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Creating Your Forest or Nature School

  • Friday, June 23, 2023
  • Friday, August 11, 2023
  • 5 sessions
  • Friday, June 23, 2023, 2:00 PM 4:00 PM (EDT)
  • Friday, July 07, 2023, 2:00 PM 4:00 PM (EDT)
  • Friday, July 21, 2023, 2:00 PM 4:00 PM (EDT)
  • Friday, July 28, 2023, 2:00 PM 4:00 PM (EDT)
  • Friday, August 11, 2023, 2:00 PM 4:00 PM (EDT)
  • Online!


  • You always receive discounts on training. Yep. Always.
  • If you serve children in our beautiful communities of color, or if you demonstrate financial need, please apply at (available thru Mon., Jan. 4)

Registration is closed

If you are starting a new forest or nature-based program (including outdoor preschool, childcare and homeschool classes), this intensive 15-clock hour course can help you get started! We address a range of topics including:

  • Honing your vision, mission, and educational philosophy
  • Establishing program basics like daily rhythm, class sizes, schedules
  • Business planning/determining a business structure
  • Locations and partners 
  • Licensing considerations
  • How to set tuition, compensate staff, and create a program budget
  • Policies and practices for your parent handbook
  • Creating greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in your program
  • Safety and risk management, including liability insurance needs
  • Finding and hiring great staff
  • Marketing your program
  • Evaluation

Your course facilitator is Monica Wiedel-Lubinski, director of ERAFANS, founder/cofounder of three nature preschool programs in Maryland, coauthor of award-winning Nature Play Workshop for Families, and consultant to countless others starting forest and nature schools in the U.S. and abroad. 

The format of this interactive course is a combination of facilitated discussion, small group work among participants, and asynchronous independent learning experiences. We provide many templates and resources to help you develop an authentic, placed-base approach to your program. As you might imagine, this is an intense course because we cover so much ground in a short span of time! Be sure to plan time between our sessions to reflect on what we discuss. Please note this is not a prerecorded, on-demand course. It is interactive so we can learn together! 

Upon registration, we will provide you with a complete list of materials needed for the course. Are you ready to take the leap?

Online meeting includes facilitated discussion and topics on select Fridays from 2-4 p.m. (EST), followed by self-directed reading/planning for at least one (1) hour between class meetings. This means you will engage in 15 clock hours of training during the course.  A professional development certificate is included following successful course completion.

This course is ideal for anyone establishing a nature-based program, which could be in the form of outdoor preschool, forest school, child care, home school, or afterschool model. Whether your program is in a rural or urban setting, we offer essential information so you can get right to it! Feel free to reach out to Monica with questions.

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