whole-life skills for a radically different future
Founded in 1994, Earthaven is located on 329 acres in culturally rich, biologically diverse Western North Carolina, about 50 minutes southeast of Asheville. Lying between 2000 and 2600 feet in elevation, our forested mountain land consists of three converging valleys with abundant streams and springs, flood plains, bottom land, and steeper ridge slopes. We are dedicated to caring for people and the Earth by learning and demonstrating a holistic, sustainable culture.
The mission of Culture's Edge is to provide experiential education opportunities for living intelligently with each other on Earth. In these amazing times, we know there are so many choices that people can make to transform lives and lifestyles in sustainable, regenerative directions! What do you want to learn? What do you want to share? Drop us a line to co-create with us!
The Permaculture School offers Design Ecology & Living Skills, a year-long ecological learning journey designed for people who want to build the skills, knowledge, and experience to successfully manifest permaculture projects, pathways, and careers. You are especially encouraged to apply if you are on a path to becoming a permaculture leader, professional, practitioner, educator, activist, or advocate. Dive in deep and live it!
Forest Floor Wilderness Programs
Forest Floor Wilderness Programs was founded in 2011 with the goal of providing the Asheville area with nature-connection mentoring programs designed to reconnect youth and adults with the natural world. We aim to serve as a hub around which nature-based community can form.
The Academy of Forest Kindergarten Teachers
The Academy of Forest Kindergarten Teachers was established by Lia Grippo, Erin Boehme, Kelly Villarruel, and Kolmi Majumdar in 2014 to provide innovative and in-depth training for forest school teachers and early childhood educators dedicated to connecting children with nature. Based in Santa Barbara, California, the Academy was formed in partnership with Wild Roots Forest School, one of the longest-running forest schools in North America. To build a strong foundation in developmentally appropriate practices, deep nature connection, and naturalist skills, we provide an active, engaging, and transformational curriculum. The Academy's comprehensive teacher training programs, workshops, and conferences provide our students with the theoretical and practical skills, knowledge, and magic to become exceptional educators and mentors in the field of early childhood education.
8 Shields Institute
The core values of the 8 Shields Institute and the emerging 8 Shields cultural mentoring movement rest on the “8 Handshakes,” a set of agreements that define not only how we relate to each other, but also articulate how we conduct ourselves in the world at large.
These eight practices illustrate our approach for working with ourselves, our partners, and those we serve. These commitments enhance and strengthen the work of deep nature connection, culture repair, cultural mentoring, and community resilience. Observance and adherence to these principles drive our interactions in Unity, Peace, and Understanding. The Handshakes are essential connective practices that support health and resiliency.
Asheville Forest School
The Asheville Forest School believes that besides the enormous benefits for the healthy development of the young child, our world needs forest kindergartens because our planet is in trouble. The modern way of life is rapidly consuming the Earth, creating an enormous ecological disaster that is currently unfolding. Our precious Earth needs several generations of nature-connected children who grow into empowered, imaginative, nature-connected adults that are capable of solving the myriad problems they will inherit from us. Forest kindergartens are a visionary, long-range, generation-spanning form of ecological responsibility.
Helpers Mentoring Society
Helpers Mentoring Society is an educational organization founded by Salvatore Gencarelle, a cultural mentor whose experience includes 17 years as a ceremonial guide, creator, and singer under the direct supervision of a Native American healer. His courses focus on cultural ceremony and draw from his extensive immersion in the wisdom of indigenous cultures across the globe.
CEOLT (Center for End of Life Transitions)
The Center for End of Life Transitions believes that the human life cycle, like all life cycles, includes a beginning and an end. Each of us will die; not one of us will be left out. By settling the matters of your world and making decisions ahead of time, you create an opportunity to enter your end of life, the moment of death and what may follow, with greater awareness and freedom. Based in Western North Carolina, the Center for End of Life Transitions offers home funeral guidance and assistance, as well as end-of-life educational opportunities through workshops and retreats.
Wisdom Spring, Inc. aims to implement new ideas, support the dream of young people, and encourage healthy communities around the world. Since its inception, Wisdom Spring has worked diligently to provide various villages in West Africa with two key elements: drinking water and resources for education. More recently, we have expanded this work to include other areas of the African continent and the world.
Earthskills Gathering is dedicated to promoting earthskills and primitive skills events, schools, and programs throughout the United States and beyond. The site is a place for you to find out what events and schools may fit your educational needs. Please follow the links at the bottom of each page to go to specific events and programs homesite. If you are interested in having your event or programs listed, please contact us at admin@Earthskillsgathering.org. This free service is intended to make program information readily available for all.
Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms, USA (WWOOF-USA®) is part of a worldwide effort to link visitors with organic farmers, promote an educational exchange, and build a global community conscious of ecological farming practices.
Fellowship for Intentional Community
The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting the development of intentional communities, and the evolution of cooperative culture.
Check out Reaching Nature Connection
Join SOIL for this weekend exploration of how to incorporate nature into early childhood education. The conference is designed for beginners and experienced educators alike, as well as therapists, administrators, homeschool families, camp counselors, grandparents, and parents who have an interest in developmentally appropriate nature mentoring for children.