Bright Ideas

The Stories You Loved in 2019

Natural Start Staff

In 2019, the nature-based early learning movement, along with the community of professionals that make this movement possible, continued to grow.
This year, the value and popularity of the nature-based preschool model was recognized by many noteworthy media outlets, including stories from The New York Times, Medium, Quartz, The Conversation, and REI

We reflected on the topics and trends that engaged you the most this year, from play-based policy to the latest research. Take a look back at the stories you loved in 2019: 


Advocacy & Policy: 

“Please, put the garden back in kindergarten.”
-Dave Van Manen, founder, Earthkeeper Nature Preschool 

Benefits of Time Spent in Nature: 

“It’s time to take nature seriously as a resource for learning.”
-Ming Kuo, Ph.D, University of Illinois



"The effect is remarkable. If we were talking about a new medicine that had this kind of effect the buzz would be huge, but these results suggest that being able to go for a walk in the park as a kid is just as impactful."
-Kelly Lambert, Ph.D, University of Richmond

Public Schools: 

"I really think that [Forest Kindergarten] is for every child. Every American school should consider it."
-Ron Harig, forest kindergarten teacher, Holland Christian School


“When children cannot find themselves reflected in the books they read, or when the images they see are distorted, negative, or laughable, they learn a powerful lesson about how they are devalued in the society of which they are a part.”
-Rudine Sims Bishop






Want to keep up with the latest trends in nature-based early learning? 


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