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CultureSeed is a nonprofit organization serving youth and communities in the Columbia Gorge region of the Pacific Northwest. CultureSeed was established in 2015 in White Salmon, Washington, the ancestral lands of the Chinook, Yakama, Wasco, and Wishram. The Columbia Gorge is the largest national scenic area in the United States: a land of natural contrasts between rainforests, deserts, and alpine meadows where the Columbia River winds west through the Cascade Range and carves a dramatic canyon between the states of Oregon and Washington.

To the north are the volcanoes Pahto or Klickitat (Mount Adams) and Loowit (Mount Saint Helens), to the south W’yeast (Mount Hood) flanks the Hood River Valley. To the east grasslands transition to high desert, and to the west the Columbia River snakes through temperate rain forests to meet the Pacific Ocean.

 

CultureSeed is located on 150 acres at the confluence of Buck Creek and the White Salmon River, a designated Wild and Scenic River. The organization was born out of the interest of founding members of the Atlan intentional community as a way to give back. Surrounded by forests, oak savannas, a National Forest trail system with a local waterfall and swimming hole, CultureSeed has access to a community garden, a makerspace that includes a wood shop, ceramic studio and community room, and a three seasons campground with a yurt, outdoor kitchen and yoga platforms. 

CultureSeed offers local programs the opportunity to develop under our Community Program incubator approach while our main initiatives tackle the youth mental health crisis by connecting youth to nature, themselves and others. CultureSeed counters our disconnected culture by developing the core components of self worth and acceptance through the outdoors and peer circles. As youth build emotional, physical, and mental health they are then better able to explore other CultureSeed efforts and reap the benefits of a whole system approach. 

 
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On-site and off-site, CultureSeed offers a variety of transformational programs for regional underserved youth through a Year-Round Outdoor & Community Engagement Youth Cohort as well as a variety of initiatives from Outdoor Leadership to a Latinx Youth Summit. One of the most important things CultureSeed can do is help young people find their way to be in service to something larger than themselves, to feel the support of their community in the crafting of a joyful and satisfying life.

 
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CultureSeed also serves as an incubator for additional Community Programs that create sustained connection to the wider community and opportunities to learn from one another. We are happy to support emerging programs through fiscal-sponsorship and incubator support. Our Community Programs demonstrate approaches to living in balance and enhance the opportunities for CultureSeed youth and regional communities.