Founded in 2004 in the Presidio of San Francisco's National Park, Nature Nurture has grown from a handful of students its first month, to having hosted Nature Nurture classes to over 800 Bay Area families and their toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners and elementary age children, 98 percent which have been from word-of-mouth referrals.
Ten years of meandering and scouting around our community's vast and unique national park and forest (just think…this is in our own backyard!) has netted Nature Nurture children slow character-building, hands-on experiences which bring them peace, joy and a sense of freedom and control in their young world. Nature Nurture's non-curriculum driven time and adventures quietly, yet profoundly instill a connection and sense of stewardship to and for the Earth, while keeping our mission in the forefront for teachers and children alike: 'honoring all living things, including others and ourselves'.
With a plethora of adventures and memories that will last a lifetime, not only do the children and teachers (good character mentors) get to spend the whole class outdoors (rain, shine or fog), opportunities and experiences abound, including walking, running, digging and designing castles and structures (with our hands, elbows and feet…no need for man-made tools at NN!) while playing on our sandy shores to taking age-appropriate hikes through and amongst Redwood tree groves and feeling, smelling, and turning over fallen cones, leaves, needles and dirt, as well as looking for rolly-pollies, (aka wood louse, armadillo bug, potato bug), salamanders and so much more!
Our Presidio-based location (we meet on the west lawn of the old Presidio's San Francisco Theatre and move on from there for adventures) offers a variety of paths, adventures, PresidiGo-bus rides, as well as visiting the top of a magnificent hill overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and bay and meandering at each group's pace and wherever attentions and interests take us.
At the heart of the Nature Nurture philosophy is respect and honor for each child's personality, style, pace, and age, as well as developmental stage. All are welcome: turtles and hares, and those in-between.
At Nature Nurture, we believe and act on the belief that all children are kind. Indeed, all people are endowed with kindness. Interestingly, at heart, children and adults want and need the same things: to be heard and acknowledged, respected, loved and accepted, considered, made time for, and feel special. Knowing and remembering this in each class as we act as role models, mentors, teachers, and guides helps us to create, manifest, and share our goal of 'honoring all living things, including others and ourselves'.
The Nature Nurture non-curriculum driven time and adventures are teacher-framed, however, more importantly, it honors child origination. From a child's first choice of what to do upon arrival to what we stop and look at on our nature walk, children are always the leaders in their own experience.
Teamwork amongst the children is promoted within the Nature Nurture environment. Additionally, the children are encouraged to practice their own negotiation and conflict resolution. A teacher or support teacher stands by honoring the group's process and steps in only as needed.
The Nature Nurture program was created and designed with the sole intention of providing a safe, nurturing, FUN and respectful non-curriculum driven environment for children to attend a morning or afternoon with a small group of friends, whiling away the time in a relaxed atmosphere while exploring nature and learning, as well as practicing, the art of 'honoring all living things, including others and themselves'.