Outdoors for All

Outdoors for All is an innovative initiative designed to match children’s natural curiosity with a nature-based educational experiences and provide their teachers with the skills, tools and confidence to use the outdoor space as a classroom.

Outdoors for All offers 10 early childhood educators in public school systems (preK-2) with in-depth on-site mentoring, professional development, and resources. Key activities of the project include:

As a result of participation, teachers in the cohort will expand their network of colleagues, gain access to valuable resources and insight, share challenges and best practices with other educators, develop curriculum, and receive on-going technical assistance from Hitchcock staff.


Participants commit to two scheduled events at the Hitchcock Center:
Please complete the application form right away to let us know you are interested. We encourage 2 Prek-2 teachers from one school to participate together.


Our philosophy is that nature-based education, inherently steeped in science, can happen anywhere, at any place, and at any time. Nature-based early childhood education is highly effective in promoting early STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) where learning experiences occur in the context of nature. Hitchcock Center educators will work with a group of ten early childhood public educators (grades preK-2) to enhance their practice and use of their school grounds for increased hands-on nature-based learning and play for their classrooms and schools.

Goal 1:  To engage students and classroom teachers in a school nature assessment and support teachers to develop site-specific outdoor curriculum. 

Creating natural play and learning opportunities is an effective part of the solution to increasing the amount of time children spend in the great outdoors for the health of their minds, bodies, and spirits. A Hitchcock Center educator will work directly with each teacher to conduct an assessment of their school grounds to model curricula for outdoor nature connections for their classroom.

As a result, teachers will observe our educators in action which will increase their awareness of how to use their school grounds for curricular implementation. Students will learn skills to find nature in unexpected places.

Goal 2: Provide free opportunities for high-quality professional development through Hitchcock Center events.

As a result of participation, teachers in the cohort will increase their confidence and competence in delivering high-quality nature-based lessons for their students. They will discover creative, hands-on, and meaningful ways to engage children in nature-based learning experiences, and understand how increased outdoor learning time can align with educational standards.

Goal 3: Support a regional cadre of educators who share resources and engage each other as peer advisors. 

Hitchcock educators support a growing network of teachers including the Small Wonders 2019 cohort. We will facilitate on-line and in-person meetings so that participants will have an opportunity to share challenges and successes while building a supportive network.

Translate »
Hitchcock Center for the Environment