Community Responsive Programs

Camp ELSO has shifted its Community and School Programs to leverage its resources and partnership to respond to the current needs of Oregon's Black and Brown children and families as we navigate the Coronavirus pandemic. Community Responsive Programs are designed to be short term program partnerships and events with BIPoC led community based organizations and community members. We seek to create opportunities for connecting Black and Brown children and their families to science enrichment during the upcoming school year and to outdoor nature and garden education. Through the remainder of 2020 and into  next spring, we will invest resources into co-developing and co-leading community responsive programs If you or your organization are members of the Black, Indigenous or PoC community we want to hear from you!

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Children's Learning & Heritage Garden

We are partnering with Village Gardens in the culturally rich New Columbia community to revive the children's garden for year-round garden education, and access to fresh healthy food.

Current Community Programs

Freedom Grown

Freedom Grown takes place at our Children's Learning and Heritage Garden in the New Columbia community and is open to all children living in the neighborhood who are in 4-9th grade. Freedom Grown is about passing on and connecting Afrocentric and Indigenous knowledge about native plants, soil, growing and preparing cultural foods and medicinal uses of plants to future generations of Black and Brown youth.

Community and Garden Educators will be inspiring and teaching connection to Black culture and spirituality, exploring the significance and science of certain foods including their healing properties and their place in Diaspora culture. Each day during this mini session youth will engage in mindful practices and affirmation, taste and prepare delicious vegan food,
and engage in hands on soil and food science.

Freedom Grown distributes fresh produce to families experiencing food insecurity. If you would like to learn more about Freedom Grown please contact

Your Street Your Voice

Your Street Your Voice aims to enable power and agency for youth to use design as a tool for racial justice, and be leaders in our communities.  By introducing design careers to high school students, this creates a wave of design thinkers to be our future community leaders. Often times, designers are creating spaces that impact communities and perpetuate systems of oppression. Students leave the program as critical thinkers, with confidence to advocate for our communities to be equitable and prosperous.