Mission & History

Our mission

Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center inspires people to eat healthy, sustainably grown food and to steward our natural resources for future generations.

Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center is a nonprofit organization located on 240 acres of forest and farmland bordering the Snoqualmie River in Carnation, Washington. Oxbow researches and practices regenerative farming methods, grows food and native plants, and educates people of all ages about agriculture and the environment. Collectively, Oxbow’s work takes real-time action to combat climate change, promote biodiversity, and encourage healthy food systems.

Oxbow inspires and connects to the public through workshops & tours, field trips & in-class lessons, special events, and a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

Land and history

Oxbow acknowledges that we are on the Indigenous Land of Coast Salish peoples who have reserved treaty rights to this land, specifically the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe (sdukʷalbixʷ). We thank these caretakers of this land who have lived, and continue to live, here since time immemorial. 

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Founded as a nonprofit organization in 2009, Oxbow is comprised of 240 acres of upland forest and grass lowlands bordering the Snoqualmie River in western Washington. Our namesake “oxbow lake”—a meander of the river that was naturally cut off from its main stem—is a key feature of Oxbow’s diverse, ecologically-important landscape.

Oxbow is dedicated to growing organic food and native plants, to studying and building a resilient, biodiverse ecosystem, and to educating children and the general public about food, farming, and the environment.

Program areas

Regenerative Farming

Oxbow supports a healthy food economy by cultivating 15 acres of certified organic mixed vegetables using sustainable farming practices. Our farm supplies produce to local grocery stores, restaurants, hunger relief agencies, and schools as well as directly to local consumers through our CSA and seasonal Farm Stand.

>> Food & farming at Oxbow

Habitat restoration 

Using Oxbow’s 240 acres as a natural lab, we partner with scientists, regional planners, volunteers, and other environmental organizations to restore degraded river and forest habitats, and to monitor the effects of restoration work on plant and animal populations. 24 acres of salmon habitat on the property along the Snoqualmie River have been restored with native plantings.

>> Conservation at Oxbow
>> Oxbow’s conservation partnerships

Native plant production 

Oxbow’s Native Plant Nursery (NPN) was built in 2013 with a purpose to increase availability and use of native plants throughout our region. The NPN grows ecologically important species for habitat restoration, urban landscaping, and educational gardens. About 43% of the 120 different species grown in the NPN are from seed collected locally. Our native plant experts study sustainable growing methods and offer educational programs for professionals and the general public.

>> About the Native Plant Nursery

Environmental education 

Focusing on early learners, Oxbow Education connects children to nature through year-round programs delivered on the farm and in classrooms, lunchrooms, and school gardens. Oxbow’s Kids’ Farm, Living Playground, and nature trails provide an ideal outdoor classroom for children to touch, taste, smell, hear, and see the natural world and to learn about how people and the environment can thrive together. In 2018, over 8,000 children learned about food, farming, and nature through Oxbow programs.

>> About Oxbow Education

Volunteer programs

Through gleaning events, restoration projects, and children’s programs, hundreds of volunteers have shared their passions with Oxbow and contributed to our mission.
Volunteer opportunities

Donate to Oxbow and help us carry out our mission!

Oxbow is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization, and we can’t do this work without your help! We’re grateful for your contributions.

EIN# 26-3848941