Who we are and what we stand for
The Eco Wisdom Sanctuary is a rich and diverse eco system with open meadows, forest trails a meandering stream, pond and wetlands. Home to a variety of local wildlife, and medicine plants making it an ideal outdoor classroom for learning and growing. We have a yurt for our indoor classroom, with multiple yurts on the property as guest accommodations for our adult eco programs. Our massive permaculture garden is designed with pollinators, vegetables, berries, herbs, and medicinal plants. Our buildings for the animals are designed for maximum benefit to support natural behaviour. As we continue to grow, life sustaining ecological buildings will develop. As well, we have plans to implement a forty foot labyrinth in the east meadow.
Our Vision & Mission
Re-imagining our world will require kind hearts, courageous communicators, and independent thinkers who are empowered, and feel the beauty and reverence of interconnection between all of life.Our vision is to create a safe and supportive environment that allows the creative, imaginative spark in each child to flourish. To help shape their life long love of learning, and cultivate an ethics of care and inclusiveness, that leads to a commitment, remembering they are a member of the earth community, to walk gently on the earth, and take inspired action towards a life sustaining society.
Our mission is to create an accessible transformational education program that touches the lives of thousands of kids, and their parents in the Cowichan Valley.
"Knowing that you love the earth changes you, activates you to defend, protect and celebrate. But, when you feel that the earth loves you in return, that feeling transforms the relationship from a one way street into a sacred bond" Robin Wall Kimmerer
Michelle Atterby, forest dweller, cosmic philosopher, animal lover, and deep listener, she embodies a fierce love of the natural world, rooted in her magical child imagination. Acquiring a twenty eight acre nature sanctuary was a life changer, that offers a sacred space meant to be shared with those whose values strongly align. A life long lover of learning was not cultivated in a school setting, but nurtured by her time in nature and spent with animals. Her advocacy and ethics of care started on a Greenpeace campaign at the age of seven, wanting to save the whales. Since that time she has accumulated multiple certifications in animal assisted learning, behaviour and training, diplomas in TCM and mind-body therapies, and now a masters degree in environmental education at Royal Roads University. Her VIU undergraduate studies are psychology and philosophy. As well, she is a level one animal assisted play therapist, certified in The Work that Reconnects, and permaculture design, and is pursuing her eco therapist certification this fall.
'Parent' to thirteen horses, four miniature goats, two dogs, multiple chickens and ducks, peacocks, and Hoover, the rescued pig, there is always a flurry of activity on the farm!
Michelle's, humane educational pedagogy is inquiry led and place based, recognizing the importance of Indigenous perspectives, natural curiosity and playful adventure. Drawing on Gordon Neufeld's work, Rudolph Steiner, Zoe Weil, Joseph Cornell, Theordore Roszak, Bill Plotkin, Arne Naess, Joanne Macy, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and Jane Goodall.
Michelle is available to come to your school and offer inspiring and thought provoking presentations that focus on environmental preservation and animal protection. For more information please email; firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Amazing Nature Educators