Our Mission

One of only 20 such Sky Islands on Earth, our Madrean Archipelago – named after the nearby Sierra Madre Mountains in Mexico –  harbors a truly stunning array of flora and fauna, many unique to this area of the world. Here is where the temperate Rocky Mountains suffuse with the subtropical Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico, and where the Great Plains and Chihuahuan Desert to the east intermingle their influences with the Sonoran Desert to the west. This rare convergence of temperate and tropical biomes, when combined with our relatively low latitude and ample elevational changes in the mountains, provides a one-of-a-kind arrangement in the natural world.  Thus, the Sky Islands of Arizona boast many varied habitats, supporting our high level of biodiversity and making it a truly incredible ecotourism and vacation destination.

Unfortunately, many of our species of plants and wildlife and even whole habitats are now in great peril. Increasingly, the multi-headed beast of development, overgrazing, mining, and climate change has threatened our natural heritage – one unparalleled in the U.S.  Recognizing that the future of not only the environment, but also of our local economies, lies with ecotourism and wise use of natural resources, we founded RWWJ to raise awareness and as a counterbalance to these many, unsustainable pressures.

All of our RWWJ Eco-Adventures have a common thread of traits. They are low impact, small-scale, and environmentally friendly. At every turn we attempt to minimize our negative effects upon local habitats, while maximizing our positive ones. All our proceeds are immediately reinvested in the land as we feel a tremendous responsibility for its care and stewardship. We deeply desire to leave a lasting environmental legacy via our many educational offerings, our direct actions, and our thousands of students.

Enter you! Meaningful time spent in the timeless beauty of Nature is the first step towards creating positive environmental change. We’ll help you connect to the biodiversity of the Sky Islands in fun, informative, and creative ways. It is our firm belief that all humans are born with an innate love for and affinity to the natural world. It is only when we’re taught otherwise that we begin – slowly, but steadily – to disconnect from life.

p1020332

Our goal, then, is to afford you a myriad of opportunities to encounter and learn about Nature firsthand, while setting aside the demands of everyday life. We want to help you relax, to enjoy the spectacular Sky Islands of Arizona, knowing that once you discover it’s amazing biodiversity and beauty, you’ll become its staunchest protector. Take time to connect with Nature and create the opportunity to understand the intricacies of the ecosystems that surround you. Understand the wise use of natural resources, the impacts of climate change, and how imperative it is for all of us to implement conservation initiatives at every possible level, everywhere we live and travel.

NATUREADVENTURES
This elemental reconnection with life itself is the basis of all of our Nature Adventures, Programs, Workshops, Nature Retreats, and Field Trips. While out on a Tracking Adventure, you may, for example, become deeply inspired by the fresh track of a Mountain Lion and begin to understand its vital role in the ecosystem, thereby learning the importance of protecting Cougar habitat.

dsc_1363

During our Wilderness Survival classes you’ll immerse yourself in a new world – one where each plant, each rock, and every animal may supply life-saving resources. While enjoying a Nature Retreat in our African-style Safari Eco-lodge you can begin to disconnect from the frenetic pace of everyday life. Relax instead to the peaceful rhythms of Nature and in the quiet spaces that only quality time immersed in the wilderness provides.

Learning about our incredible Arizona night skies on one of our Starry Safaris, you’re reminded to blissfully lose yourself amidst the vastness of our universe. Our “Thorns, Stingers, & Fangs – Welcome to Arizona!” walk will allow you to redefine your relationship to those plants and animals that people often loathe and despise. Finally, our many Earth Stewardship programs provide a venue where you suddenly see the immense positive value that your direct actions have upon our fragile planet.

p1120276

At RAVENS-WAY WILD JOURNEYS we also empower local communities by serving as a working model of Sustainable Living Practices, promoting alternative and Environmentally Responsible ways to live on our fragile Planet. Thus, we passionately practice: Organic Gardening & Composting, Wildlife Habitat Rehabilitation, Land Conservation & Restoration, Planting Native Species, Removal of Invasive/Non-Native Species, Soil Conservation, Xeriscaping, Local Ecosystem Management & Habitat Protection, and Low-Impact Ecotourism.

