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Wonder Keepers

Children in Nearby Nature’s preschool program enjoy outdoor nature discovery and adventure in our Learnscape Outdoor Classroom and in Alton Baker Park. Sensory exploration, cooperative activities, storytelling, garden discovery, earth art, and free time in our outdoor play spaces make every day both educational and fun. Through Wonder Keepers, young children develop a personal connection to the natural world, make new friends, and develop confidence through independent exploring.

WHERE:

  • All outdoors at Nearby Nature’s Learnscape and in Alton Baker Park. Children have a myriad of opportunities to connect with nature in our unique outdoor classroom spaces (Hazelnut Hollow, Squirrel Kitchen, Pollinators’ Playground, and Frog Haven). Our natural play areas (Nature’s Builders Playspace, the Dig Inn Dirt Box, River Run, the Nest, the Sound Garden, and our wonderful sandbox make learning and play truly hands-on.
  • Students should always come dressed for the weather. Rain jackets, rain boots, rain pants, hats, mittens, and/or warm coats will be essential (as needed). Covered outdoor areas are available in case of inclement weather.

WHO:

  • Max 10 preschool children ages 3-5 per day.  Application required for first time participants. Your online registration will serve as your application. Enter the code APPLY in the coupon code box at online checkout and you will not be charged until we confirm your registration. Once you apply, we will contact you promptly to discuss whether or not our all-outdoor, all-weather program is a good match for your child.
  • Each program day is staffed by a paid staff instructor plus at least one assistant/intern/volunteer with a minimum ratio of one adult for every five children.
  • Staff instructors are all experienced educators who have spent many hours outdoors teaching and exploring with children. See instructor bios here.
  • All staff instructors are First Aid/CPR certified, have passed background checks, and are vaccinated for COVID-19.

WHEN:

  • 8:30am-12:30pm, Monday/Wednesday/Friday (option to enroll for one, two, or three days per week, as space is available).
  • Flexible drop off and pick up first and last 30 minutes.
  • Winter 2023 and Spring 2023 seasons open for registration (Winter = January 9-March 24, no program January 16 or February 20/Spring = April 3-June 16, no program May 29).

COST:

 

  • $300-$365 for one day per week Winter Season for members, $350-$430 for non-members. Two or three days per week also available and tuition will be increased accordingly.
  • $335-$365 for one day per week Spring Season for members, $390-$430 for non-members. Two or three days per week also available and tuition will be increased accordingly.
  • Note that we have changed our enrollment sessions from month-long to season-long. If you would prefer to start later or end earlier than our season’s dates, please indicate this in your online registration form or contact us and we will accommodate you if space is available.
  • Membership costs $55/year and provides discounts for Wonder Keepers, Natural Neighbors, No School Days, and Daycamps and free admission to Nature Quests, Green Start Play Days, Citizen Science Saturdays, and the Haunted Hike. Make sure your membership is current as of the start date of your first program. Contact us to check your status as needed.
  • Scholarship aid is available through our Every Child Outside Fund! Nearby Nature believes all children should have affordable access to outdoor adventures in nature nearby. To apply for aid, fill out the Scholarship section in our online registration form and use the coupon code ECO at online checkout so you will not be charged until we arrange your financial aid.

REGISTRATION and PAYMENT:

  • When you register online, you will create an account and your registration information will be saved for future programs.
  • Once your enrollment is confirmed, a minimum non-refundable deposit of $35 is required to hold your program space. Your full tuition will be due a week before your program start (or immediately if you are enrolling mid-session).
  • Payments can be made by credit card online or in person/by mail with check or cash.
  • Note: Enrollment is on-going. We will prorate your fees due according to when you enroll.
  • Returning families — please review and update your online information yearly. 
  • If registering online or paying a deposit in advance is not possible for you, or you would prefer to make a payment by check or in cash, please contact us to make arrangements.

Additional Information

Cancellation Policy for Wonder Keepers  (update coming soon for mid-term withdrawal from this new long-term program)

Nearby Nature hopes your schedule goes as planned and you will not need to withdraw your child from this program. We do understand, however, that sometimes cancellations are unavoidable. If you need to cancel your registration (or decide to withdraw early from your season), please do so as far in advance as possible.

  • Cancellation by 6pm on Monday two weeks before your program starts = full refund minus the non-refundable $35 deposit ($10 for scholarship recipients).
  • Cancellation by 6pm on Monday one week before your program starts = 50% refund of tuition.
  • No refunds for cancellations after 6pm on Monday one week before your program starts.
  • TBA mid-term cancellations policy.

Cancellation by us may happen if there is insufficient enrollment seven days prior to a program. You will be notified promptly and your full payment refunded.

Questions?

Contact our Garden and Programs Manager, Grace Chollar-Webb, at 541-687-9699 or email programs@nearbynature.org if you have any questions or problems with registration. Please leave a phone number with your voicemail or email if you are having registration problems so that we can solve these as quickly as possible.