Workshops & Nature Walks

Are you a parent, teacher, home educator or librarian interested in implementing nature study into your home, school or community? Workshops and walks are offered seasonally... 

 
 
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Nature Study for Parents & Home Educators

This 3-part series provides reluctant parents and home educators with the tools they need to provide children with inexpensive (and refreshingly child-led) nature study lessons.

What is nature study? Why is it important? Do I have to hike through the woods or befriend creepy crawlies to succeed? What if I don't know a housefly from a dragonfly? RELAX!

{ Part One } :: An Informal Discussion About Nature Study

{ Part Two } :: Research, Citizen Science & Conservation

{ Part Three } :: Let's Take a Walk!

 


Creating a Backyard Wildlife Habitat

This workshop walks families through the process of creating a backyard wildlife habitat in which to enjoy and learn more about nature - without the travel.

Participants will learn about selecting and growing native plants, common backyard insects and animals and how even a small (or urban) property can be improved to provide a family with hours of learning opportunities.

Families will also learn about opportunities to have their yards formally certified as "a wildlife habitat," "a habitat for all," and/or "pollinator friendly." 

Participants will receive valuable printed materials including:

Native Plant lists, butterfly & moth host plant information, lists of native plant nurseries, lists of organizations promoting wildlife habitats and pollinator-friendly gardens, and more!

Plus, suggestions for creating and maintaining a small garden pond will also be discussed. Owning a natural, virtually chemical-free goldfish pond is easier than you might think - let Jessica tell you how her family created their pond!

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  This little frog was collected on an outing in a Pennsylvania State Park.

  This little frog was collected on an outing in a Pennsylvania State Park.

Guided Nature Walks

Hone your child's observation skills by accompanying Jessica on a guided nature walk. Hosted at local trails and preserves, these walks are an informal introduction to nature study (and child-led learning). Look, listen and learn as we wander together through Penn's Woods.

These outings are reserved for small groups allowing each child the opportunity to explore and interact with his or her grown-up while also having the option to benefit from guided learning.


What People Are Saying...

Jessica loves being out in the natural world and her enthusiasm and appreciation for it is always contagious! She takes the time to explain the wonders of nature and lets kids explore at their own pace...an essential aspect when teaching children.
— Kristin Schmidt, Lead Child Care Provider Tender Years ( 2001-2011 )
 
Jessica is my role model when it comes to incorporating nature study into learning. Her enthusiasm for the natural world is contagious, and she effortlessly encourages kids to explore and enjoy nature!
— Gillian A. Estes, Teaching Asst., Oak Grove Elementary School & Teaching Assoc., Sonoma State University
 
Aristotle said, ‘There is something marvelous in all things nature.’ These words encapsulate the essence of Jessica Allen. She is a visionary, an artist that ignites the passion of all to take a microscopic look of the deeply intricate details of nature. Employing techniques of the finest educators, combined with her unwavering desire to make the world her classroom; Mrs. Allen will provide an unforgettable experience that will impact children for a lifetime.
— Patty Frye, Instructional Coach
 
We have learned so much about nature through [Jessica’s blog] posts and even did some investigating on our own...Jessica is excited, passionate and curious and I think that is all you need to be to create a fun, educational outing or lesson.
— Lori Moyer, Parent
 
Jessica has the ability to make me, as a parent, want to explore all the possibilities of nature studies as a part of our everyday learning. She ignites a passion for learning through exploration and engages kids’ imaginations.
— Kathie deFilippo, Parent & Home Educator
 
Jessica’s attention to, and knowledge of, the natural world is inspiring and amazing. Even more so is her knowledge of how to impart this wonder, and scientific mindset, to children. Jessica is, foremost, an educator with a keen sense of children’s rhythms and patterns for learning, and a love of the natural world that makes her a perfect leader into this realm for parents and children alike. I envy anyone who gets to learn from Jessica firsthand. Her knowledge, enthusiasm, and skill are perfect for helping parents learn to encourage their children in studying nature, science, and any related fields.
— Andria Williams, Parent, (Former) Home Educator & Random House Author

Interested in inviting Jessica to share her passion with your South-Central PA group, club or library patrons?