Yakima Canyon Interpretive Center

Yakima Canyon Interpretive Center 

Something for Everyone!

The Yakima Canyon Interpretive Center will serve as a destination for visitors and community members, provide science-based learning opportunities for all ages, and connect our community to nature. KEEN will have programming, events and amenities at the Yakima Canyon Interpretive Center that include:

  • Outdoor preschool and afterschool programs

  • Naturalist training and master birder certifications

  • Summer camps and senior programming

  • Natural playgrounds and explorations

  • Fishing and boating access

  • Citizen science and hands-on restoration

  • Event rentals – weddings, reunions and birthdays

  • Visitor activities – wine tasting and gift shop

  • Environmental education curriculum tied to school curriculum

We recently hired an innovative architectural team that emphasizes artisanship, collaboration and sustainability. With a carbon neutral footprint and a net zero energy design, the Center will promote wise stewardship for the land, water, wildlife, and cultural resources of our region.

Central Washington’s population may increase by 20% in the next decade. A growing population brings unique resource management challenges, both locally and globally. Soon we will reach a crossroads where we will all have to make informed ecological decisions. We need well-educated young people and citizenry to work on solutions to complex issues that affect our economy like flooding, fires, drought, and climate change.

Environmental education connects us to the world, teaches us about the interactions between and within natural and modified landscapes, and provides context for relationships with our surroundings.

At its core, environmental education is a resource that transcends the classroom and creates an environmentally literate populace. People who are environmentally literate understand how natural systems function and how humans and the environment are intertwined. Educated citizens are a vital component of preventing, addressing, and solving local environmental problems.

To foster environmental literacy, we must expand learning

opportunities outside the classroom and into natural areas.

Experiential education forges stronger links with the environment and helps us transform conceptual knowledge to hands-on understanding. It also combats physical and psychological health concerns like obesity, asthma, depression and ADHD.

Environmental literacy gives individuals the tools to be good stewards of the environment in their neighborhoods and communities. More than ever, children and adults need to know how ecological systems work and why they matter.


The Center can create opportunities to connect to nature The environmental education programming KEEN will provide will be integral to our region’s future economy and quality of life.

KEEN needs your support to construct the Center so that it will provide a focal point for environmental education and become a destination for community members and visitors seeking a greater connection to nature.

Will you be a part of connecting your community to nature through a gift to KEEN today? Will you join us in creating informed, critical thinkers who will make sound decisions for the future of our community?

Please dig deep and support the Yakima Canyon Interpretive Center today.

Every gift helps.

Take a look at our new capital campaign booklet for the Yakima Canyon Interpretive Center. Just click on the arrow at the top of the page.

Download our new business plan for the Yakima Canyon Interpretive Center.

Donate to support the Yakima Canyon Interpretive Center today!

Mailing Address

414 South Willow Street

Ellensburg, WA 98926



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Our 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.