p1110863

Daily, we strive to reduce our carbon footprint (the amount of carbon that our direct and indirect actions place into the atmosphere) and to minimize the negative impact that our activities have on the environment, including climate change. Along these lines we’ve built a low-impact Safari Tented Camp. Our Ecolodge provides a luxurious, yet environmentally-friendly way to enjoy Nature and the renowned biodiversity of the Sky Islands. Time spent Glamping – glamour camping – in our Safari Camp is sure to endow you with a newfound appreciation for native plants and wildlife, as well as the peace and tranquility that only Nature provides – all with minimum environmental impact!
dsc_8733_2

In addition to our multi-pronged approach to environmental stewardship, we also own and manage over 100 wild acres in the Sky Islands, encompassing two separate Nature Sanctuaries. We’ve devoted both Raven’s Nest in Santa Cruz County and Raven’s Mountain in Cochise County to safeguarding biodiversity and to educating a diverse clientele about the inherent values of conservation, efficient use of natural resources, the impact of climate change, and the importance of preserving and protecting our wild landscapes. We scientifically manage both Sky Islands Nature Preserves to benefit a broad spectrum of native species.

Our own experience of working for and with the land has taught us one profound lesson time and again. The more time we spend in Nature, the deeper our understanding is of the complexity and fragility of the natural world. As this understanding grows, we feel increasingly responsible for our own actions and those of our species in general. Hence, our ongoing passion to raise awareness about these critical Conservation issues.

sycamore

This sense of duty then compels us to act and to do all that we can to not only enjoy, but to help protect and restore the Earth to its full biodiversity. Part of our mission, then, is to afford you the same opportunity to become a positive player in this current and urgent environmental context.

When you take a RWWJ Program with us or stay in our Safari Tented Camp you’ll soon begin to feel a part of and not apart from the wild landscape that envelops you. There is no more compelling reason for protecting the Earth than knowing that you are an integral part of it, as your daily actions have a direct impact on the environment around you and beyond!

Learning to interact with Nature in safe and meaningful ways also improves your overall health and well being.  It empowers you to explore your own personal boundaries while growing in mind, body, spirit and emotion. Similarly, gaining the knowledge of how to survive and thrive in the wild often translates into better competency in all aspects of life!

If you long for unforgettable experiences – hiking, exploring, learning about wildlife, and practicing eco-skills – immersed in the wonders and beauty of Nature, then our RAVENS-WAY WILD JOURNEYS responsible Eco-tourism Adventures are for you! Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and relax in the peace and tranquility of Nature, while learning about what YOU can do to contribute to the health of our planet and the preservation of it’s natural resources. Join us for your own Wild Journeys!
The quest to bring our natural resources use within sustainable limits for the sake of protecting the Earth will require a major collective effort! Along the way you’ll experience the unforgettable beauty of Plants, Wildlife, Sunsets, Storms, and Mountains while forging lasting relationships with these and countless other aspects of the Natural World.
Ravens-Way logo

Our School’s logo shows many Ravens converging into one. So too must we all come together to enjoy, understand, respect, love, and protect the Earth, its many habitats, and all aspects of the environment. We hope to inspire you to take action to help protect and preserve healthy ecosystems and their inherent biodiversity for future generations. It is a call to action to all who love the Earth – are you ready?

Ravens are intelligent, adaptable, resourceful, playful, and powerful – the very qualities that we strive to embody in our RAVENS-WAY WILD JOURNEYS Nature Adventures. The “Way of the Raven” is wild, mysterious, industrious, skillful, ingenious, diligent, joyful, and free!

COME JOIN US FOR YOUR OWN WILD JOURNEYS OF DISCOVERY IN NATURE!

Claudia & Vincent