New videos on the History of the Learning Center

Do you think that a place can have a purpose? What does it look like when a place embodies an intention? Nestled into the Douglas firs and big leaf maples on the shores of Diablo Lake lies a place that has inspired us for over 90 years. Originally serving as a construction camp for workers building Ross Dam and Ross Powerhouse, later developed as a fishing resort, and now home to the North Cascades Institute, the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center hosts thousands of visitors of all ages every year to learn about, connect with, explore and enjoy the natural world.

Learn more about how this special campus came to be, how it was designed and built, and what role is serves today in this pair of new videos created by Institute staff. Part one features interviews with Institute Executive Director Saul Weisberg and local architect David Hall.


The Environmental Learning Center took shape as a community collaboration and begin to fill in thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers, donors and community members. This video features Mike Brondi, an upriver community member who played a strong part in North Cascades Institute’s landscape revegetation project, explaining the painstaking process that restored native flora and fauna to the site on Diablo Lake.

And finally, just for fun, here is a whirlwind slideshow of scenes from the construction of the Environmental Learning Center:

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