Mother Earth School

Mother Earth School enlivens education through deep nature connection for children, families and educators to inspire social and ecological renewal.

Mother Earth School offers outdoor immersion preschool, kindergarten, and grades 1-3 at two urban farms in Portland, OR.


Our early childhood programs take place at Tryon Life Community Farm in SW Portland (for directions to TLC Farm, click here), a magical 7-acre permaculture farm nestled against 700 acres of state forest only 10 minutes from downtown. Our grades program is held at Jean’s Urban Farm in SE Portland (for directions to Jean’s Farm, click here), minutes from Sellwood and highway 99, and easily accessible by bike and bus. Both of our locations include organic gardens surrounded by woodland, farm animals, outdoor kitchens, compost toilet facilities, running water, covered eating areas, and warming huts. Each class teacher is Waldorf-trained and each child is honored as a unique being with special gifts to offer the world.

In these inspiring farm and forest settings, children blossom as they learn naturally from real life processes. The children help with the farm chores such as gardening, food preparation and animal care. Learning emerges from forest exploration, wildcrafting and handwork projects, teaching sustainable practices with a focus on caring, compassion and connection. Being outdoors provides a wide range of opportunities for physical exploration, inspiration and creativity. The seasonal cycles are honored through daily storytelling, puppetry, songs and verses as well as by celebrating festivals throughout the year. As children develop a personal relationship with the natural world, learning is meaningful and a sense of reverence for the Earth and all life is cultivated.


commoner2 commoner3 commoner4Commoner is a feature film in the making, currently in script revision phase. Inspired by the director’s own immigration journey and life-long interest in civic engagement and community building, as well as the seminal utopian-dystopian book Ecotopia.

Commoner is a story of love and immigration set in an independent Pacific Northwest. Despite US controlled borders a young disillusioned Latina mother flees to the new nation of Cascadia with her infant son. As she struggles to reunite her family and adapt to a culture unlike her own, she must decide where home is.

commoner Focusing on the cultural paradigm shift born from attending to societal development, as opposed to economic growth, Commoner manifested from a desire to explore a life less hurried, with the creative resilience of people living in profound awareness of their role in the cycle of things.

A gentle yet probing story, Commoner is also inspired by the breathtaking beauty of the Pacific Northwest and its independent spirit. We’re commoners, and we’re strong by the numbers. Yet we’re all able to contribute so uniquely.

Writer/Director Carolina Pfister’s received a Chicago Emmy for her short documentary television work and a Women in Film “Emerging Latina Filmmaker” award. She has recently finished her first feature documentary film, Viva Viva, a portrait of punks in São Paulo, Brazil. After a successful festival tour it has now been released on DVD. Carolina has lived between Brazil and the USA for most of her life, but was born in Switzerland to Brazilian parents fleeing dictatorship. She now lives in Portland and hopes to be nomadic no more.

Co-Director Amanda Marsalis recently released her first feature film Echo Park at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Amanda has worked with commercial photography for over 10 years, and through music videos and short fashion films has now been utilizing motion to extend her creative vision. Amanda lives is Los Angeles with her dog Queso.

Report Back: Prayer Walk Across Oregon for the Wolf



Report Back By: Elona

In June, Mato Woksape approached me at the Resistance Ecology Conference as I was tabling for the Cascadia Education Project and handed me a flyer. His name was familiar as we typed in similar circles on Facebook, but I had never met him in person. The flyer contained a brief paragraph on what he was calling “Prayer Walk for the Wolf” but most of the other space was taken up by a big medicine wheel containing turtle, bear, wolf and condor. I was intrigued and so I kept my September plan-free in order to participate.

daughter_leaderAll of the walkers gathered at NAYA in Portland on Sept. 6th. There were twelve of us, including a four and six year old from the Modoc people whose history here in Oregon is incredible yet mostly untold. We smudged ourselves, Mato unfolded the lead prayer staff, and we began walking towards highway 26.

Together we walked until we reached Gresham. From there, we began what is known as “Indian Relay”. The intention of the walk was for all walkers to be in prayer as we moved across the state at a human pace. This being said, it would have required many more resources to have a group of people walk together. Instead, we walked individually, with a support vehicle picking us up every mile or two and dropping us off at the front of the walk. Like a giant game of leapfrog, we walked alone and took in the breadth and depth of Oregon’s highway 26 over the next three weeks.

