Nature Based Learning Forum

boy with a turtle
Where: Umhoefer Building 1006 Connie Rd, Baraboo, WI 53913
Begins: Oct. 26, 2019 at 8:30 am
Ends: Oct. 26, 2019 at 3:00 pm

Join the Wonder Guides from the Wisconsin Nature Action Collaborative for Children and learn nature-based learning activities for your work with young children.

Nature is the source of all true knowledge.” – Leonardo da Vinci

The seminar is worth 0.6 CEUs or six hours of continuing education training in Early Childhood Education.

Registration is $69. Cost includes all materials, continental breakfast, lunch and beverages.

About the Forum

The forum will begin inside with introductions, logistics, and daily agenda. From there we will go to the gathering area for a morning greeting with drumming and a Dreamstarter story to begin our journey into the natural world. All participants will experience three sessions: Guided Learning, Art in Nature, and Experiencing an Intentional Outdoor Environment. The day will be an exercise in learning to be outside so that we can bring the wonder and joy of the natural world to the children and families we serve. Please dress and prepare for the weather.

During this 6-hour workshop, you will experience the joy and wonder of being outside so you can share it with the children in their care. Specifically, participants will participate in sessions that will: highlight the interconnectedness of nature and foster the development of perspective taking and empathy; explore multiple ways natural materials can inspire students’ creativity; and inquire how to use the unique resources of their site to inspire joy, wonder and learning for the children in their care.

Meet the Wonder Guides

Heidi DurenHeidi Duren has worn many hats in the Early Childhood environments throughout her 30+ years in the field. She began her adventures in 1983, as a licensed Family Childcare Provider. In 1991, Heidi became the owner/director/teacher of a Center-Based Program. While continuing her passion sharing her days with young children, she accepted the Early Childhood Instructor position at M.A.T.C. in 1993, to inspire and mentor adults who were entering the Early Childhood Education community. Heidi serves on the M.A.T.C. Childcare Conference Advisory Committee and was employed with 4C as a nutrition specialist, SBS & SIDS trainer, and as a presenter within the Professional Development Department for over fifteen years. Heidi currently, is a Preschool owner and teacher in a child play-based environment, school-aged summer director, Board Member and Wonder Guide with WINAAC and continues to speak at Early Childhood events throughout the state.

Julie JarvisJulie Jarvis works with the Wisconsin Green Schools Network supporting teachers in their efforts to integrate place-based, inquiry-based learning that uses the environment as the context for teaching and learning. Julie has a Bachelor of Science in ecology from the University of Michigan and a Master of Education in school counseling from Western Washington University. She has worked as an elementary school counselor, a child and adolescent therapist, a naturalist, an environmental educator and a program director at a non-profit focused at integrating outdoor learning and sustainable practices into k-12 schools. Julie is committed to facilitating the wellbeing of children, families and the natural world through fostering an understanding of self, a connection with others, and a connection to the natural world.

Jodi FitzgeraldJodi Fitzgerald has been providing care for children in East Troy since 1997, currently as a Preschool Teacher and Curriculum Coordinator.  She has a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University, the LifeWays of North America Certification, State of Wisconsin Certification coupled with 40 years of experience in Early Childhood Education. Her career spans a variety of programs from Head Start, Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee Montessori School, licensed family care, professional caregiver and center director at LifeWays and now The Climbing Tree. "Children are the embodiment of innocence, curiosity and pure joy. It is the responsibility of every adult to protect and nurture them as they explore their world and navigate through their early years."



The forum is held in the Umhoefer Building, on the UW-Platteville Baraboo Sauk County campus. For help finding the location you can view a campus map and driving directions.

To request disability accommodations, contact 608.342.1314 or email