The Columbia River Gorge is a spectacular river canyon cutting 80 miles long and up to 4,000 feet deep, with the north canyon walls in Washington and the south canyon walls in Oregon. The mission of the Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute is to create life-long learning opportunities that foster a sense of wonder and community [...]


The Ecology Institute’s SECRETS program has served regional schools since 1996.  From a handful of classes when it began, the SECRETS program now reaches almost every 5th grade classroom in a 2,000 square mile service area and is known as the leading educational resource throughout the region. In addition, our Science in Action program offers [...]

Support Us

The Ecology Institute depends on the support of donors and volunteers to keep our programs running and to reach students throughout the Columbia River Gorge! There are many ways you can support us, including donating, volunteering, and program sponsorship.  Those interested can learn more on how to support CGEI through other gifts of stock or estate planning. [...]


  • Interview with Steelhead

    More about CGEI Click on the link above to hear Drew, also known as Steelhead, talk about CGEI and what brings him back every year.

  • SECRETS Volunteer Interview

    Click on the link below to hear Sedge, also known as Paul Moyer, talk about why he volunteers with SECRETS. SECRETS Volunteer Interview “I believe we must help, in whatever ways we are able to offer future generations an experiential understanding of how amazingly wonderful this planet earth is.” – Paul Moyer

  • Who is Huckleberry?

    Who is Huckleberry? Click on the link above to hear Liz talk about her JVC-AmeriCorps experience with CGEI.

  • Teacher interview about SECRETS

    Teacher Interview about SECRETS Click on the link above to hear what Mrs. Burns has to say about The SECRETS Program. “I haven’t ever seen outdoor education look the way it does here.”  – Mrs. Burns

  • Community Day

    Community Day Click on the link above to watch a class of 4th and 5th graders become stewards of their ecosystem by planting trees!

  • Programs Offered at The Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute

    Liz, also known as Huckleberry, talks about all of the ways CGEI reaches the youth of The Gorge. Click on the link to watch the video! Programs Offered at The Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute

  • SECRETS Program Video

    SECRETS Program The Secrets Program provides place- based, environmental education to 4th and 5th graders in The Gorge. Click on the link and watch the video to learn more!

  • Drew Eastman leading students on an exploration of the Mt. Adams foothills.

    Outdoor School for Klickitat County Kids!

    This school year there will be about 280 kids from Klickitat County participating in a two-night, three-day outdoor school thanks to a generous grant from the Washington State Parks Recreation and Conservation Office. The name of the grant program is No Child Left Inside and it will support our efforts to help facilitate the Pathfinder [...]

  • students trekking

    Please watch this video highlighting some of our work.

    We’re so excited to share this video with you! This is a quick look at some of the work that we’re doing. We hope you enjoy and will share this video with others. Either click the link or click our logo to watch the video on YouTube. Thank you! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HGyjZ9TMWA  

  • Burrowing Owls via Flickr

    On the insistence of owls

    1. One day last summer, my partner and I hiked a loop that began at Crawford Oaks in Columbia Hills State Park, located on the Washington side of the river, just east of The Dalles. It was a spontaneous decision—to go on the hike in the first place, to do a full loop, to begin [...]