“I would like to express a very heartfelt thanks for the opportunity that you offered our Hispanic Academic Outreach students.
None of them had ever camped before.
This was a major breakthrough event for all of them
and they universally wanted more.”

~ Charlie Bauer, Migrant Education Coordinator, Southern Oregon ESD

November 5, 2008

Dear Friends of EarthTeach Forest Park,

I’m writing you on behalf of EarthTeach Park, our community’s nearby natural resource that has provided safe, wilderness educational adventures and opportunities for people of all ages, especially the youth of Southern Oregon, for over a decade. The reason for my email is simple, EarthTeach ‘s membership fund raising goal between today and December 31, 2008 is $20,000. We need your help.

Consider the ways EarthTeach has grown every year: most of its youth programs doubled in the past four years, and the number of new visitors has grown by 200 annually; EarthTeach is now the year-round “extended campus” for Ashland’s John Muir School, ninety percent of the seasonal programs will return in 2009 for a fifth (or more) year, and EarthTeach’s KINship (Kids In Nature) Scholarship fund sponsored over $8,500 in youth scholarships this past year.

As a unique community park, we do not charge admission, and as a venue for group programs, our fees are nominal. For twelve years we have been committed to keeping EarthTeach accessible to all groups wishing to use, explore, and learn on the land. Because we receive no state or federal funding, we count on donations and grants to keep our organization vital and growing.

$20,000 is a lot of money to raise; however, as a group I know we can do it before December 31. Every dollar counts and whether you can make a $20 or $200 donation, it will mean that EarthTeach will continue to thrive. And, your donation is 100% tax-deductable.

Please make your membership pledge payable to
The Way Foundation, then print out the attached pledge form and send it to ~ EarthTeach Forest Park Office 76 Dewey Street Ashland, Oregon 97520

I want to thank you ahead of time for your generosity and willingness to help achieve our goal. If you would like further information about EarthTeach Park feel free to contact me directly or read on in this letter for extended information.

Sincerely Yours, ~
Martha L. Phelps Cotton

Coyote Tails School of Nature (CTSN) - unique curriculums expose youth, teens and families to the benefits of wilderness through tracking, awareness, story telling, primitive skills, nature study and art. CTSN offers both residential tracking and wilderness camps as well as Earth Art! an arts education-based summer day camp at EarthTeach.

John Muir School - EarthTeach offers itself as the educational field site within a short distance of the school's regular campus to Ashland’s magnat school that focuses on natural science and arts. John Muir students have established a permanent camp for to use throughout the year, in all kinds of weather, as they ultimately come to know the land with deep intimacy.

LEAP Camp - summer sessions for teens employing the challenge course, back country exploration and rock climbing as they explore their leadership skills, learn about and discover personal purpose and potential and experience a tremendous amount of fun!

The annual
Red Earth Descendants’ Elder and Youth Conference and Celebration of World Peace and Prayer Day.

Vision Questing:Coyote Trails School of Nature, lead by Joe Kreuzman, based on ancient earth people’s traditions.
Earth-Heart Institute, run by Malcolm Ringwalt, focusing on rite of passage used for thousands of years by indigenous cultures and mystical societies.
Healing Quest, run by Ann Fuller, based on Andean mystical tradition.
Rogue Valley Adventist School, Senior Survival, teaching outdoor skills as well as solo questing experience to prepare young adults for their transitioning senior year of school.

Team Synergo, arguably the Northwest leader in challenge course design, construction, management, and training of experiential education facilitators, built, maintains and has been running events on the a world class challenge course at EarthTeach Forest Park since 2001.

Visitors to the EarthTeach Labyrinth - At 4000 feet elevation, with a breathtaking view of Ashland, the Siskiyou Mountains, Pilot Rock, and the Rogue National Forest, lies the circuitous path of the Park’s eleven circuit labyrinth. The site is annually visited and appreciated for personal and ceremonial practice by over 1000 guests.

In General- EarthTeach Forest Park raised over $50,000 in the past year and a half through the generous support of yourself and others. This amount signifies 23 adopted acres, 137 memberships, and a grant received by the Legacy of the Heart Foundation toward program scholarships for teens. As wonderful as where funding came from - is what it has supported: over 2500 guests enjoying EarthTeach for 240 days out of the year. Even with last winter’s bountiful snowfall and an inaccessible driveway, folks were not deterred from enjoying snowshoeing, labyrinth walks, and the John Muir students camped in snow caves!

The 2008 calendar was full with over 40 ropes course days, Coyote Trails‘ summer camps, teen workshops, LEAP Camps, several vision quest groups and more. We partnered with the
Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and are encouraged to help promote and educate Park users about how to be in the forest while leaving as small a footprint behind as possible.

We are heartened that EarthTeach Park continues to grow and flourish, and appreciate your interest and investment in making 2009 our most successful year ever!