C&NN Connect was created to support people and organizations working worldwide to reconnect children and nature.


Children and Nature News

Connect with us:

Follow us on Twitter
Become a fan
Read our blog

Visit the Children & Nature Network Web site for news, resources, network initiatives, and the Movement Map.


Natural Teachers

Welcome to the virtual gathering place for Natural Teachers. A Natural Teacher is any educator who uses the natural world as a powerful learning environment—whether the subject is biology, writing, art, or any other.

Website: http://www.naturalteachers.org
Members: 414
Latest Activity: Feb 12

Every teacher can be a Natural Teacher.

Think of this forum as a break room full of your peers ready for a conversation, a place where you can share ideas and ask for suggestions, where you can be engaged, creative, and encouraged. The subject: How to use the natural world as a classroom to improve your students’ health and well-being, including cognitive ability and attitudes toward learning. The objective: Inspire action, individually or in groups.

Like any meeting place where diverse opinions and concerns are shared, the discourse here must be civil. For further guidance on the “rules of engagement,” please see a set of Frequently Asked Questions located at http://childrenandnature.ning.com/page/frequently-asked-questions.

The goal is to encourage more teachers to connect their students with nature and to provide a forum where Natural Teachers can share their knowledge and views. Collectively, Natural Teachers can have a profound impact on improving the lives of children, and, in some schools and communities, that is already happening.

Please participate actively, and encourage others to join. Get together face-to-face as well.

You'll find tools and resources throughout the larger Children & Nature Network website.

The Children & Nature Network Leadership Team will monitor this NTN Group web site from time to time, to respond to ideas and encourage action. Thank you for your commitment to children.

Discussion Forum

Workshop: Nurturing Our Children, Ourselves, and Nature

Dear All,    We are launching a new program supporting adult teachers and facilitators of nature and learning experiences. We begin with a workshop on October 7, 2017 in White Plains, NY:Nurturing…Continue

Started by LoraKim Joyner Jul 26, 2017.

Backpacking Wilderness Summer Camp Counselor Positions Available

Camp Unalayee, a non-profit wilderness summer camp for kids, ages 10-17 is looking for outdoor lovers who want to be backpacking Summer Camp Counselors. Come spend the summer in the beautiful Trinity…Continue

Started by Sarah Camp Feb 7, 2017.

Music and the outdoors 8 Replies

I'm wondering if  you know of any resources connecting music to  the outdoors ?Continue

Started by Kari. Last reply by Tara Lynn Von Dollen Sep 18, 2016.

ParkLAND Project Get Kids off the Playground and Into the Wild Corners of Local Parks

A new Raintree School initiative is afoot. And we're inviting everyone! From preschoolers to scouts, Missouri to Maryland, we'd like to…Continue

Tags: mapping

Started by Brandi Cartwright Aug 9, 2016.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Natural Teachers to add comments!

Comment by Juliet Robertson on September 6, 2010 at 1:41pm
OK! I haven't had a look at this book but you might be interested as it's about school grounds/yards. It's by Sharon Danks.

Christy - you are right - The Coombes School is a beautiful and remarkable place. And it's state run!
Comment by Christy Schultz on September 5, 2010 at 8:41am
Ok, Iwant to go to school there...what a beautiful and remarkable place!
Comment by John Thielbahr on September 2, 2010 at 12:07pm
Juliet, this is such a wonderful project and you have hit on some important issues for any new project like this. First, there needs to be leadership. When there is a leader, especially with a compelling issue like children and nature, there will be followers, many of whom will be volunteers.

Second, one of the more elusive and most needy groups of children in need of "nature therapy" is military kids. They suffer tremendously in constant relocation and deployments of one or both parents, let alone the uncertainty of something bad happening on deployment. I have been trying to find my way into the infrastructure that works with military kids. One of the biggest supporters is 4H. During a recent presentation at the National Afterschool Assn. annual conference, Cheryl Charles and I had many education representatives from military bases in the audience. They get it. If we can establish a beachhead on military bases to connect military kids with nature, it will not only help the kids and their parents, it might also result in getting military personnel to volunteer, as you describe below. I hope there are folks on this site who can make contact with military bases and begin to bring the children and nature message to those needy children.
Comment by Juliet Robertson on September 2, 2010 at 11:34am
Hello Tamra

Thanks for your kind words. The geology trail is remarkable and is a result of an amazing woman, Sue Humphries (who in her mid-Seventies is still a Governor of The Coombes School). Basically Sue was extremely good, I believe, at the gentle art of persuasion. She visited quarries that produced rock and when on holiday, would pop into different places and start up a discussion.

The trail took nine years to complete. I suspect it happened piece by piece as the opportunity arose. Also, in my experience once people know there's a person who is actively interested in some thing then others pitch in to help. For example, I've had emails come my way for telegraph poles for The Coombes School - before I even visited.

I think most of the trail happened through donations. However I'm pretty certain the installation costs were largely funded via school fundraising and personal contributions from Sue herself. For big rocks, a crane is needed!!!

Oh, also, there is an army barracks within the catchment of the school - they may have helped install some of the rock as they do help the school out with practical work.

If you have any further questions, it's worth phoning the school and asking. In my experience everyone is very helpful there.

Best wishes
Comment by Tamra Willis on September 2, 2010 at 9:14am
Hello Juliet: I have been reading these blog comments for some time, but your wonderful website and the Coombes School really motivated me to get into the discussion. I love the geology trail idea and wonder what it took to get all of those rocks in place. The site states that it took years and determination, but how did they acquire the rocks and what kind of equipment did they use to haul them there? We have some wonderful rock formations here in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and I would love to share the idea with other teachers.
Comment by Juliet Robertson on August 29, 2010 at 10:13pm
Hi Lynne

We have a similar stair case in Edinburgh outside Our Dynamic Earth. However the real treasure is at the foot of the steps and 10 yards to the left...in the Caithness paving slabs is a fossilised fish that is unknowlingly walked upon by 100's of people.

Herb - The Coombes School welcomes visitors. The children and staff are used to having people tail their lessons and activities. The school is maybe 2 hrs west of Central London. Just go to their website and email them!

John - please do use any of the blog material in presentations. I think it's the beauty of a network is the sharing of ideas and resources.
Comment by Lynn Levine on August 29, 2010 at 3:48pm
Juliet- I just loved the trail. Very inspiring to see and learn what kind of rocks you have where are. Last month in California I walked the Ecological Staircase Trail which steps you through geological time. You'd love it. Once again, congratulations.
Comment by John Thielbahr on August 29, 2010 at 2:34pm
I think a visit with Juliet is on everyone's wish list, Herb. She is amazing. We need to figure out how to get her over here or us over there. Thanks Juliet. I will be using your material in a parent presentation I have scheduled for September in Spokane. Keep blogging and best wishes. jt
Comment by Herb Broda on August 29, 2010 at 1:53pm
Wow-- I just looked at your blog post including the photos and video about the Coombes School. What a beautiful example of a schoolyard enhancement that can be utilized in dozens of ways. Thank you so much for introducing this school to us. A visit there is definitely on my wish list!
Comment by Juliet Robertson on August 29, 2010 at 1:47am
Hi Everyone

I've just completed the final blog post about The Coombes School in England. It has the most amazing geology trail and I thought you might enjoy reading / watching it.

Best wishes

Members (414)


© 2018   Created by amy pertschuk.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service