Wednesday, May 1, 2019
9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
$59 Parking and lunch are included
CPDUs: 6, Gateways: 6
Grade level: Birth – Grade 3
Join 200 fellow educators, caregivers, and administrators at this annual conference, featuring sessions highlighting developmentally appropriate nature play experiences for early childhood (birth through age 8). Keynote speakers, Marilyn Brink, M.Ed., manager of professional development and early childhood at Brookfield Zoo, and Jennifer Rosinia, Ph.D., OTR/L, president of Kid Links Unlimited, Inc., address connections between nature play and brain development. You will gain practical ideas for incorporating nature play into your programs, research to support best practices, and have opportunities to connect with fellow professionals.
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Martha Meyer, Evanston Public Library
Sheri Reda, Wilmette Public Library
8:30 – 9 a.m.
CHECK IN & REGISTRATION
9 – 9:30 a.m.
WELCOME & OVERVIEW OF THE DAY
9:30 – 10:40 a.m.
Nature Play & Brain Development—What’s the Connection?
Marilyn Brink, M.Ed., manager of professional development and early childhood, Chicago Zoological Society
Jennifer Rosinia, Ph.D., OTR/L, president of Kid Links Unlimited, Inc.
10:50 – 11:35 a.m.
Building Nature Play Spaces in Chicago Parks
Sean Shaffer, Chicago Park District
Engineering Is for the Birds!
Colleen McVeigh, Field Museum
How Nature Can Support Children’s Mental Health
Gretchen Zagzebski, Inspire Counseling Center
Incorporating Environmental Education into Your Early Childhood Center
Meghan Bowe, Environmental Education Association of Illinois
Rachel Schaller, Elmhurst Academy of Learning
11:50 am – 12:35 pm
Community Involvement Brings a Nature Playscape to Life!
Savannah Donovan, Anita Purves Nature Center, Urbana Park District
Chelsea Prahl, Anita Purves Nature Center, Urbana Park District
Hidden Treasures from the Garden: An Intergenerational Approach
Ana Nedelea, Sunshine Home Daycare
Intellectual Estuaries in Nature Play
Marilyn Brink, Chicago Zoological Society
Mindfulness Nature Camp
Deirdre Guthrie, Fernwood Botanical Garden
Colleen Spano, Fernwood Botanical Garden
12:35 – 1:35 p.m.
LUNCH & NETWORKING
1:35 – 2:20 p.m.
A Cave in the Classroom
Jane Paha, Ancona School
Christopher Weber, Ancona School
Feeling Welcome in Nature Spaces
Meg Rock, Garfield Park Community Alliance
Lydia Van Slyke, Garfield Park Community Alliance
In the Moment
Jennifer Rosinia, Kid Links Unlimited, Inc.
Loose Parts in the Early Childhood Outdoor Classroom
Carla Gull, University of Phoenix
The Next Level of Nature Play
Karen Holmes, Crabtree Nature Center, Forest Preserves of Cook County
Michele Mottlowitz, River Trail Nature Center, Forest Preserves of Cook County
2:35 – 3:20 pm
Forest Play: The Why, Where, and How of Nature Play in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Jacqui Ulrich, Forest Preserves of Cook County
Natural Wonders: Teaching Biomimicry
Courtnye Jackson, University of Illinois Extension
Nature Play: A Catalyst for Language Development
Jessica Fong, Chicago Public Schools
Outdoor Adventures: Tools to Support Children with Dynamic Sensory Profiles
Jenna Heinrich, Beth Osten and Associates Pediatric and Adult Therapy Services
Aliza Soler, Beth Osten and Associates Pediatric and Adult Therapy Services
Painting the Boulder Blue and Other Lessons in Publicly Managed Nature Play Sites
Robin Cline, NeighborSpace
Alex Enarson, Alex Enarson Design and Build
EVALUATION AND CPDU FORM COMPLETION
Inspiring Nature Play is possible because of the collaborative effort among the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Alliance for Early Childhood, BackYard Nature Center, Greeley Elementary School, the Forest Preserves of Cook County, Natural Start Alliance (a project of the North American Association for Environmental Education), and Northfield Community Nursery School.