Print Page   |   Sign In
Deadline for Inspiring Nature Play: Climbing Higher Conference Proposals
Tell a Friend About This EventTell a Friend

When: 12/18/2015
Where: Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glenco, Illinois 
United States
Contact: Eileen Prendergast

« Go to Upcoming Event List  


Inspiring Nature Play: Climbing Higher

Third Annual Professional Development Event


This year, the Chicago Botanic Garden is hosting an open call for proposals.

During the event, there are two ways to participate as a facilitator:

1. Lead a 45-minute, hands-on workshop.  The format of these educational sessions can be a single person presentation, a panel of experts, or hands-on activity workshop.  We encourage facilitators to design sessions that incorporate the latest research and best practices in nature play, as well as content and learning techniques appropriate for a mixed audience of professionals working in nature centers, schools, libraries, park districts, museums, etc. with young children (birth through 2nd grade).

2. Lead and staff a drop-in hands-on nature-play activity station.  We invite educators to share a hands-on nature play experience that they have successfully facilitated with young children (birth through 2nd grade) and that could be easily replicated by educators from a variety of settings (e.g. schools, libraries, park districts, museums, nature centers).  Two separate groups of participants will be given 30 minutes during the lunch hour to freely explore these hands-on activity stations at their own pace (totaling 60 minutes).

The deadline for submissions is Friday, December 18.  You will be notified if your proposal is accepted by January 2016.  Since presenters are graciously giving their time to the facilitation of the event, registration and parking fees will be waived.  We only ask that individuals pay a reduced lunch fee of $15 per person.  


Submit Your Proposal Here:


The event will be held on Wednesday, May 4th.

9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Chicago Botanic Garden

1000 Lake Cook Road

Glencoe, IL 

More information about the event:

Join this unique professional development event, featuring long-time nature education advocateKatie Slivovsky. Currently the exhibit development director at Chicago Children’s Museum, she has previously worked at Morton Arboretum and Brookfield Zoo, and has written on the subject of ecophobia, good environmental manners, and redefining conservation messages for kids for Newsweek and Chicago Parent, among others. Through interactive workshops (or “playshops”), you will learn the benefits children receive from nature play, how nature play fulfills curriculum and program goals, ways to integrate nature play into your program, and resources for inspiring parents to make more time for family nature play, whether you have access to outdoor spaces or not. In addition, individuals will come away with numerous new, hands-on ideas for nature play that can be immediately integrated into work with young children. Sessions will be led by experts from a variety of educational and environmental backgrounds.


For more information and to register, visit

Preregistration required; registration closes April 24th.


Registration is now live and can be accessed here: Chicago Botanic Garden Registration


The conference is organized by the Alliance for Early Childhood and the Chicago Botanic Garden. Special thanks to the planning committee members from the Backyard Nature Center, Greeley Elementary School, Forest Preserves of Cook County, Kohl Children’s Museum, Northfield Community Nursery School, Lake Forest Open Lands, and Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum at Benedictine University.