Ultimately, there were six of us humans on the walk for (mostly) the entire distance: a brother and sister from New York City who spoke French and knew their ancestors, an army vet who, after serving, had awakened to the effects of empire, the organizers Corrie and Mato who identified as Cheyenne and Lakota/Blackfeet/Potawatomi respectively, and myself, a recent transplant to Turtle Island who recognized that if we want this land to be healthy we must support Indigenous people’s efforts to re-establish stewardship and teachings here. We were also accompanied by two wolf-hybrids, Cody and Cloud, who kept our spirits high with their wild eyes and sweet nuzzles.

When we reached Warm Springs reservation, Manny, a friend of Mato’s from previous walks took us in and welcomed us to camp on his family’s land. He shared with us his prayer staffs as we entered the reservation, staffs he had created during the Longest Walk. We also participated in a walk that happened at the reservation for suicide prevention. Hearing the stories of struggle, loss and perseverance shook me to the core and the material poverty that Warm Springs people face due to colonization does not compare to the spiritual richness that I witnessed.

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The last section of our walk was met with a bright, strong sun as we crossed the dryer reaches of Oregon. Friends from Bend and Portland joined us here and there to run, to feed us, to share in our adventure but the last 300 or so miles was walked mostly by us. One of the more beautiful places we walked through were the John Day Fossil Beds. What would be a 15 minute drive turned into an hour long walk as we meandered alongside the stream and felt the bones of giants restless in their sedimentary graves.

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We heard no wolves along our walk but plenty of cattle and sheep. That is who had taken their place. The wolves were killed off to remove threats to livestock. Little consideration was given to the fact that wolves managed to keep herds of elk, deer and antelope healthy who in turn kept the plants and waterways healthy with their migration patterns. The land was allowed to deteriorate as long as burgers could be kept at 99 cents. In my prayers I visualized the land beyond cattle, beyond highways and power lines. I imagined the landscape back into health – skies full of birds, the rolling hills full of herds, and wolf cries in the distance.

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We arrived at the Snake River three weeks after our walk began. Day after day of smudging, prayer walking and good meals together led us to this place. We said our final prayers and tossed our sage prayer bundles into the river below. We then turned towards the setting sun and strategized how best to approach the government agencies who allow wolf hunting to continue.

Before the United States officially claimed a portion of the Cascadian bioregion as its own, the settlers who had come here were bickering amongst themselves about what to do about the “wolf problem”. This language was common because concurrently they were also talking about the “Indian problem”. The meetings they held were called Oregon Lyceum and there they decided the fates of both the wolf and the Indian. Today, the scientific community of settler society is beginning to realize the necessary role of the wolf in ecosystems. Culturally, we must also begin to understand the necessary role of Indigenous cultures in the places we inhabit. It’s all interconnected.

This is the message we took to the offices of Fish and Wildlife in Oregon and Fish and Game in Idaho. We crafted a booklet containing five stories of wolf legends from across Turtle Island. We drummed and sang sacred songs in the offices to hopefully stir that which had been quieted down in their souls for a long time. Afterward, we said our farewells and continued our own journeys knowing we had grown much richer in friendship and awareness.


Download a FREE copy of our “Legends of the Wolf from Turtle Island


Prayer Walk for the Wolf

This project supports the journey of walkers going from Portland to Boise to raise awareness around wolf killings. Money collected will go towards gas, camping fees, and basic supplies.

A journal of the walk is being kept at

Everyone is welcome to join the journey as the walkers go from Portland through Warm Springs and Umatilla reservations and ultimately to Boise. People can come as a support vehicle, as walkers, and as supply runners for any portion of the journey. Donations over $20 are tax deductible.


Call Mato Woksape if you’re interested in being a part of this walk. (208) 412-3184.

Society Folk School

Society Folk School Mission

The founding mission of the Society Folk School is to restore and honor folk traditions and skills from diverse cultures through place based, integrative, community supported education. By connecting local and surrounding community with educators and practitioners of folk skill, tradition and knowledge, The Society Folk School aims to fulfill the following objectives:

Restore cross-cultural folklore in urban and rural communities.

Facilitate integrative learning and teaching opportunities for folk of all ages, cultures and philosophies.

Educate local and surrounding community about the value and role of folklore in traditional and contemporary cultures currently and historically.

Engage dynamic folklore educators with curious folklore students

Create a cultural crossroads where individuals can network, practice skills and share resources

To support this project or get involved, contact Gabrielle Albright, ecosocialprojects AT

Alley Allies Toolkit now available!

