Contact us Monday through Friday 8:00am CST to 4:00pm CST at 715-327-4402

Therapeutic Treatment Grounded in Tradition & Innovation

From its genesis in 1978, Northwest Passage programming has focused on blending traditional mental health treatment with arts and nature-based therapy. Though the problems facing children and teens have evolved since 1978, the fundamental needs for self-respect, trust, relationships, and steady guidance remain the same. And while Northwest Passage has grown in size and sophistication, we’ve never lost sight of the foundations all children need to be successful. Above anything else, Northwest Passage’s goal is to restore hope in our clients. By investing in the lives of marginalized youth, we are influencing and changing how mental health is ultimately treated and viewed. The transformations we see are no less than extraordinary.

“Under the Surface reveals the ascendance, worth, and virtue inside each of us and every body of water. We just need to get in and find it.”

Wallace J. Nichols

Famed water activist, author, and biologist, Blue Mind

“These kids see the world and our waters in ways many of us fail to appreciate. It has been an honor to facilitate their wonder.”

Dr. Toben Lafrancois

Research diver, ecologist, and adjunct professor, Northland College

“You’ve all played a part in [our son’s] healing by nourishing his mind, his body and his soul. He came to you feeling helpless, hopeless and broken. Through your hard work and dedication, he’s learned he’s important, what he thinks matters, and that his life has value and is worth living. Because you all believed in him, he’s coming home a young man who believes in himself. The words “thank you” don’t begin to express our gratitude. Everyone we’ve met has been so kind. It takes a very special person to do this kind of work and we are so thankful to each one of you for choosing to do it!.”

Parents of Past Resident

Northwest Passage Riverside


Northwest Passage is dedicated to restoring hope through innovative mental health services for children and families…

  • Serving kids aged 12-17
  • 50 beds across five programs
  • 8-12 month approximate average stay
  • 1:4 minimum staff to client ratio
  • 350 kids served annually
  • Award winning photography programming


If you’re looking for more information or would like to schedule an interview, please contact our communications director, Marceleen Mosher.

6 + 5 =


Mark Elliott

Mark Elliott

Executive Director

Mark has been with Northwest Passage since 1987 in a variety of roles culminating in his current role as the executive director. Mark has always believed that you are only as good as the people around you, and the joy of working with a quality staff and making an impact in kids’ lives have kept him “hooked” into the Northwest Passage family. As Northwest celebrates its 40th year, his top priority as the director of the organization is to cultivate a vision for the organization in its next 40 years.

Ellen Race

Ellen Race

Program Director

Ellen has been with Northwest Passage since 2000. Her expertise is in clinical social work Education and she holds a masters in social work degree from the University of Wisconsin. In her work as a program director, she oversees the mission to address clients’ individual needs at both the Assessment and Prairieview programs located in Frederic, Wisconsin. She enjoys the challenges of creating a therapeutic environment for youth and staff by incorporating individual strengths into therapeutic programming.

Bill Jury

Bill Jury

Program Director

Bill has dedicated his professional career to Northwest Passage’s program serving young men. Since the opening an adventure program to complement the work being done at the Riverside site, Bill has consistently kept Northwest Passage’s mission at the forefront of his efforts; to bring hope to the children and families served by Northwest Passage through innovation. Now the program director of Riverside, he ensures that the program is situated to be meet the demands of today’s clients and be well situated to address the needs of an ever-changing population.

Angela Fredrickson

Angela Fredrickson

Clinical Director

Angela serves as Northwest Passage’s clinical director. In that role, she ensures our staff have the tools they need to provide therapeutic experiences for our clients. She fosters a culture of experimentation, openness, and support that inspires staff to bring their own passions into the work that they do with the kids She leads this call through her own dedication to providing clients with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in equine assisted therapy in the summer months.

Ian Karl

Ian Karl

Experiential Programming Coordinator

Ian focuses on the intersection of nature, learning, and healing in his work as the experiential coordinator for Northwest Passage’s residential treatment sites. He brings his deep, personal connection to the lakes, rivers, and woods of northwest Wisconsin to his work with the kids. And it is his mission to help kids to discover positive ways to effect change in their lifestyle through interactions with the natural world.

Key Staff

Key Staff


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See Below for more information about our service in the last forty years and in the news today.

Please click on the tabs above to learn more about our programming in the news.

Northwest Passage in the Press

2018 WPR Interview, Under the Surface

2018 WPR Report, Sea Grant

2017 Under the Surface in St. Croix Valley

2017 NATSAP Celebrates Under the Surface

2017 State Draws Attention to Passage 

2017 Artist in Residence – Water Heals

2016 Seagrant Article

2016 Apostle Islands Article

2016 Under the Surface Update

2016 Dry Tortugas Summary

2016 Prairieview Under the Surface Update

2016 Gitchi Gumee

2016 Sea Grant Announcement &

2015 Toben Article

2015 Women of the Valley (Underwater)

2015 Women of the Valley (mucking)

2015 Prairieview Underwater

2015 Under the Surface Article

2015 Under the Surface at Cable Natural History Museum

2015 WI Lakes Convention Talk

2015 WI Lakes Award

Article by Lauralee Alban

Sachi Cuningham’s visit

2016 Prairieview Apostle Islands Trip

In Northwest Passage’s Own Words

Main Videos:

Complete Playlist:

In a New Light in the Press

2014 Troubled teens find a ‘new light’ with nature photography

2014 WCCO Family Struggles With Complex System Of Autism Care

2014 NW Passage Receives Grant

2012 St. Paul Pioneer Press Getting the picture 

2013 Inter-county Leader Cameras meet counseling and a huge ski race at a unique local art premier

2013 Spooner Advocate New light movement grows to book

2010 Superior Telegram Nature photography helps troubled teens

Northwest Passage’s Professionals Share Expertise





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To learn more about Northwest Passage in real time, see the images below! Feel free to use the images or videos as you see fit, simply credit them to Northwest Passage, Ltd.

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