IslandWood—Afternoon on the Trails, Sunday, April 28, 2019

In honor of Earth Day, IslandWood presents Afternoon on the Trails. Explore the woods and interact with the all the beauty the forest has to offer. While hiking the trails, allow your eyes to wander from the tree canopies to the forest floor, discover the small things and perhaps bring a small “natural treasure” back to the campus and consult with their on-hand Ask the Naturalist panel, as well as educators, who will be standing by to help guide you through the identification process using on-site microscopes, field guides and other scientific tools. IslandWood welcomes all ages, bring a picnic lunch or snacks (if you pack-in, you must pack-out, as there are no trash receptacles available in the woods). Please click here for more information and event registration.

“Discovering a new way of seeing nature, yourself, and one another.”

In 1999, Debbi Brainerd came upon a piece of untouched land at the south end of Bainbridge Island, which had been slated for development. She and her husband, Paul, explored the land, discovering its raw beauty and the power of nature, and an extraordinary vision formed. Debbi proposed they build an outdoor environmental learning center for urban children, who would otherwise not have access to such a lush and untouched natural environment. Her objective was to create a place where the children could explore, understand and learn, all the while discovering their connection and capacity to change the world through environmental preservation and sustainability.

Debbi and Paul knew that in order to create this innovative learning atmosphere, they would need to draw on their greatest resources; their community, both here on Bainbridge Island, and the surrounding areas. They turned to the University of Washington landscape architecture students, who in turn worked with over 250 children in the 4th, 5th and 6th grades to develop their design, which included a suspension bridge, a floating classroom and a tree house.  In addition, they brought in Mithun architects and The Berger Partnership to design the educational facilities, the trail systems, and outdoor field structures. Groundbreaking began in the summer of 2000, and was nearly completed in 2002, when pilot programs began testing the water, the trees, the forest floors, the bog, and the lessons.

IslandWood is sustainably designed and active in energy conservation, composting, recycling, and the use of alternative energy sources, such as solar power, salvaged wood, recycled glass tiles, photovoltaic roof panels, composting toilets, rainwater collection, and recycled plastics, just to name a few. To learn more about the sustainable products used in their design, click here.

IslandWood has developed from a pilot program serving ten Seattle schools, to a nationally recognized organization with multiple locations throughout the Puget Sound region. Their programs strive to integrate relevant, field-based hands-on learning into formal education and learning experiences outside of the traditional classroom environment, and nurturing an understanding of diversity in education, as well as the cultivation of sustainable societies.

The 250-acre Bainbridge Island campus, along with the King County Brightwater Center and other Seattle neighborhoods serve more than 12,000 students every year. In addition, they co-developed a science curriculum for Seattle Public Schools, teacher training for Next Generation Science Standards and they offer a Master’s level graduate program. IslandWood also created the Nature Passport app in partnership with Nature Play Western Australia, which has reached over 600,000 families worldwide.

IslandWood offers gathering space for community-building and education, summer day camps, free and low-cost community programs, and conferences and retreat services for nonprofits and corporations. In addition, they have venues for weddings and special occasions, as well as food and beverage services. To learn more, click here.

Visit IslandWood’s Events Calendar and sign up for the monthly emails to stay connected and plan your visit. Click here for details and email sign-up.

IslandWood is a registered 501c3 charitable organization, click here to learn how you can support them.

Located at 4450 Blakely Ave NE, Bainbridge Island, Washington – (206) 855-4300 –

***Logo and photographs provided by IslandWood

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