"Children are born naturalists. They explore the world with all their senses, experiment in the environment, and communicate their discoveries to those around them." -Oscar Wilde

Edmonton Forest School Goals

We contribute to the health of our natural environments by fostering meaningful connections between children and nature. By strengthening their bonds with the natural world, children become responsible stewards of their forests, watersheds, wildlife, and other ecological resources. Connection to the natural world takes time. Through our programming, children will explore, play and learn in the same natural spaces over all four seasons, fostering a deep connection to the natural world.

We are all treaty people. We must ensure children develop a truthful understanding of the history, culture, language, and traditions of the peoples who have called this land home since time immemorial. We are committed to providing regular opportunities for learners to connect with elders, knowledge keepers, community members, and craftspeople from Indigenous communities in our natural area. Just as with our connection with the natural world, this takes time and must be repeated regularly to create authentic and lasting relationships.

The child is a mighty learner. At Edmonton Forest School we allow the child to take a central role in guiding their learning. We foster learning experiences that are based on their interests and readiness. We value play in and of itself, as a vehicle for learning and skill development, and as a way for children and youth to exercise agency in their lives. We believe children are innately competent, curious, and capable learners, and we aim to promote their holistic development.

There are many individuals and organizations working to improve engagement with and protection of our urban natural spaces. We are committed to collaborating with these community partners so our work can complement many of the incredible initiatives already afoot in our city.

As forest and nature learning practitioners, our capacity is greater when we work together. We are committed to working with others to build strong communities of practice and create opportunities for professional development related to nature-based education for children.

All people deserve the opportunity to develop their emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual selves in the natural world. We honour all people and are committed to ensuring accessible programming for all.