Kittitas Environmental Education Network
KEEN's mission is to cultivate an active awareness and understanding of the endangered shrub-steppe, provide nature-based education for all ages, and strengthen commitment to environmental stewardship. 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 1,000
K-9th 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 Ellensburg Explorers, 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, the Yakima River Canyon Bird Fest, Urban Streams and Brews, and the WindFall Cider Fest & Roots Music. 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.
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.
KEEN relies on volunteers and treasures their time, energy, and expertise. From helping with summer camp, topic area experts to lead field trips for Get Intimate with the Shrub-Steppe, to joining the board...we are nothing without our volunteers! There are so many ways to help out - you are welcome and we can find a spot for you! Please email KEEN at firstname.lastname@example.org , call Jill at 509-551-8807 with questions or check here for current event opportunities. We can't wait to meet you!
How to Support KEEN
KEEN is a non-profit all volunteer organization. Our success relies upon the generous support of our community members. There are a lot of ways to support KEEN. You can donate your time by volunteering, give regular monthly support, connect us to donors, attend an event, or leave a bequest or naming opportunity for a cherished family member. Find out more here.
Our nation’s future relies on a well-educated public to be wise stewards of the very environment that sustains us, our families and communities, and future generations. It is environmental education which can best help us as individuals make the complex, conceptual connections between economic prosperity, benefits to society, environmental health, and our own well-being. Ultimately, the collective wisdom of our citizens, gained through education, will be the most compelling and most successful strategy for environmental management.