From The Mountain Institute to Experience Learning
Engage, Discover, Connect: Experience learning beyond the classroom.
The name is new, but the people, the place, and the dedication to learning beyond the classroom are the same. We were born right here on Spruce Knob in 1972 as the Woodlands Institute, which later became The Mountain Institute. Our Appalachian Programs at Spruce Knob Mountain Center and in nearby communities were part of the larger story of conserving mountain environments, creating more sustainable livelihoods, and protecting unique mountain cultures on three continents.
In March 2017, the Appalachian Programs became a separate nonprofit organization, Experience Learning. This is an exciting new world of opportunity for West Virginia, our mountains and waters, and the people we serve throughout the Eastern U.S. As Experience Learning, we can be entirely focused on serving the needs of our students and their parents, our teachers and our community.
Water is life; it flows from our mountain headwaters to quench the thirst of millions of people downstream. As we’ve always been, we’re here to help people of all ages discover the connections between land and water, the creatures that inhabit our streams, the water we drink, and the communities where we live.
As part of this transformation, Experience Learning also has become the owner and steward of the much-loved Spruce Knob Mountain Center and Sweetwater Farm. So when you come see us — and we hope you will this summer — don’t expect a lot of changes! We’re still the place you will always love. The place to engage, discover, and connect.