Seedlings Forest Education supports children’s growth and education by connecting with nature. (Photo by Abbie Rechert)

Seedlings Forest Education supports children’s growth and education by connecting with nature. (Photo by Abbie Rechert)

Giving kids a place ‘where nature becomes the teacher’

Greater Victoria nature programming takes the classroom into the trees

The need for outdoor learning opportunities for children is growing in BC, and Seedlings Forest Education provides a place for kids and educators to build a relationship with the land.

Nature education has shown to have many long-term benefits for children – inspiring creative thinking, fostering teamwork and leadership skills, promoting physical activity, reducing stress , and providing the opportunity to form connections to local places, plants and animals.

“People ask me every day why I started Seedlings,” says owner and Forest Teacher Laura Burki. “To be honest, it came from a place of not wanting to be inside as a teacher and also getting to share with children the joy that the outside world brings us all. I have had the privilege of working with many families and their children and supporting their growth through outdoor learning.”

Forest schools have become an increasingly popular way of educating since they began more than fifty years ago in Scandinavia, where it is called Udeskole (outdoor school). Learning can take place in both natural and cultural settings, everywhere from farms, forests and parks to galleries, theatres and factories.

Seedlings owner and Forest Teacher Laura Burki. (Photo by Abbie Rechert)

Seedlings owner and Forest Teacher Laura Burki. (Photo by Abbie Rechert)

“Seedlings was created out of a place of knowing that there was another way to learn, explore and grow that didn’t need 4 walls,” Burki says. “I have seen children come to my classroom labeled with ADD, ADHD and other things, and by the time the year is over they have found tools that support their learning and allow them to grow and be in their element, and are no longer stuck with this label on their learning.”

“We label children so quickly and I saw that so much as a teacher that I knew I had to find a way for these kids to be free.”

Some of the amazing programs Seedlings Forest Education currently offers to children ages 3 to 12 are as follows:

  • After School Care
  • Nature Preschool – Full and Half Day
  • After School Care
  • Saturday Seedlings
  • Pro-D Day
  • Summer Camps
  • Parent Workshops

Two new programs coming soon to Seedlings are Rooted programs for youths eleven to sixteen and Old Growth programs for adults fifty five plus..

“There is a teaching in every part of creation. It is our task to find it, learn it and apply it.” (late Elder Ken Goodwill, First Nations University of Canada, n.d.)

Learn more about Seedlings on Facebook and Instagram, or ask a question on their contact page.

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