A Resource & Model

EarthTeach Forest Park is a model of honoring what you have received by passing something forward. According to Peter Cotton, Founding Director of EarthTeach, “As kids growing up in Ashland in the 1950's, we stepped out the backdoor, crossed the irrigation ditch and immediately adventured into wild brush and, soon, deep woods. One thought around this forestland was to gift it in order to create the closest possible approximation for today's kids of our 50's small town freedoms.”

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That 'passing something along' evolved into EarthTeach Forest Park, protected in perpetuity, -- a wild nature setting for solitude, ceremony, exploration, and education.

The park emphasizes other things as well. It has ecological integrity; meaning: it has relatively intact native components – such as plants, animals and other organisms, and their processes - such as growth and reproduction. It is a wildlife preserve, and a fire-ecology and landscape restoration demonstration forest. As a social resource, EarthTeach is an active field site for outdoor education, rites of passage, experiential learning, and retreats.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it is also a place to simply be: a place of free-trespass—hiking, climbing, just sitting, seeing and listening: birdsong…sunrise…clouds… pine squirrel scolding; night skies…stars…a coyote chorus…the wind.

Photo courtesy of Jim Schlight "Frozen Marsh Tree."