Mendocino Outdoor Science School (MOSS):
MWCA launched its environmental education programs in 1976, and our Mendocino Outdoor Science School (MOSS) continues to serve youth ages 8 to 18. Every Fall and Spring, more than 2,000 youth from over twelve counties in Northern California stay on-site in National Historic Landmark cabins and study the natural environment in small field groups. Discovery-based curriculum and community building are the core values of MOSS. Field groups enjoy hands-on activities investigating the redwood forest, freshwater stream, rocky shore tide pools, and estuary. The concepts of habitat, adaptation, energy flow, nutrient cycling, and interdependence are highlighted and reinforced in each ecosystem.
MOSS functions as a small community where each and every person is a valued member. All activities—learning groups, recreation time and meals—are structured to encourage cooperation with emphasis for the youth to become good citizens for the planet. MWCA makes programs available and affordable by providing scholarships to underserved communities. Currently, more than 60% of students served by MOSS qualify for free and reduced lunch programs and 80% come from schools that have been designated as low-income.
We are committed to training the next generation of environmental stewards and our programming is designed to instill a reverence for nature in participants and encourage young people to minimize their negative impact on our public lands while positively contributing to the protection of our natural environment. As we face the threat of climate change it is important now more than ever that we foster a generation of youth with respect and love for the natural environment.
Affordable Group Camping:
The Mendocino Woodlands provides a venue for large group camping activities that allow the public to experience history, nature, and community in a way that is not available at any other location. Several dozen organized groups have been camping at the Woodlands for multiple generations, offering studies in a variety of arts including music, dance, crafts, language, history, and cuisine.
The Woodlands is home to international art and cultural exchanges with campers coming from as far as Sweden and Africa annually. The camp provides a close connection with the redwood forest environment while allowing families and other communities the space to come together and share food, music, and dance--- or simply walk through nature in solitude.