an IslandWood day Program at Brightwater, they left inspired to design a project that would manage flooding on the school’s playing fields. But bureaucracy and limited resources held them back. Passionate about teaching and motivated to make a difference, the Glenwood teachers signed up for IslandWood’s teacher professional development session “Taking action with Your students” to gain new ideas, lesson plans, and strategies to help them identify appropriate projects and overcome obstacles such as these.
In the session’s final small-group discussion, participants focused on what a successful community science project might look like at their schools. Kathy noted that land form study is part of her school’s curriculum. Could they embark on creek restoration and tree planting? Snohomish Conservation District, with its lawns to lettuce, could make a strong partner. She also noted the inaccessible wetlands behind their school, whose standing water created an insect problem. Why not enlist a hardware store to donate supplies for an eco-friendly solution, such as bat houses?
With ideas like these, with their potential for curriculum connections, effective remediation, and local partnerships, it was time to move forward. Like other teachers in the workshop, Kathy was emboldened to step outside her classroom door and take real steps to make a difference.
OUR FOUNDATIONAL GRADUATE PROGRAM, offered in partnership with the University of Washington College of Education, is an innovative 10-month teaching residency preparing extraordinary educators capable of catalyzing community and environmental stewardship. As of fall 2018 we have over 380 EEC students and alumni who reach an estimated 4000 children annually in schools, public environmental programs, and child-oriented nonprofits. Join us in preparing extraordinary educators to bring new ways of engaging all students in learning and stewardship.
Primary Issue
Climate Change
Secondary Issue
4450 Blakely Avenue NE
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
United States
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