Professional Development

Find upcoming trainings, workshops, and conferences offered to nature-based early learning professionals and submit your own by using the sidebar to the right.

In addition to the opportunities listed below, you can also consult our list of ongoing workshops offered at regular intervals throughout the year. 

View the list of ongoing workshops here. 

 

2020

April

April 3, 2020 to April 4, 2020
Pratt Nature Center
New Millford, CT
Get a bird's eye view into two CT nature preschools on Friday followed by a full day a nature-based professional development on Saturday. Friday begins with a visit at the nature preschool at the New Canaan Nature Center from 9:30-11 a.m. followed by a reflective discussion with Q&A and lunch. Next, we travel to the NatureYear Program at Common Grounds for a visit from 12:30-2 p.m., followed by more facilitated discussion about the learning environments and practices we observe. Our day will conclude at 3:30 p.m. at Common Grounds in New Haven, CT. Transportation is not included, so we encourage you to carpool. *Note: We have a cap on the number of attendees who can join the Friday observation tours; don't delay if you want to join...
April 3, 2020 to April 4, 2020
11201 Garrison Forest Rd
Owings Mills, MD 21117
Join Irvine Nature Center for our 9th annual Nature...
April 18, 2020
Kittery Community Center
120 Rogers Road
Kittery, ME 03904
In Bloom in Maine is a one-day professional development conference for early childhood professionals, hosted by Antioch University New England. The day consists of a morning keynote by Eliza Minnucci titled, " What Else is Possible? A Glimpse into Vermont's Forest Day Programming," an afternoon panel discussion, "Changing the Face of Education in Maine: 21st Century Children Need Nature, two workshop time frames with many workshop choices available.
April 21, 2020 to April 23, 2020
Brookfield Zoo
Brookfield, IL
Competency-based PD for skill-building in how young children learn, developing nature play & nature-based early learning programs,experiences that foster life-long connections to nature and build competent and confident young thinkers and scientists.
April 25, 2020
Painted Oak Nature School
Hopewell, NJ
Wonderful emphasis on nature-based arts during this special training! Join us as we discover best practices and approaches to nature-based education. Presenters share insights and activities based on their work in nature preschools, forest kindergartens, or other nature-based programs. This training is ideal for educators, caregivers, and others working with children three to six years old. Attendees work in all kinds of settings, from nature-based schools and forest kindergartens to public schools, traditional preschools, HeadStart programs, childcare centers, daycare, and more. Light breakfast and lunch are included, but bring your canteen for drinks. ERAFANS will provide a professional development certificate at the conclusion...

May

May 16, 2020
The Hitchcock Center for the Environment
845 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
In Bloom workshops are geared to preschool through third grade. Morning Keynote - Cultivating Connection: Using the Community-as-Campus to Build Immersive Learning Experiences for Young Children (Ayana Verdi, Founder, Director, Verdi Ecoschool, Melbourne, FL). Afternoon Principals Panel - Experiences with implementing innovative outdoors practices. We’ve got a host of new workshop presenters from each region, along with some old favorites and we have a new movie to show! In July 2016, 23 acres of land adjacent to Chesterfield School in Southwestern NH came up for sale. Turning School Inside Out is the story of what happened next. We look forward to seeing you at one of this year’s spring In Blooms. Bring mud boots, rain gear, sun...

