The Wilderness Curriculum is a literary arts curriculum developed by Umpqua Watersheds AmeriCorps*VISTA member, Roland Wang, in 2014, with grant funding from Bessie Minor Swift Foundation. The goal of the program is for high school English students to learn about the concept and evolution of wilderness in America by reading and critiquing works by American nature writers such as John Muir and Aldo Leopold.
The program was piloted in 2014 with students at the Phoenix Charter School in Roseburg, Oregon. The program was expanded upon by our AmeriCorps State/National member, Katrina Keleher, into a Wilderness Appreciation program which involves studying classic literature while introducing students to outdoor exploration. The students read and reflect on this literature then get to explore the magnificent Umpqua. These class excursions take them to places such as Wolf Creek Falls and Susan Creek Falls.