1) What is PCEI?
The Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute is a community based non-profit that primarily serves the Palouse in addition to the greater Inland Northwest. Its origins date back to 1986 as a local response to the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster, a devastating nuclear explosion that occurred in Soviet Ukraine in April of 1986. What began as a community effort to monitor the dangerous activities taking place at the nearby Hanford Nuclear Reservation (located just upwind of the Palouse), slowly evolved into a major local non-profit, focusing on tackling more big-picture environmental issues (for more information on how this evolution occurred, check out this chronicle of PCEI’s history).
Today, PCEI’s efforts can be broken down into four major categories: “Living, Learning, Serving and Restoring” (click here for more information on PCEI’s mission and goals), and its accomplishments can be seen wherever you look on the Palouse, from within the walls of local classrooms (educating kids from early learning to high school), all the way out to the beautiful creeks, rivers and nature preserves of the Palouse.
2) How is PCEI funded?
PCEI is able to accomplish all that it does through the generous support of local businesses and community members in addition to grants from individuals, foundations and government resources. To see a list of PCEI funders, click here, or become a PCEI supporter yourself!
3) What is the PCEI Nature Center?
In 2004, a 7.6-acre historic farm at the end of Rodeo Drive was purchased by PCEI with the intent of expanding the then downtown PCEI headquarters to a greater facility. This acreage along with an additional 4.7 acres, purchased in 2010, comprises the modern-day PCEI Nature Center Rodeo property – a beautiful urban nature center designed to model sustainable practices as well as natural community living. The PCEI Nature Center exemplifies the “Living” part of PCEI’s “Living, Learning, Serving, Restoring” motto, as it was created with the intent of practicing the environmental goals it preaches.
4) How do I get involved?
There is a wide variety of ways to get involved with the Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute. One may volunteer for an event (as many times as they’d like), sign up as a regular volunteer, apply for one of our many internships, become a PCEI Nature Center docent, become an AmeriCorps member, seek employment as a PCEI staffer, donate to one or more of our many programs, become a member, and much, much more! PCEI has a very mutually beneficial relationship with its local community. It could not survive with out the generous support of community members and businesses, and in return it helps its community thrive and reach its full environmental potential.