Wild and Scenic Institute
The Institute is not a place, but an adventure. It was born and developed in the city of Tukwila; in the year 2000, when executive director and founder, Hunter Hendrickson, began organizing free outdoor education trips for disabled, low-income and ELL (English language learner) students. As these kids traveled to the Skagit River to learn about spawning salmon and wintering bald eagles, it became apparent that they were learning even more about themselves.
Our Mission is to provide environmental education and outdoor recreation to special needs children in the Greater Seattle area. We develop physical and emotional confidence in these youth who due to their physical, cultural, or financial barriers would not otherwise have this opportunity.
According to The Journal of Environmental Education, studies involving children ages 8 through 18 at a camp with experiences ranging from a 7 hour nature experience to a 2-week residential camp and a 6-week day camp resulted in enhanced self-concept, positive changes in focus of control, and facilitation of peer socialization and racial integration. Additionally, they found that exercise and sports are associated with reduced maladaptive behavior in children with disabilities, as well as with improved physical fitness, self-esteem, and social competence.
What the Future Holds
The Wild and Scenic Institute has grown slowly from its modest grassroots beginning and has achieved tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) status from the IRS. We are now offering 5 programs year round, in and around 3 rivers protected by the Wild and Scenic Act of 1968. With the shared vision that children are the future, the WSI continues to take children into the rivers and mountains of the North Cascades to develop the skills and instill the passion that will create a generation of advocates for preservation.
Our program staff is customized each trip to best fit the needs our your group. Although all our programs are focused in the three areas of education, recreation and the environment, there is so much more that can be offered.
We hold 3-5 fundraising events each year. Please subscribe above to be on the list for the latest event announcements. You may also become follow our action on Facebook and Twitter, where we post events and happenings.
The WSI relies heavily on public support and community involvement. Without volunteers these programs simply would not be available. If you are a river guide, hiking guide, naturalist, therapist, teacher, or professional fun seeker WE NEED YOUR HELP!