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Looking Forward to a Fruitful Spring

The Crest at Willow-Witt

Greetings!

The Crest is looking forward to an energetic Spring season, with expanded Outdoor School facilities and offerings. Learn more about our Outdoor School program, volunteer opportunities, and upcoming Summer Camp below.


Oregon’s Unique Outdoor School

Oregon stands alone among all states in paying the price for a full week of Outdoor School (ODS) for EVERY 5th and 6th grader in the state.  The Oregon legislature has deemed ODS an essential part of a citizen’s education; the state pays all costs associated with ODS and encourages all schools and all students by supporting aides, buses, interpreters, and special equipment as needed to assure that ALL students are supported in their ODS experiences.  Some states require Outdoor Education for high school graduation…but don’t fund that education.

The Crest’s first ODS program ran in 2021, a unique time to launch a new program. Our first program morphed from all-virtual to a little time in-classroom to a full day onsite as students began returning to school after COVID shut down classes. In 2022, we offered 3 days of onsite day-only programming.  

We are so excited to host our first residential ODS program in May 2023!  The Crest received grant funding from OSU/ODS to build 10 new ADA-accessible wall tents, upgrade all paths for accessibility, and expand our access road and van-accessible parking. We are putting the finishing touches on the new accommodations to welcome our first residential campers and their teachers!


Volunteer With Us!

The Crest is seeking volunteers to assist in the kitchen at residential Outdoor School (ODS) May 23-25, 2023 and help with the Nature Summer Day Camp beginning mid-June.

This is a wonderful opportunity to join a supportive staff in cultivating students’ connection to nature. Volunteers must pass a background check, be fingerprinted, and attend an online ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) course…we pay all fees.  

Interested?  Contact our education coordinator at: education.coordinator@thecrestatwillowwitt.org


Nature Summer Day Camp 2023

Nature Day Camp camper shows his nature drawings
The Crest Nature Day Camp campers show their silly poses

Watch The Crest’s website for registration to open for our popular Nature Summer Day Camp

Nature Summer Day Camp brings students ages 6-11 to Willow-Witt Ranch in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument for a week of exploration of forests and wetlands, turtles and birds, arts and stories, and goats, chickens and dogs.  Students take home bags of organic vegetables twice weekly and get to help in the garden. 

We supply bus transportation from Central Point, Talent, and Ashland.  Some scholarships will be available. Get more information.


Who’s Flying?
Purple Finch eating dried berries

Purple Finch

The Purple Finch Carpodacus purpureus is a winter resident at Willow-Witt Ranch, arriving at the feeders mid-February, joining the House Finch Carpodacus mexicanusand Cassin’s Finch Carpodacus cassinii

The Purple Finch is showier than its cousins, and less attracted to buildings, but all three species will be present through May at this elevation.

Photo: Becky Matsubara

What’s Blooming?
white amaryllis in bloom

Amaryllis

Amaryllis in snowy window.  Native flora is still slumbering in the cold and frozen ground. This Amaryllis bulb was a gift from La Mera Gardens.

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Get involved...

Suzanne Willow talks to a group of students visiting The Crest

The Crest is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

The Crest nonprofit organization relies on donations to support youth programs and give community groups the chance to experience the wonders of nature to learn about and feel a connection to the natural world. Please consider contributing to this natural legacy by making a tax-deductible donation.