UW Botanic Gardens weather impacts Friday, Feb. 8 – Sun., Feb. 10

UW Botanic Gardens facilities will be closed beginning at 12:30pm on Friday, February 8, and continuing through Sunday, February 10. Our facilities and programs are being impacted by anticipated inclement weather. Please check back on our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates going into next week. Washington Park Arboretum impacts: The Graham Visitors Center will be closed starting at 12:30pm Fri., Feb. 

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Learning About Outdoor Education in Norway

  Among the many programs at UW Botanic Gardens, the Fiddleheads Forest School stands out as a unique program for the youngest learners. With the Washington Park Arboretum as its classroom, the outdoor preschool program offers students the opportunity to explore the natural world, learn from experimenting, and practice stewardship of the environment. Fiddleheads Director and Co-Founder Sarah Heller spent a week in Trondheim, Norway in September 2018. 

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Dispatch from Fiddleheads Forest School: Midwinter Reflections

As the idea of outdoor early childhood programs gains ground, Fiddleheads Forest School has been the recipient of increased media attention from across the country. We are so glad that, from our small school in the University of Washington Botanic Garden, we are able to contribute to a wider conversation about learning in nature, and the nature of learning. However, the media’s perspective is inevitably limited; a reporter visits for a day or two at most, which may allow them to describe the general gestalt of our program and the excitement around this trend, but misses the meaning and impact of this kind of experience over time. 

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May Dispatch from the Forest Grove

Who doesn’t love spring? It’s the earth’s bright green answer to winter’s dreary grey; when all the world begins to grow anew. If autumn is a time for introductions and winter for exploration, then spring is the season for culmination. In autumn we ground the students in the important, fundamental lessons of the forest grove: clearly identifying the boundaries (both figurative and literal) of the classroom; teaching an awareness of self, social expectations, and emotional responses; guiding newfound interest in the natural world. 

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Exciting News at Fiddleheads Forest School!

    Listening and responding to the needs of our community is a cornerstone of the Fiddleheads philosophy. Sarah and I were absolutely astounded this year at the outpouring of interest our tiny school received. As word of the Fiddleheads Forest School spread, parents from all over the region took notice of the individualized attention we give to each child, our unique curriculum that thoughtfully integrates the specialized opportunities afforded by the environment to each student, and our remarkable forest grove classroom site where students develop a deep, mindful connection to their environment and to their peers. 

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