Who’s It For?

Residents with an interest in improving an alley or other public space.

What’s In it?

The City’s policies about alleys, a step-by-step guide for completing your own alley project with strategies to help you meet your goals for your project, information about grants, templates and other resources.


The Toolkit was designed from a six-month public engagement process with the goal of shaping the content around resident needs. The major goals of Toolkit are to clarify what can be done with alleys, who owns them, who is responsible for their maintenance, and to help residents overcome barriers for making alley improvements by providing them with the resources and tools to move forward.

Download the Toolkit (21.9 mb)

Community Supported Everything


Community Supported Everything provides creative change-makers with a high integrity, high accountability environment to launch self-directed projects. Residents take action in the community in the collective pursuit of a world that works for 100% of humanity. With the support of coaches, mentors and peers, residents examine their personal edges, celebrate successes, learn from mistakes and document the process every step of the way.

To volunteer or donate, contact   humans AT

Cascadian Neighborhood Farm Guild


Mission statement: To influence and implement the development of a bioregional, neighborhood-oriented, perennial food system.

The Cascadian Neighborhood Farm Guild was started in the Portland area in late 2013 and grows organic food with three main purposes in mind:

1) to create self-sustaining neighborhoods based on mutual aid within the Cascadia bioregion
2) to create food self-reliance, security, and sustainability within neighborhoods
3) to provide free, fresh, quality produce to those in need.

We currently have two pieces of land totaling about 3.5 acres in the Southwest and Northwest Portland areas that we are using to begin creating and showcasing these productive, community-based, perennial and annual food spaces. Our vision and goal is to aid in the implementation of neighborhood-based edible forests and community gardens that can help create food-secure communities. There are various ways to participate and be a part of the Cascadian Neighborhood Farm Guild.

1) You can start or continue a pre-existing organic garden in your own yard, and contribute to the store of food that the collective gives away to those in need.
2) You can donate all or a portion of your yard or community garden space, and our volunteers will use the space for food production with as little or as much help from you as you would like.
3) If you don’t have land that you can use or donate, then you can volunteer some of your time working on one of the farms associated with the guild.

All those who donate growing space or labor will earn shares of the food harvested, and the excess will be given away free to those in need.

We are still in the early phases of development. Anyone interested in donating or volunteering any land, resources, or labor to this project should send us a private message to find out more about how you can get plugged into the Cascadian Neighborhood Farm Guild.

Visit the Cascadian Neighborhood Farm Guild on Facebook

To volunteer or donate, contact jkerston AT

Cascadia Media Network

Today’s information systems are corrupt. We need to undertake a collective effort to get real, accurate information out about what’s happening around the bioregion and around the world.

If you’re interested in creating a bioregional media network or producing content for such a network, please contact paulakroland AT

This project is still in the proposal phase and is looking for committed individuals to form a team and turn this needed project into a reality.



To Resources, Place, & Each Other

We want to facilitate the making of a city that meets the needs of everyone within it, and which heals the earth as well.

Using open-source GIS (geographic information systems) software, we are creating data-driven, detailed, customizable, and dynamic maps.

These maps show where there are dense concentrations of shared needs, passions, and possibilities – places where a small amount of effort can most effectively, rapidly catalyze the unfolding of the social and structural changes that those inhabitants are seeking.

To volunteer, contact jordan AT

Activate Hub

web_logo2A powerful tool has arrived for community building. Every ActivateHub calendar has a list of Events, Organizations, Venues, and the ability for you to add new events. The calendar aggregates from community group calendars and can be customized by all citizens. Activate your community today. Visit to learn more.

Portland Activate Hub –
Seattle Activate Hub –

NEEDS: Calendar curators for Portland, Seattle and any city interested in starting their own activate hub calendar.

Responsibilities include: checking the website regularly for double postings and advertisement spam, adding community calendars to the main site through aggregation.

Contact: Lindsay AT


Foster Green EcoDistrict

fostergreenThe Foster Green EcoDistrict is a community where investments build on existing assets to address economic, environmental and social sustainability goals. Community members practice active stewardship of natural resources while creating healthy opportunities for all who live, work and play here. Visit us here:

The EcoDistrict pioneers a new kind of neighborhood network in an inclusive way guided by the following values:

  • Existing Assets.