June

June 1, 2020 to June 4, 2020
400 S. Badour Rd.
Midland, MI 48640
The Nature Preschool Institute is a four-day workshop presented through a partnership between Chippewa Nature Center and Samara Early Learning. This workshop will provide early childhood educators with the information and skills to incorporate nature-based education approaches into daily preschool routines while maintaining the integrity of their curriculum. This workshop will be led by Rachel Larimore, owner of Samara Early Learning, along with Madison Powell, Chippewa Nature Center’s (CNC) Nature Preschool Director, the team of Nature Preschool teachers, and some of the Nature Preschool children.
June 8, 2020 to June 12, 2020
220 GROVE AVE
PRESCOTT, AZ 86301
This year's inspiring, hands-on, and experiential professional development event will take place June 8 - 12 in beautiful Prescott, Arizona. Collaborate with a passionate and diverse group of early childhood educators during our 5-day early childhood educator Summer Institute. The Summer Institute fee includes materials and resources, four nights of lodging on campus and two to three meals a day. As a part of the enrollment process, each participant will be asked to identify a nature- and place-based project they can develop during and after the Summer Institute. This year’s Summer Institute participants will discover: ~ What nature- and place-based early childhood education is and why it’s such a hot topic in ECE today. ~ Ways to...
June 13, 2020
Moretown Elementary School
940 VT Route 100B
Moretown, VT 05660
In Bloom workshops are geared to preschool through third grade, so please invite your elementary teacher colleagues. Morning Keynote - Nature Preschool in the Urban Wild: Lessons from the Pacific Northwest (Kit Harrington, Founder and Former Director, Fiddleheads Forest School, University of Washington, Seattle, WA). Afternoon Keynote - Our Journey to Become the Crellin Corps of Discovery (Dr. Dana McCauley, Principal, Crellin Elementary School, Oakland, MD). We’ve got a host of new workshop presenters from each region, along with some old favorites and we have a new movie to show! In July 2016, 23 acres of land adjacent to Chesterfield School in Southwestern NH came up for sale. Turning School Inside Out is the story of what happened next...
June 18, 2020 to June 20, 2020
Denver, CO
"NatureStart™ is a professional development program that trains informal educators in museums, zoos, aquariums, and nature centers, along with other professionals who interact with young children and families, to develop and facilitate early childhood nature play programs, create play settings for nature-based early learning, and engage and interact with young children and their families to foster lifelong connections with nature. The training program is approved for credit from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Conservation Education Certificate."
June 29, 2020 to July 3, 2020
713 Elm Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
This is an introductory ECO (Educating Children Outdoors) Institute course that acquaints participants with the routines and protocols that structure a successful outdoor learning and play experience. Participants will: Develop a knowledge base and skill set to incorporate nature immersion practices into your program in a way that meets the needs of your students. Learn how to conduct site assessments and how to manage hazards and risks within an outdoor classroom space. Explore foundational math and literacy skills in nature with nature. Learn how to partner with the natural world to bring the curriculum outdoors and nature indoors while meeting NGSS, Common Core and Vermont Early Learning Standards. Build upon existing strengths...

July

July 6, 2020 to July 10, 2020
McDonogh School
Owings Mills, MD 21117
We are thrilled to offer a five-day Nature-based Teacher Certification! This 36-hour course provides in-depth study of best practices in nature-based early childhood education to prepare you for meaningful outdoor learning experiences. Whether you are in a formal school or childcare setting or working in a nature or forest preschool, this course is designed to meet the needs of early childhood educators working in any setting. Learn more about each level of certification online. We'd love to learn with you this summer!
July 9, 2020
2029 West State Road 426
Oviedo, FL 32765
Join us this summer for our 2020 conference, Innovative Environments: Creating Spaces for Outdoor Learning, hosted by St. Luke's Lutheran Church and School! This two-day conference will show educators how to extend knowledge and learning beyond the four walls of the classroom and into the outdoors. Sessions will include intentionally curated workshops from professionals in the Early Childhood and Environmental Education fields, tours of our own outdoor classroom spaces, and hands on activities using your own curriculum and resources. For more information, please see our Eventbrite page linked above or contact us at [email protected]
July 20, 2020 to July 24, 2020
Verdi EcoSchool
Melbourne, FL
We are thrilled to offer a five-day Nature-based Teacher Certification! This 36-hour course provides in-depth study of best practices in nature-based early childhood education to prepare you for meaningful outdoor learning experiences. Whether you are in a formal school or childcare setting or working in a nature or forest preschool, this course is designed to meet the needs of early childhood educators working in any setting. Learn more about each level of certification online. We'd love to learn with you this summer!
July 29, 2020 to August 1, 2020
Cincinnati, OH
The Natural Start Alliance's annual conference is the nation's largest professional event for teaching, administration, research, and advocacy in nature-based early learning. Join us for engaging presentations, experiential workshops, site tours, and professional networking with nature-based early childhood professionals from around the country and beyond.