Selkirk Outdoor Leadership and Education (SOLE) empowers youth to explore, achieve, and lead outdoors.
Since the summer of 2012, Selkirk Outdoor Leadership & Education or “SOLE” has been doing just that – developing and facilitating intentional and transformational experiential education programs for over 6,500 local and regional youth in and around the waterways and wildlands, in and around, Sandpoint Idaho. To kick off the celebration of this significant milestone, SOLE joined area partners to establish a pollinator garden at Round Lake State Park in early June 2022.
Through this project it is SOLE’s hope that this local garden will not only serve to provide critical habitat for local and migrating pollinators like bees, butterflies, birds, and bats; it will also provide an outdoor learning classroom for youth, like those that participate in SOLE’s outdoor education programs, where they can actively study and conduct research on pollinators in real time. Thanks to retired Sandpoint High School science teacher, John Hastings, Sandpoint High School students, and a generous contribution from All Seasons Garden and Floral, this dream became a reality as a hardy group of teenagers dug in and completed the initial phase of Round Lake’s Pollinator Garden prior to the end of the school year.
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, SOLE continues to strive to provide affordable access for underrepresented youth in north Idaho to experience their wildlands and waterways through intentional educational experiences outdoors. Over the past decade, SOLE has not only established itself as a valuable community resource here in north Idaho by getting thousands of local area to explore, achieve, and lead in remote and urban outdoor settings, they have also received national and international attention due to their intentional experiential education program designs, like their award-winning and nationally recognized SnowSchool Experience program which utilizes a rigorous E-STEM (environment, science, technology, engineering, and math) curriculum to educate students on winter outdoor living and travel skills like snowshoeing and avalanche awareness, snow science, and winter ecology.
Learn more about this great community conservation project in a recent newspaper article by the Bonner County Daily Bee. You can also learn how you (and yours) can join SOLE in celebrating our vital work within the community throughout the next year by following us on social media, visiting our website (www.soleexperiences.org) or simply reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It is our board’s vision that SOLE will continue to serve as an outdoor learning resource to educate and empower our local area youth through purposeful experiential and outdoor education programs. We are sincerely grateful for the continued support that our local and regional community have shown over the past 10 years to ensure that local area youth can explore, achieve, and lead outdoors!”
Dennison Webb, MA | Founder & Executive Director
Pictured above: Sandpoint High School students and educator John Hastings (ret.) after the initial planting of the new Round Lake Pollinator Garden.