KEEN was established as a 501(c)3 in 2000 and have been operating in Kittitas County as an all-volunteer organization for the past 18 years. Our mission is to Connect Community to Nature following the principles of environmental education; teaching people ‘how’ to think, not ‘what’ to think.
Our primary goal is to establish (design, construct and operate) the Yakima Canyon Interpretive Center near Ellensburg, WA. The Interpretive Center will serve as the gathering place for our community, for visitors to our community, and for engaging and connecting to nature in Central Washington. As the gateway to the Yakima River Canyon Scenic Byway, the Interpretive Center will invite lifelong learners to become active informed citizens, and provide a sense of place to this land we love.
In 1967 the state legislature authorized a bill (Senate Bill 424) providing for the development of scenic and recreational highways throughout the state. Following the passage of the bill, the State Parks and Recreation Commission and the State Highway Department studied sites around the state for designation. The Yakima River Canyon Scenic Byway (YRCSB) “was proposed as the state’s first scenic corridor due to its great potential for allowing the traveler to pass through beautiful country at a pace enabling him to enjoy and appreciate its beauty” (Daniel J. Evans, Governor).
KEEN produces fun and educational events such as Central Washington Bird Fest, Get Intimate with the Shrub Steppe, Stewardship Sundays, Outdoor Summer Camp, Wilson Creek Clean-up, and partners with other local organizations on multiple educational projects.
For more information about Annual and Special Events, along with ongoing programs, please visit www.ycic.org.
KEEN is completely volunteer driven and survives and thrives because of the generous contributions of our donors, constant fundraising and grant writing. All funds raised by WindFall are designated to further our goal of creating the Yakima Canyon Interpretive Center. Additional fundraising programs are constant to cover camp scholarships and educational programming. Donate today! (add web link)
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