About Us

Four local entities have formed a partnership to rebuild Whiskeytown Environmental School (WES, historically known as N.E.E.D. Camp) for the 21st century.  Together we represent over fifty years of experience with the site and its programming.

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National Park Service, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

Since the Whiskeytown area was acquired in the 1960s by the Department of the Interior, the National Park Service  (NPS) has managed the WES site. Under the NEED (National Environmental Education Development) Program, NPS has provided environmental interpretative support through presentations to students and guided hikes. For many years, WES was known affectionately by locals as “N.E.E.D. Camp” and remains one of the earliest environmental schools in the Program. NPS continues as the physical site managers and partners with the Shasta County Office of Education who provides the environmental and outdoor education programming. WES represents an important part of their Long-Range Interpretative Plan (June 2017) for the park.  Public education is a major mission of the NPS.


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Shasta County Office of Education

Shasta County Office of Education (SCOE) has sponsored the environmental science programing at N.E.E.D./WES Camp since 1971.  They formed a unique partnership with NPS and have delivered science education to thousands of children at this site. Today, their program is a mix of Next Generation Science Standards and social education that has been meeting the needs of local and regional schools for decades. While their residential program is “paused” during Spring 2020, they are looking forward to a time when they can return to the WES site to continue but the day and residential environmental education programming.


The Friends of Whiskeytown

This local non-profit has been involved with Whiskeytown National Recreation Area since November 2002 and has secured funds for diverse projects such as trail maintenance, water sports programs, environmental and cultural education which includes obtaining donations and grants for scholarships to send children to WES Camp and raising thousands of dollars for Park projects. Their organization supplies countless volunteers to the Park who serve in a variety of ways.


Whiskeytown Environmental School Community

WES Community helps support the educational goals, the natural sciences, and outdoor recreation opportunities at Whiskeytown Environmental School. We have been operating as a non-profit since 2011. We are the host of this website.