Kittitas Environmental Education Network
KEEN's mission is to cultivate an active understanding of the impacts of climate change on the endangered shrub-steppe and foster commitment to environmental stewardship by providing culturally relevant nature-based education. Our main project is to establish the Yakima Canyon Interpretive Center (YCIC) at Helen McCabe Memorial Park near Ellensburg, WA.
KEEN’s Nature School and direct environmental education programming is expanding. Last year, KEEN connected with about 2,000
K-12th grade children in nature-immersion programming. We have tuition-based programs, Pond to Pines Summer Camp, KEEN's Mountaineers, and Earth Explorers, and free community programs including Windy City Park Rangers, 4th Grade Camp, and Brown Bag Science.
KEEN believes in lifelong-learning and provides informal environmental educational opportunities for kids, adults and seniors. KEEN hosts annual events including Winter Fair, Get Intimate with the Shrub-Steppe & Yakima River Canyon Bird Fest, and Urban Streams and Brews. We collaborate with subject-area experts for field trip leaders, speakers, and provide learning opportunities and connections to affinity groups at all our events.
Since 2004, KEEN has worked to
re-establish native plant communities, build trails, teach outdoor classes, and expand the use and stewardship of Helen McCabe Park. Our goal is to share and build the strong sense of place that KEEN recognizes in Kittitas County, particularly the endangered shrub-steppe habitat.
KEEN gladly accepts donations to support specific programming, nature school activities, sponsorships for special events, bequests, and naming opportunities at the Yakima Canyon Interpretive Center. Our annual fundraiser, KEEN's Native Plant Sale starts in December with plants delivered in May each year.
This project represents an unparalleled opportunity to engage visitors and community members of all ages in outdoor education, draw tourists to Central Washington, undertake environmental stewardship and habitat restoration, and accomplish protection of the endangered shrub-steppe biome.