About Mountain Roots

The Journey Begins

Nine years ago, Mountain Roots was brought to life. Starting with two young Master’s students (Ali Holroyd Lien and Ryan Lubbers) and a small board of directors (John Myers, Clyde Carter, and Patrick Weaver) the team worked together to get Mountain Roots, Inc. off the ground. Since the beginning, Mountain Roots has aimed to provide discovery and outdoor learning experiences with a focus on environmentally responsible and community centered living in western North Carolina. Today, Mountain Roots fulfills this mission by providing outdoor education programs in collaboration with schools, nature-based summer day camps, and community retreats and workshops.

Mountain Roots Founders--2009
Mountain Roots Co-Founders & Founding Board–2009 Ryan Lubbers, Ali Holroyd Lien, John Myers, Clyde Carter


Since 2013, Mountain Roots has offered a range of outdoor education programs including wilderness programs, home school outings, weekly school-based outdoor education programs, as well as grant-funded outreach programs to the youth of Henderson & Transylvania Counties. We believe this is one of the most important aspects of what we do as it connects the younger generation with the natural world in new and exciting ways. Mountain Roots Outdoor Education programs provide the opportunity to incorporate hands-on learning based around age / grade appropriate topics. We take concepts to the next level by reaching out through a range of experiential teaching techniques.

Creek-side Outdoor Education
Creek-side Outdoor Education


Mountain Roots Day Camp (started in 2015), preceded by Mountain Roots Pottery Camps since 2012. Mountain Roots Day Camps (for ages 4-10), provide our campers with the opportunity to explore the world around them. Throughout the week, campers focus on music, art, nature-based fun, and gardening. Each week is different than the week before and the sense of community around Mountain Roots Day Camp is the highlight of the camp experience. Our campers get to experience games, activities, and lots of free play time with friends as we navigate our way through the day at camp.

Summer Camp Field Trip
Day Camp Field Trip to DuPont


Over the years, Mountain Roots has offered workshops and retreats to community groups on a wide range of topics including: women’s art retreats, family-based outdoor living skills, storytelling, teen leadership, corporate & college group development, and artist in residence workshops for local schools. We aim to customize the ideal retreat / workshop for all of our groups. Mountain Roots retreats and workshops really make a difference in achieving so many different goals identified by each group. Goals for a retreat may include team / group development, enhanced communication, or developing community norms. Our skilled and seasoned staff are strong facilitators that are relatable and enjoy providing these sorts of programs. We use a range of facilities and work to provide you with an unforgettable community experience. Ultimately we hope that all of our retreats and workshops will help our participants to make connections to themselves, their community, and the world around them.

Women's Roots Retreat
Women’s Roots Retreat


We have lots of stories (and lessons we’re learning) to share with you.

And around here, we can agree on lots of things, like:

  1. Being outside makes kids happy! And playing outside is FUN!
  2. When sense of place develops, we simultaneously feel a strong commitment to be stewards.
  3. Being kind, understanding, and responsible are beneficial life skills to have and to learn early.
  4. Learning makes us smarter. But at Mountain Roots, that Smarter means we have developed key connections to ourselves, our friends and classmates, and a love for the Earth around us.
  5. We can be change-makers. All of us. To spread love around the world. If we all just took a minute to hold a friend’s hand, share some fresh squeezed lemonade with a neighbor, or help out someone who looks lonely or lost, the world could be a special place.
Maples Fire lesson
Circle time–the Maples learn some outdoor living skills at Day Camp.

Thank you for reading our very first blog post! We are excited to stay connected to you and to be able to share updates about Mountain Roots as well as helpful outdoor tips. For more information, check out www.mountainroots.org/ or reach out to us directly here!

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