Foster Green community members and organizations haveunique knowledge, skills, and resources that are ideally suited to serve in the
development and implementation of the EcoDistrict. Projects invest in local residents, organizations and infrastructure to build on cultural diversity, natural places, parks, transportation network and quality buildings and enhance the positive contribution of these assets.

  • Equity and Justice.

Equity and justice are both the means to healthy communities and an end outcome that benefits us all. Working toward equity requires active investment to ensure that those experiencing the greatest disparities in access and opportunity can realize their full potential for well-being and co-create the conditions for a vital and healthy environment for the benefit of the whole community.

  • Resilient Neighborhoods.

Foster Green is a place where community members feel safe and connected to one another and have access to shared resources to strengthen their mental, physical and spiritual well-being and contribute to their neighborhood.

  • Natural Environment.

We value the inherent contribution of natural resources and seek to restore and enhance healthy land, air and water for the benefit of people and wildlife.

Fostergreen Eco-District is currently looking for volunteers who have skills in the following areas:

-Grant Writing
-Outreach & Engagement

To get donate or involved, please contact: fosterecodistrict AT

FUNgi Fun-grazer Brunch and Workshop, June 8th, 11AM

***Update: This event has been rescheduled from May 18th to June 8***

Join us for our first ever fun-grazer! It’s less fundraiser and more of a chance for us to show you what we’ve been up to. This event features the enchanting mushroom and mycelium. Mushroom Jordan recently signed on as a project partner with CEP and we’re showcasing his work along with a fantastic brunch of local, organic ingredients (vegan and gluten-free options available upon request).

For $25 you and your friends and family can experience first-hand simple mushroom inoculation techniques, why mushrooms are important for the land, and tricks on picking mushrooms in the wild. Tickets on sale now through June 7th. No tickets will be sold at the door.

claytoniaGET TICKETS



When: June 8th, 2013   11:00AM – 3:00PM
Where: Community Supported Everything Guildhall, 1626 NE Alberta St. Portland, OR
Cascadia Education Project, Mushroom Jordan, and InSight, InMind Catering
Brunch and Mushroom Workshop

Cascadia Matters

3363706_300Cascadia Matters is a collective effort of writers, artists, educators and media activists.  We aim to highlight the emerging ideas, struggles and times of the Cascadia bioregion through writings, podcasts and film.  Our mission is to challenge thought and provoke critical analysis by documenting the stories of this place.  By means of educational outreach and dialogue, we strive to create a mosaic of culture and place that inspires new narratives on the Northeast Pacific Rim.

The people of Cascadia are diverse in opinions and backgrounds.  Cascadia Matters intends to bring awareness to the bioregional realities that encompass our lives and our future.  In order to bring this into light, we must delve into the stories of this place and make them visible as a common resource.  Our website will be our primary educational platform, offering video, audio, and written media.  All of our work will be released as “creative commons”, and will be accessible to the public.  We will continue to travel throughout the bioregion and encourage others to facilitate awareness, discussion and active community within their respective watersheds.

In a world facing increased instability and an unprecedented ecological crisis, we feel we live in onerous times.  A large portion of our work will be centered on contrasting the potentials of this place as a bioregion with rigidity of a globalizing, dominant culture.  Throughout all of our endeavors, our allegiance will always lie with the land.  We seek to push the envelope of perception as living storytellers, like peeling back the layers of an infinite onion.  We acknowledge that the people of each bioregion are an extension of that place, and that the place as a whole can be perceived as alive.  What are the conflicts, opportunities, and actualities of this particular place at this moment in time?

There are many people doing great work towards a bioregional future across all of Cascadia.  This work often goes unnoticed, or is seldom pieced together in a larger chronicle.  Cascadia Matters will remain committed to documenting the contributions, ideas, and solutions that emerge by illuminating these connections and potentials.  We feel confident that the minds of this place can and will solve our largest challenges. Everybody has a gift to offer and everybody’s voice matters. In this process, we embrace the opportunity to center Indigenous knowledge and the resurgence of the Indigenous Peoples of this place as foundational to a bioregional future.

As we do live in challenging times, and because we have so much to be grateful for, we also feel it is important to keep things in perspective.  Cascadia Matters will endeavor to inspire others to participate in the future that is being written. We seek to offer the knowledge and inspiration required to meet this future with hope and empowerment through a multimedia that celebrates this place as a whole.

Watch the Cascadia Matters full-length documentary on the bioregion, “Occupied Cascadia” (2012)