EdenAcres develops exciting, engaging, and curiosity-inspiring educational experiences in outdoor settings for learners of all ages.
A community that cares for the earth and for people, fairly distributes and shares abundance, and lives within the limits of the natural world that sustains us.
To engage our community in active learning for transition to a sustainable future.
We are proponents of teaching methods that have been shown to empower learners and develop environmental literacy as well as foster intrinsic motivation, self-confidence, creative engagement, and connection to community. Our methods include place, project Opens in new window, and service-based learning Opens in new window, sustainability education Opens in new window, permaculture design Opens in new window, systems thinking Opens in new window, and STEM to STEAM Opens in new window.
What’s in a Name?
The credit for our name goes to Marcia Wilcox, who came up with this awesome acronym when we were in the “lets do an acronym!” phase of our naming brainstorm. While we love the craziness of the giant word string describing our aspirations, we like our name for a few other reasons as well.
Merriam-Webster defines Eden as “a place of pristine or abundant natural beauty” and that’s how we feel about our Willamette Valley. Whether or not we were born here, each of us has made this valley our home and is committed to caring for both the human and natural communities that live here. We feel the beauty of the surroundings in which we work is very deserving of the reference to paradise!
Also, the biblical story of Eden describes falling away or separating from a garden that provided for every need of the humans living there. We feel this is an apt reference, given our focus on sustainability. Through fostering the development of environmental literacy, we hope to “get ourselves back to the garden” by helping to create a community that lives in harmony with nature rather than in discord with it.
Our Team Members
EdenAcres members are highly experienced educators with a deep interest in sustainability education. Over the years, they’ve incorporated systems thinking, permaculture design, place and project-based learning, and outdoor experiences into their associated learning environments. They’ve been pivotal drivers of the development of a rich and diverse sustainability-minded culture in Forest Grove. Members are co-creators of the Forest Grove Community School, Pacific University’s B Street Farm, the Nana Cardoon learning kitchen and garden, and the Dairy Creek Food Web. In various capacities, they’ve supported the development of the Forest Grove Community Garden, Forest Grove Sustainability Commission, Centro Cultural’s STEAM youth-empowerment program, and Adelante Mujeres’ Farmer’s Market and Sustainable Agriculture education program. Collectively, they are directly responsible for creating 15 new sustainability education jobs in Forest Grove. EdenAcres members are ambitious, determined, deeply connected, and ready to act in service to their community.
"We believe that our community has reached a tipping point where judiciously applied pressure on targeted keypoints will result in increased access to outdoor education for learners of all ages in our region. Our work is to identify and address those keypoints in order to increase capacity for environmental education in our region."