We are committed to creating a sustainable future & lasting LEgacy for future generations

We work in local schools to get students outdoors and we educate them on the natural world, water quality, and resource issues. We also teach environmental literacy and job preparedness at the Geiger Correctional Facility.

We work in local schools to get students outdoors and we educate them on the natural world, water quality, and resource issues. We also teach environmental literacy and job preparedness at the Geiger Correctional Facility.

Project sustain

Montessori Storm Garden.jpeg

Nature is everywhere… and yet students have little opportunity to get outside and experience it! Kids are becoming increasingly disconnected from the outdoors and lack a true understanding and appreciation for the bountiful forests, water, and wildlife of the Inland Northwest. Most schools lack field trip budgets for secondary school science classes and students spend most of their time inside the “four gray walls” of the traditional classroom. This can foster apathy, particularly for those who are hands-on learners; and promote physical inactivity, eventually resulting in diseases like childhood obesity and Type II Diabetes.

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To promote outdoor and environmental education, The Lands Council created Project SUSTAIN. Project SUSTAIN is an outdoor, place-based, STEM-focused (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) environmental education program designed to restore the connection between youth and nature by enabling students to get outside, practice field science, be physically-active, and become responsible environmental stewards. Project SUSTAIN provides field trips and supporting in-class lessons (aligned with state standards and school curricula) to high school and middle school students in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene region. Our field trips encourage active outdoor recreation activities including hiking, kayaking, and snowshoeing; and community-building service learning projects such as tree plantings and stream/lake clean-ups.

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Through Project SUSTAIN’s “3E” educational model – and in coordination with our many community partners – we expose students to the outdoors, empower them with relevant knowledge and skills; and encourage them to apply these experiences throughout their lives to become responsible environmental stewards. We blur the lines between learning and fun, promote leadership and kinship in the outdoors, role model environmental ethics, and familiarize students with career/professional opportunities in the natural resources and environmental sciences.


Project SUSTAIN encourages students to embrace a more outdoors-based, physically-active lifestyle. Many of our students are at risk of dropping out of school; deal with issues such as learning disabilities, anger management, substance abuse, neglect, domestic violence, and teenage pregnancy; and have little to no experience with the outdoors and lack a connection to it. Through the outdoor exploration opportunities provided by Project SUSTAIN, we mentor these students and help role model positive, healthy life skills and behaviors. Offering kids a safe, stimulating environment in which to learn, grow, be active, be inspired, and be exposed to new paths in life helps them overcome personal challenges; builds confidence and self-worth; and motivates them to become responsible, productive members of society. It is our intention that Project SUSTAIN will – on a local level – help build a stronger, healthier community.

Partnered Schools and Youth Programs

  • Centennial Middle School

  • Central Valley High School

  • Chase Middle School

  • Cheney High School

  • Cheney Middle School

  • Eagle Peak (Formally Bancroft)

  • Ferris High School

  • Freeman High School

  • Garfield Elementary

  • Garry Middle School

  • Glover Middle School

  • Holmes Elementary

  • Hutton Elementary

  • Lake City High School

  • Lewis and Clark High School

  • Liberty School

  • Linwood Elementray

  • Martin Luther King Center

  • Mead Alternative High School

  • Mead High School

  • Mica Peak High School

  • Mt. Spokane High School

  • North Central High School

  • Odyssey Youth

  • On Track Academy

  • Pinehurst Elementary

  • Post Falls High School

  • Progress Elementary

  • Riverside High School

  • Rogers High School

  • Shadle Park High School

  • Shaw Middle School

  • Sheridan Elementary

  • South Pines Elementary

  • Spokane Public Montessori

  • Spokane Valley Tech

  • St. Alysios

  • St. Georges School

  • St. Maries High School

  • Tekoa Elementary

  • The Community School

  • University High School

  • Upper Columbia Academy

  • Wilson Elementary

  • West Valley City School

  • West Valley High School

Green Sleeves

Photo: Colin Mulvany - Spokesman Review

Each year, The Lands Council must maintain multiple restoration sites throughout the Spokane region. This has become a challenge because we have more trees planted than we’re able to water. To help with this work, Green Sleeves engages incarcerated offenders while they are paying their debt to society – enhancing our restoration capacity while also engaging offenders in meaningful environmental projects.

Green Sleeves offers a multi-faceted approach to improving our restoration efforts while also improving offender rehabilitation and combating recidivism. First, classes in green jobs and environmental literacy are taught by trained Lands Council staff members, using the Roots of Success curriculum which is specifically designed for incarcerated populations. Second, offenders care for a native plant nursery on-site, which means we are able to plant trees with mature root systems while also providing a form of nature therapy. Third, offenders join Lands Council staff in the field to plant and maintain stream-side and urban forest areas.

Offenders who participate are often connected with criminal-record friendly employers. Also, post-incarceration habits are tracked to see how many participants are more likely to plant a garden, seek new education, seek environmental employment, and more.

Support Environmental Education