About the Willowell Foundation

The Willowell Foundation is a not-for-profit organization created in 2001 and located in Monkton, Vermont. We are dedicated to supporting local and global initiatives for sustainable ecological land use and to serving as a resource for area students, teachers and community members in programs that integrate the sciences, arts and humanities into place-based and outdoors education.

Our exciting programs explore ways to use the local environment to enrich student understanding and to help teachers make connections between local places and their K-12 educational experience, as well as to explore sustainability and environmental issues facing youth growing up in the 21st century. Since 2001, the Willowell Foundation has grown from an 18-student alternative high school program in an unused building at one local high school to a bioregional education center located on 230-acres of land and involving seven schools in three districts.

Our educational approach honors local places and communities, encourages connection with place, and fosters an understanding of local places as learning laboratories in all subject areas. Using the natural and built communities around us as classrooms, we also seek to preserve and repair the ecological and social damage found in those communities. We provide information, testimonials and training for educators through regional forums, publications, and community presentations.

The Willowell Foundation’s ongoing place-based education programs and land stewardship efforts provide opportunities for experimentation in place-based and outdoor education methodologies and ongoing land and community visits for schoolchildren that allow education rooted in place to be part of daily life, rather than isolated events. Through classroom visits, field investigations and alternative education programs, we reach to make authentic, alternative education rooted in place available throughout our region.

Our vision is to serve youth and protect our environment until all youth and adults throughout our state, our region and our country have strong connections with the natural and cultural places that they inhabit, and are committed to preserving those places for future generations.