North Cascades Institute was founded in 1986 on this solid premise: people will protect what they love. Our mission is to conserve and restore Northwest environments through education. Our goal is to help people of all ages experience and enjoy the mountains, rivers, forests, people and wildlife of the Pacific Northwest – so all will care for and protect this special place. Each year more than 10,000 people benefit from Institute programs including Mountain School, Youth Leadership Adventures, Citizen Science and Stewardship, Field Programs, and a partnership with Western Washington University to offer a M.Ed. Graduate degree in environmental education and nonprofit leadership. The majority of programs take place at the Environmental Learning Center, an award winning wilderness campus opened in 2005 through a unique partnership with Seattle City Light and the North Cascades National Park.