The Environmental Science Center (ESC) is a nonprofit organization offering experiential environmental education programs for all ages at local beaches, streams, forested areas, and school gardens throughout south King County. Our goals are to inspire and foster environmental stewardship actions for all program participants, and to offer knowledge and resources for communities to deepen their relationship with their local environment. ESC was founded in 2000 after a group of educators wanted more students to experience environmental education outdoors. The organization now supports environmental stewardship for thousands of people through collaborations with a growing number of school districts, community-based organizations, municipalities, and individuals.
ESC recognizes that many communities in south King County – particularly Black, Indigenous, People of Color, immigrant/refugee, and low-income communities – have been systematically excluded from safe, positive outdoor experiences, and we are striving to change that. We aim to remove some of the barriers to these experiences by providing transportation and free or low-cost programs, and by working to create a safe and affirming space within our programs and in the broader community.
The Environmental Science Center operates from the traditional and stolen homelands of Coast Salish Peoples, specifically the dxʷdəwʔabš (“People of the Inside” – Duwamish), suq̀ʷabš (“People of Clear Salt Water” – Suquamish) and Muckleshoot Tribe. We recognize and honor the land itself and all tribal members of the past, present and future, including Indigenous teachers and scientists. We are grateful for the ways Indigenous Peoples continue to be caretakers of this land and all that live here, and we acknowledge how their stewardship was disrupted by the theft and colonization of their land. We strive to build reciprocal and respectful relationships with the land and its Peoples, and to be in partnership and solidarity with local Tribes and Indigenous communities. You’ll hear land acknowledgements at the beginning of ESC programs that differ depending on the location, age group and person delivering them. Find out more here.
ESC is committed to becoming an inclusive, anti-racist, multicultural organization engaging our community in environmental education and creating safe and affirming outdoor programs for everyone. We are in the process of developing our racial grievance policy for staff, volunteers, and program participants which will be shared here shortly.