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Building a Connection with the Land the Oregon Way

Situation

Since Trackers Earth’s founding in 2004, owner Molly Deis wanted to create innovative education and outdoor programs for people of all ages focusing on building a connection to the land. The company’s first summer had 40 students and three weeks of camp with just a handful of employees.  With dwindling wild spaces in the Portland Metro area, Deis knew that in order to preserve this precious resource  for future students; she had to expand the business’s footprint beyond the classroom.

Solution

When a rare opportunity to purchase two 80 acre parcels of wilderness land in Sandy, Oregon came up, Deis knew she needed additional capital to bring her vision for Trackers Earth’s future to life. With the help of SBA Funding Programs, Molly was able to get the capital needed to purchase and improve the company’s spaces in Portland and Sandy.

Impact

Today, Trackers Earth serves more than 20,000 students, youth and adults, offering day camps, summer/spring/winter camps, after-school camps and homeschool camps employing 60 full time employees and up to 350 seasonal part-time help.  The company also offers courses in outdoor skills, natural/forest crafts, archery, martial arts, blacksmithing, ceramic, wild plants and a full-time curriculum-based school program. Deis was recognized as the 2018 SBA Portland District Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

From the owner

“The SBA has been integral in providing funds to secure our sites both in Portland and our nature sites out in Sandy, Oregon,” said Deis. “Kids are able to have this wonderful connection to these wild spaces and it wouldn’t be possible without the help of the SBA.”

For more information

SBA Funding Programs: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans

SBA Portland District Office: https://www.sba.gov/offices/district/or/portland

Company Name: 
Trackers Earth, Inc.
Location: 
Portland, Oregon