Professional Development

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. The roles of play professionals, educators, and cultural animators are particularly emphasized in landscape design.

Contexts include informal environments such as community parks and play areas; non-formal educational institutions such as museums, zoos, and botanical gardens; formal educational institutions such as child development centers and schools; urban neighborhoods and pedestrian and bicycle networks that provide young people access to experiences in the broader community.

Professional development and training programs are delivered in live conferences, symposia, and hands-on workshops, as well as webinars and distance learning certificate courses. Distance learning programs offered through NC State University disseminate NLI resources across the State of North Carolina and beyond.

Participants include:

  • Landscape architects and designers
  • Landscape contractors
  • Park and recreation professionals
  • Horticulturists
  • Early childhood educators
  • Formal and nonformal educators
  • Special education professionals
  • After-school program coordinators

Certificate Programs

NLI currently offers two non-academic credit distance learning certificate programs three times a year. Each 24-hour course is asynchronous and self-paced, and takes up to 12 weeks to complete for 2.4 CEUs of credit.

Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities

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.

Past Events

Register today for Spring Online Certificate Programs

Register today for Spring Online Certificate Programs

Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Environments Certificate

Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Environments Certificate

Designing Early Childhood Outdoor Environments Certificate

Designing Early Childhood Outdoor Environments Certificate

16th Annual Natural Learning Design Institute

16th Annual Natural Learning Design Institute

POD Wake Co. Gathering and Tour 2018

POD Wake Co. Gathering and Tour 2018

Growing IN Place Symposium 2018

Growing IN Place Symposium 2018

15th Annual Natural Learning Design Institute

15th Annual Natural Learning Design Institute

Early Childhood Design Institute 2017

Early Childhood Design Institute 2017

POD Wake Co. Gathering and Tour 2017

POD Wake Co. Gathering and Tour 2017

Growing IN Place Symposium 2017

Growing IN Place Symposium 2017

14th Annual Natural Learning Design Institute

14th Annual Natural Learning Design Institute

POD Wake Co. Gathering and Tour 2016

POD Wake Co. Gathering and Tour 2016

Growing IN Place Symposium 2016

Growing IN Place Symposium 2016

13th Annual Natural Learning Design Institute

13th Annual Natural Learning Design Institute

POD3 Mecklenburg Regional Symposium 2015

POD3 Mecklenburg Regional Symposium 2015

POD Wake Co. Gathering and Tour 2015

POD Wake Co. Gathering and Tour 2015

POD3 Western Regional Symposium 2015

POD3 Western Regional Symposium 2015

Growing IN Place Symposium 2015

Growing IN Place Symposium 2015

12th Annual Natural Learning Design Institute

12th Annual Natural Learning Design Institute

POD3 Beaufort Hyde Regional Symposium 2014

POD3 Beaufort Hyde Regional Symposium 2014

Growing IN Place Symposium 2014

Growing IN Place Symposium 2014

POD3 Randolph Regional Symposium 2013

POD3 Randolph Regional Symposium 2013

POD3 Triangle Regional Symposium 2013

POD3 Triangle Regional Symposium 2013

Growing IN Place Symposium 2013

Growing IN Place Symposium 2013

Growing IN Place Symposium 2012

Growing IN Place Symposium 2012

9th Annual Natural Learning Design Institute

9th Annual Natural Learning Design Institute

Growing IN Place Symposium 2011

Growing IN Place Symposium 2011

8th Annual NLI Design Institute

8th Annual NLI Design Institute

Research to Practice: Maximizing Child Outcomes in the Outdoors

Research to Practice: Maximizing Child Outcomes in the Outdoors

Growing IN Place Symposium 2010

Growing IN Place Symposium 2010

7th Annual NLI Design Institute

7th Annual NLI Design Institute

Playwork IN Nature Training 2009

Playwork IN Nature Training 2009

Growing IN Place Symposium 2009

Growing IN Place Symposium 2009

6th Annual NLI Design Institute

6th Annual NLI Design Institute

Growing IN Place Symposium 2008

Growing IN Place Symposium 2008

5th Annual NLI Design Institute

5th Annual NLI Design Institute

4th Annual NLI Design Institute

4th Annual NLI Design Institute

3rd Annual NLI Design Institute

3rd Annual NLI Design Institute

2nd Annual NLI Design Institute

2nd Annual NLI Design Institute

1st Annual NLI Design Institute

1st Annual NLI Design Institute