Nature play and learning every day!


“Creating environments for healthy human development and a healthy biosphere for generations to come.”

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT and training includes theory, principles, and techniques that guide the design of play and learning environments with an emphasis on the design and management of natural environments to support healthy child development.

PROGRAMS integrate many multi-year PROJECTS with the aim of achieving higher levels of sustained quality. Projects are typically concentrated, short duration efforts that focus on specific design issues (e.g., design assistance, evaluation, professional development, or policy initiative).

RESOURCES are created, often in collaboration with NLI’s interdisciplinary partners, to support technical assistance, professional development, and generally to promote the importance of the natural environment in the daily experience of all children. Please use and share.

THE GREEN DESK contains numerous resources meant to improve outdoor learning environments and promote healthy, natural child development, physical activity, and nature-based learning.

News and Upcoming Events

20th Anniversary NLI Design Institute

20th Anniversary NLI Design Institute

Re-Naturing increases biodiversity and supports positive human development: it broadens the diversity of children’s play and learning experiences, contributes to positive physical, social-emotional, and cognitive development, boosts human immune systems, calms and de-stresses, exposes children to living ecosystems and stimulates their curiosity to explore the wonders of nature early in life.

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Oakland Declaration

Oakland Declaration

The Nature-Based Learning Network gathering at the Children & Nature Network International Leadership Summit provided an opportunity to create an international declaration on nature-based learning.

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NLI Online Certificate Programs

NLI Online Certificate Programs

Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Environments was developed with early childhood professionals in mind and Designing Early Childhood Outdoor Environments was developed for design…

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Did You Know Outdoor Time…

  • Supports gross motor skills
  • Encourages healthy eating
  • Improves eyesight
  • Promotes cognitive development
  • Improves academic performance
  • Lessens ADHD symptoms
  • Promotes self-confidence
  • Reduces stress
  • May boost immune system

Virtual Field Trip

Click the photo to view a virtual field trip of childcare outdoor learning environments.