Four Winds Nature Institute is a non-profit organization advancing the understanding, appreciation, and protection of the environment through community-based natural science education and research.


We believe people long for a healthy connection to the environment and to each other. Our programs bring people of all ages together to explore the natural world in their community. These local, hands-on experiences establish connections that will nurture and fuel us all as we work together to address the increasingly complex environmental issues ahead of us.

Four Winds staff members are educators and scientists dedicated to helping children and adults gain the knowledge and science skills needed to understand the world around them and the creative problem-solving and citizenship skills needed to protect it.

School year 2023-24

The Nature Program offers monthly natural science workshops in communities in Vermont and neighboring states for adult volunteers eager to share nearby nature with school children. Each workshop includes natural science information, a variety of hands-on learning activities, plus plenty of joy and wonder. With over 40 lessons, we divide our program into five year-long themes, each focusing on a different key science standard. Four Winds programs are designed to get kids and adults outdoors connecting and learning about nature.

Nearby Nature from Home – Four Winds has created a collection of family-friendly, standards-based natural science modules that encourage families to explore nature together right in their own neighborhood. Click here for more information about Nearby Nature for Home or School.


Professional Development for teachers, early childhood educators, childcare professionals, camp staff, and community members: Four Winds also facilitates early childhood nature-based play and learning Professional Development workshop series/Learning Communities (Knee High Nature) and offers K-12 teacher professional development (Linkages for Environmental Literacy) focusing on place-based natural science education and outdoor teaching.


Nearby Nature our online publication holds a treasure trove of natural science lessons and explorations designed to get children and adults outside learning together in every season.

Time in Nature Ideas for Families with Preschool Children

Nature Journal Prompts — ideas for exploring nearby nature

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