Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens

Starting Off Right: Creating Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens

Saturday, March 2, 2013 Antioch University New England

with Ken Finch, Green Hearts Institute for Nature in Childhood


Nature preschools and forest kindergartens combine the strength of environmental education and early childhood education, nurturing healthy and holistic child development while simultaneously fostering life-long conservation values.

This full-day workshop will address the nitty-gritty planning necessary to get a nature preschool/forest kindergarten up and running, and off on a successful path. We’ll focus on the creation of business plans, including:

  • simple market analyses;
  • promotion;
  • site and faculty needs;
  • staffing requirements and options; and
  • the crucial income and expense projections.

We’ll also review fundraising options and basic risk management issues.

Participants will draft a three-year budget for their operation, rough-up a promotional flyer and/or website, and prepare and practice persuasive verbal descriptions and “sales pitches” for their school. We’ll allocate plenty of time to share your own experiences and ideas, and will take a close look at existing models that have proven successful in the U.S.

Ken Finch is the founder and President of Green Hearts Institute for Nature in Childhood located in Omaha, Nebraska. Green Hearts is a small conservation organization focused on restoring the bonds between children and nature. In that role, Ken speaks, teaches, writes, and consults about nature play and nature-based preschools.

Ken has been working in environmental education for 38 years, and holds a masters degree in that field from Antioch New England. He has served as the Director of two of the country’s largest nature centers, has been a senior manager at two children’s museums, ans was the Minnesota State Director for the National Audubon Society. Ken’s responsibilities have included supervision of two nature/science preschools, and he has assisted with the planning and development of several others. Ken is a former national President of the Association of Nature Center Administrators, and has been active with numerous other nonprofit boards.

Register online in January at:

1 comment
  1. This sounds great. I’ve added it to our calendar ( and will highlight it in the monthly post we put up about the upcoming events (for the month of March)

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