Earth Ways is a 501 c)(3) Nonprofit aimed at creating high-quality nature connection experiences for kids and teens. Through our core routines of exploring wild nature, learning traditional skills, playing fun awareness games, tracking, and observation, we help young people build resilience, and become more connected to the natural world, to each other, and to themselves.
Andrew Dahl-Bredine is the founder of Earth Ways. Having grown up in Silver City, NM, he went to college in California, then traveled all over the world learning about various languages, cultures, and musical traditions first-hand in South America, Asia, Africa, Europe, Mexico, and Central America. He then spent over 10 years living, studying and practicing some of the nature-based ways of our ancestors: traditional and commonly shared human ancestral lifeways, skills, and cultural practices associated with land-based (and often hunter-gatherer) peoples. Andrew began these studies with a year-long wilderness immersion program at the Teaching Drum Outdoor School in Wisconsin in 2007. He continued learning and teaching with long-time primitive skills/ herbal medicine practitioner Doug Simons in New Mexico. He then continued training in tracking and cultural arts with John Stokes in northern New Mexico, and has studied and participated in workshops with the founder of the Nature Connection movement, Jon Young, since 2009. Andrew currently holds a Masters in Social Work from WNMU, where he graduated with honors and received a Leadership in Program Development award for his work in helping create a concentration in wilderness therapy in the social work program there. He also participated in a 2-week Restoring Rites of Passage Leadership training in the Pacific Northwest in 2017 and is certified as a Boys Council Facilitator using the evidence-based One Circle Method.
He currently works as social worker, youth mentor, and musician. He has led outdoor groups for kids and teens for the past 15 years. He has offered classes and programs for the Guadalupe Montessori School, Aldo Leopold High School, and dozens of New Mexico elementary schools, as well as a long-running homeschool “Walkabout” program that has been helping kids connect with nature for over a decade.
In addition to helping re-connect his community with nature, Andrew's passion for group drumming has brought him to lead groups in New Mexico and across the Southwest in therapeutic contexts and in community drumming classes, events, and workshops. Andrew has also studied and practiced the Afro-Brazilian martial art of capoeira for over 20 years. He has taught community capoeira classes for kids, teens, and adults, and finds that the movements involved in capoeira help us learn how to respond in creative ways to all kinds of things in life. Capoeira training is also wonderful for improving coordination, strength, flexibility, confidence, musical ability, cultural discovery, and a foundation in self-defense.
Earth Ways was founded as a 501(c)(3) in 2022 as a way to offer more high-quality nature experiences for youth in our area. With the help of funding from the New Mexico Outdoor Equity Fund, Earth Ways has recently launched four new free “Walkabout” programs in Grant County based on the nature connection model Andrew has been leading for almost two decades. Through this work, Andrew hopes to continue deepening and sharing his connection with wild nature, keep growing as a human being, father, and husband, and moving toward a more connected way of living.
Jess DeMoss Jess DeMoss was born in Arizona, but grew up in west Texas. It was there that he first tried a hand drill to get a fire. Using a small yucca spindle and board, he got smoke...lots of smoke...then a coal. In complete shock that it worked, he frantically tossed together a small tinder bundle of whatever he could find and blew the coal in to flame. Worried about the giant cloud of smoke he was looking at, while sitting in a VERY public wild area, he snuffed the flames and sat in amazement. Fire from sticks. He continued to read and learn as much as he could from his little apartment in the city. Since then he has worked with kids and adults teaching these skills in Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Texas and Wisconsin. He lives in Silver City, New Mexico with his wife and two kids. He also makes hand painted signs occasionally with his business: Scratch Paper Signs..