Bright Ideas

Nature Preschool Educators: A Professional Conference Just for You!

Jenn Wright

August 20-23, 2014

Kalamazoo, Michigan


Join the staff of the Kalamazoo Nature Center’s Nature’s Way Preschool (NWP) for a professional development opportunity specifically designed for nature-based preschool staff and administrators. As a supplement to the 2014 Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA) Summit: Beyond Boundaries, we have created a unique opportunity for nature preschool staff to engage with peers, learn new teaching methods, sharpen parent interaction skills, celebrate successes, and discuss opportunities faced in this growing profession.



Registration to the nature-based preschool portion of the summit will entitle you to all of the ANCA Summit meals, social events and sessions. A reduced fee of $250 is being generously underwritten by the North American Association for Environmental Education’s Natural Start Alliance, and is designed to be used by nature-based preschool staff and administrators only.



Thursday will be hosted at KNC’s Nature’s Way Preschool. Located on 9 acres in the heart of Kalamazoo County, NWP was started in 1982 as a site to encourage outdoor experiences for young children. Over 30 years later, NWP continues to connect preschool students with the natural world on its 9 acre property which is complete with trail system, two nature playgrounds and a resident population of wild turkey and white-tailed deer. In 2013, final touches were put on a brand-new 3,000ft, 2-classroom facility. The design of this building was meant to bring the outdoors in with both of its classrooms stretching into up and into the forest.

Thursday will feature workshops and lots of time for interaction and sharing. There will be a panel discussion featuring professionals in the field, and we will provide tours of the preschool, and plenty of outdoor time.


Friday will take us back to the Kalamazoo Nature Center where participants will integrate back into the ANCA Summit. Facilitated sessions will be offered throughout the day featuring topics such as effective group hike activities, parent involvement and community partnerships.


Saturday will take us around the region exploring other nature-based preschool programs. Our visits will allow time to talk to staff, tour sites and discuss best practices.


More information and registration details will be available soon here. In the meantime, enjoy this promo video for the ANCA Summit.



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