Outdoor School and Overnight Programs

Bordering the Bull Run Watershed, Marmot Cabin is the perfect place for youth to learn about wildlife, healthy ecosystems and natural history. Through overnight trips, day programs, and Outdoor School, our expert instructors provide a safe space for youth to learn, explore, and connect with both the land and each other, grounding them in science, and instilling a love and understanding for the natural world.

In addition to getting kids unplugged from devices and connected to nature, Outdoor School helps improve class performance and attendance, increase achievement in math and science, and deepen critical thinking skills. Our in-depth Outdoor School curriculum is tailored to teachers’ interests and students’ grade level, providing immersive nature education that inspires and educates kids about the natural world.

Watch your students’ senses soar as they take night hikes in search of owls, track bear along a stream, and learn the subtleties of bird language. We aim to inspire each child to continue their exploration of the natural world long after our programs has ended.

Teachers: Click here to see photos of our facilities, including Marmot Cabin and our two sleeping yurts.

Students Learn:

  • Pacific Northwest ecology
  • The Science & Art of Animal Tracking
  • Mammal Identification & Adaptations
  • Botany
  • Fire building
  • Bird language
  • Water sciences

Portland Audubon’s Outdoor School offers:

  • Adaptable curriculum, tailored to teacher’s needs and state standards
  • Expert instructors
  • A brand new 3,200 square foot education facility (See images of cabin and yurts)
  • Two 30-foot yurts with room for 60 students
  • ADA accessible facilities
  • 91 acres of meadow, old growth and secondary growth forest, and creek habitat
  • If you are a 5th or 6th grade class, a two-night minimum is required as part of the Friends of Outdoor School Program, paid for by the State of Oregon.

For more information on program registration, curriculum, pricing, and scholarship opportunities, please email Tara, Education Program Assistant at: tlemezis@audubonportland.org.

About Marmot Cabin and the Miller Wildlife Sanctuary

Joe and Amy Miller donated Marmot Cabin and the Miller Wildlife Sanctuary to Portland Audubon in the 1970s to help inspire the next generation to love and protect the natural world. Students sleep in our two 30-foot yurts and learn in both our forest and our 3,200 square foot cabin offers a large education space, commercial kitchen, adult sleeping quarters, and is ADA accessible.

Marmot Cabin sit in the Miller Wildlife Sanctuary. Every major forest species of animal found west of the Cascades either inhabits or travels through the 91-acre sanctuary thanks to our meadow, old growth and secondary growth forest, and creek habitats. You might hear or see Pileated Woodpecker, Swainson’s Thrush, Great Horned Owl, Coastal Giant Salamander, Northwest Garter Snake, American Beaver, Mule Deer, Mountain Beaver, Roosevelt Elk, Coyote, Bobcat, Mountain Lion and the American Black Bear.

Great Horned Owl Fledglings
Great Horned Owl fledglings, photo by Scott Carpenter

Portland Audubon is proud to have worked with the Outdoor School for All initiative, helping to secure a funding for a week of Outdoor School for every 5th or 6th grader.