In Bloom in Santa Barbara
Sep 19 all-day

Antioch University New England is excited to be partnering with Antioch University Santa Barbara, the Academy of Forest Kindergarten Teachers, and the Wilderness Youth Project to offer

In Bloom in Santa Barbara: Promising Practices in Nature-based Urban Early Childhood Education

Come spend the day with us on Saturday, September 19th at the Open Alternative School in Santa Barbara. We’ll spend time indoors and outdoors, listening and doing, thinking and playing. We’ll explore the school grounds and nearby urban gardens. And we’ll take full advantage of the accessible green spaces in the nearby neighborhood. All early childhood and early elementary parents, teachers, outdoor educators and administrators with an interest in connecting children to the nearby natural and built environments are invited.SB picture banner


WWhitman poem

What would happen if the young child went forth some part of every day, into the nearby urban natural world, into canyons in the city parks, along the beaches, along paths and creek beds, in rain or shine. Would it make a difference in her learning, her health, her happiness? “YES!” say teachers of nature pre-schools and forest kindergartens. After flourishing in Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and Europe and even cropping up in Asia, nature pre-schools and forest kindergartens are taking root across North America, in rural and urban settings, all along the Pacific Rim. Come hear what’s happening out there.

A few years ago, a child in a Wilderness Youth Project program in Tucker’s Grove Park said, “Three hours isn’t enough for these trips. We should do five hours, we should do all day, we should do twenty-four hours. We should build forts and live out here.” The nature preschools and forest kindergartens across California help children find their home in the natural world. And research from European schools suggests that young children who spend a chunk of each day outdoors in school programs have increased motor development, better language development and get sick less often. Research in place-based elementary schools in the United States indicates increased academic achievement for students. How can we make these opportunities available for more children?

Conference Schedule

8:30 am — 9:00 am

Registration & Morning Refreshments

9:00 am — 9:10 am

Opening Circle

9:15 am — 10:15 am

 Dedication and Morning Keynote

10:30 am — 12:00 noon

Morning Workshops

12:00 noon — 1:00 pm


1:00 pm — 2:00 pm

Afternoon Keynote

2:15 pm — 3:45 pm

Afternoon Workshops

3:50 pm — 4:00 pm

Closing Circle

Read the Conference Brochure for workshop descriptions!

Register Here

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