Hands-on Ecology Programs

Our education model is cumulative and grows with students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Our curriculum is built on inquiry and project-based learning. We emphasize hands-on! Our programs promote critical thinking and guide students to connect academic content to real world challenges. They develop ecological literacy while building skills in communication, collaboration, and creativity. Our interdisciplinary lessons align with Next Generation Science Standards that provide real-world STEM learning, and support teachers in meeting academic benchmarks.


Elementary Programs (K-5th)

We have developed a multitude of hands-on lessons to bring ecology to life for our younger students. They learn about topics relevant to our place through watershed studies, food webs, animal adaptation, native plants, and wildlife, to name a few.

  • One or two educators visit the classroom and deliver hands-on, NGSS aligned lessons.

  • Our educators visit the classroom three-five times over the course of 12 weeks.

  • Learning takes place inside and outside of the classroom.

  • Students apply their learning in field studies, habitat improvement, and guided exploration.

  • Our lessons support teachers in meeting academic benchmarks.


Secondary Programs (6th-12th)

Secondary students regularly take part in service-learning projects to combine academic work with meaningful service. We actively collaborate with area partners to ensure best practices to meet the needs of the community and the land.

  • Secondary lessons primarily happen in the field.

  • Students take part in service-learning and stewardship projects over the course of the year.

  • Students develop a stronger connection to their communities, to each other, and the land.

  • We work to connect high-school students to career pathways.

ECO partners with other environmental nonprofits such as Friends of Trees, governmental agencies such as Oregon State Parks and the Bureau of Land Management, and other diverse groups to enhance student-community engagement. ECO students are exposed to the multitude of ways that Oregonians are working together to protect and engage with our natural resources.

Just $25 will cover the cost of a field trip for a single student.
Thank you for supporting our students and community!  


ECO is a great way to teach science with hands-on fun activities. The ECO teachers make every attempt and succeed in matching lessons with curriculum and also standards! What an amazing help for teachers and learning for students!
— Teacher, Seth Lewelling Elementary School