Nature play and learning every day!

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

what we do

Increasing numbers of children are growing up with insufficient contact with the natural world. To counteract this trend, the Natural Learning Initiative offers evidence-based design assistance, professional development, and information resources to advance experience of the natural environment in the daily lives of all children.

PROJECTS are typically concentrated, short duration efforts that focus on specific design issues or involve a single aspect of a program (e.g., design assistance, evaluation, professional development or policy initiative).

PROGRAMS integrate design assistance, evaluation, professional development, and policy initiatives, with the aim of achieving higher levels of sustained quality. These activities are often tied to a multi-year project, which may include much more.

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.

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.

News and Upcoming Events

17th Annual Natural Learning Design Institute

Because children will inherit the environment we leave for them, they need skills to become agents of change early on. Let’s learn how we can empower children and find ways to channel their creative, ethical ideas about caring for the planet.

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Oakland Declaration

The Nature-Based Learning Network (NBLN) gathering at the Children & Nature Network International Leadership Summit, Oakland, California, May 2018, provided an opportunity to create an international declaration on nature-based learning.

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for our


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

Check out our Virtual Field Trip!