Elementary, middle and high school students are empowered with the task of preservation through writing. Students observe, and actively participate in the outdoors, while learning about the history of place. They develop a sense of community and record their observations. Creative and science writing are emphasized as a way to improve communication and social skills. Students learn to establish individual viewpoints, respect others, and work together as educated, compassionate citizens.


While exploring the outdoors, students take a deep step inside themselves. They develop patience, calmness and explore healthy ways to express emotions.

In this program, students learn to find wilderness everywhere, including in themselves.
It's in our hearts, loving genuinely.
It's in our lungs, breathing fully.
It's in our bodies, trusting our footing.
It's in our minds, thinking creatively.

6th grader at wood river middle school

Wood River Middle School (ID)
6th Grader on after school
Neighborhood Tree Walk

As a result of their involvement with Eco Expressions, youth have the power to transform negative behaviors.

Behavioral Results:
• Anger and Stress Management
• Problem Solving Skills
• Positive Thinking
• Healthy Habits
• Personal Empowerment
• Desire to Excel
• Relaxation
• Listening Skills
• Collaboration
• Decision-making
• Understanding of Balanced Ecosystem
• Critical Thinking


Allow nature to teach you stillness.

Stillness is where creativity and solutions are born.

Practice stillness.

“We hunger for a kind of experience deep enough
to change our selves, our form of life...”

~ Jack Turner


• Hiking
• Canoeing
• Sailing
• Map Reading
• Birdwatching
• Botany
• Wildlife Identification
• Animal Tracking
• Astronomy
• Habitat Restoration
• Gardening

The outdoor adventure is only half of the experience, the other half is creative adventure.  Participants engage in environmentally friendly forms of artwork as a main component of the outing.


“At a certain point you say to the woods, to the sea, to the mountains, Now I am ready.
Now I will stop and be wholly attentive. You empty yourself and wait, listening.”
~ Annie Dillard, Teaching a Stone to Talk


• Journaling
• Recycled Papermaking
• Watercolors
• Field Sketching
• Poetry
• Photography
• Pastels
• Creative Writing

Outings focus on personal experience and acting with awareness. We encourage young people to practice communicating and develop healthy interpersonal skills. The main rule that must be followed by leaders and students is RESPECT: for each other, for the environment, and for themselves.



Sample Writing Prompt: Elementary

Cloud Formations:
*Lie on your back and watch the clouds go by. Imagine what characters you see and write a poem about it.  Ie: Gary Snyder’s poem – The Blue Sky: Sky. Horse with lightning feet, a mane like distant rain, the turquoise horse, a black star for an eye, white shell teeth.


Sample Writing Prompt: Middle School

Sensory Scavenger Hunt:
Make hunt cards for each team to find and observe, NOT collect.
Find 5 different textures and write a descriptive sentence for each.
Find 5 different shapes and draw them.
Find 5 different smells and describe them using a simile or metaphor.
Find 5 different animal sounds and try to imitate them or draw dashes to show what it sounds like on paper (high and low pitches).
Bonus: What animal clues are nearby? (ie: tracks, eaten leaves, holes in trees, scat)


Sample Writing Prompt: High School

Bird Verbs:
* Pick a verb: hunting, eating, flying, grooming, socializing, communicating, diving, perching, hovering, landing, etc. Now find a bird acting out that verb, sit and study it for at least 3 minutes before describing what you witnessed. ie: Flying: “I caught only a glimpse of something like a bright torpedo that blasted the leaves where it flew.” – Annie Dillard


“What cannot be described is ignored.”
~ Jack Turner