Whole Earth Nature School

ReesListen to Rees and Matt’s interview by clicking on headphones.



Rees Maxwell enjoyed hiking and canoeing during his childhood years, before getting pulled into the tech world of Silicon Valley. Thankfully he moved to the Northwest later in his college years and rediscovered the wonder of the wilds. He continues to walk in both worlds.

Rees founded Whole Earth Nature School with Matt Bradley in 2009 after graduating from Wilderness Awareness School’s Anake Outdoor School program. After teaching in their preschool program and summer camps, he moved back to Eugene looked for a local place where his own kids could go to camp learning advanced awareness and nature skills, and really get their hands dirty in the process.  His first nature gig was teaching outdoor survival skills to high schoolers at a local charter school (where he still periodically teaches today). Additionally he taught elementary-aged children at local nature programs and, while loving what they provided, saw an opportunity to bring a different style of nature education to children, and founded Whole Earth Nature School where nature connection through “environmental immersion” is experienced year round.

Rees and his wife Matty Maxwell also founded a nature program for preschoolers called Dancing Sol in 2007, and continue to connect 3-5 year olds in nature five days a week throughout the school year. When Rees isn’t outside teaching kids, he can be found inside on his computer designing flyers and posters and updating the school’s website, all with the goal of inspiring more kids to get outside, immersed in nature!



Matt Bradley grew up playing outside. As a child he spent much of his free time wandering in the woods near his suburban neighborhood. Without realizing it, he was developing a deep connection to the natural world. As an adult, Matt rediscovered his passion for nature through hiking, backpacking, and eventually survival skills. Matt has trained with Tom Brown’s Tracker School as well as with the Kamana Naturalist Training Program but his greatest teacher has been his own curiosity and the natural world itself. In 2009 he helped to found Whole Earth Nature School dedicated to sharing deep nature connection with others so that we may all live in a healthier, more connected world.

View Matt’s website here