Inspiring exploration, appreciation, and conservation of our natural world.

Knee-High Naturalists Program

COVID-19 UPDATE: The Boardman River Nature Center is CLOSED and all programming is canceled until further notice. District staff is working remotely. If you need assistance, please visit the “Staff” page of our website for contact information. We appreciate your understanding, and please check back for the most up-to-date information. 



Knee-High Naturalists is a nature-based preschool program for potty-trained 3-5 year-olds unaccompanied by a parent/guardian (drop off). It meets once a week on Thursday from 9:00am-12:00pm, for 14 weeks, starting this spring. Many of the children who come attend other preschool programs on the other weekdays. We want to facilitate their natural curiosity and joy in the world around them and help them to establish a sense of ownership of the nature center. Children in the program have the freedom to play and interact with their environment, learning to appreciate the variety and scope of the natural world.

2020/2021 Schedule TBD

  • Fall/Winter session-September 17 and runs every Thursday (except November 26) until December 10.
  • Winter/Spring session– January 14 and runs every Thursday until May 13.

Seasonal topics, taught September through May, focus on what is happening outside of the Nature Center. We incorporate creative dramatics, songs and games, manipulative’s, puppets, and an occasional animal into the programs to engage your preschoolers.

Each day will include a sharing circle, story, and time to hike and explore. We’ll use developmentally appropriate games and activities to enrich the learning about the day’s theme. From frog eggs to fox tails, we’ll be having fun and making new connections with every step! Let’s create, touch, watch, get quiet, be loud, move, build, climb, smell, and most importantly, DISCOVER.

Fall 2020/Winter 2020 sessions- TBD
Winter 2020/Spring 2021 sessions- TBD
Register for both – TBD
Register NOW!

Contact Taryn Carew for more information: 231-941-0960 x24 or

*Note space is very limited as the class size is 10 students*

Knee-High Naturalist Blog

Knee-High Naturalist, our newest preschool program, is underway! For our first fall-winter session we will be discovering a variety of seasonal topics. Every Thursday from 9:00am-12: 00pm we will explore the outdoors, have story time, create, discover, hike, learn through hands-on activities, and more! Make sure to check out the blog every week to see what our Knee-High Naturalists are up to.

Knee-High Naturalists is a nature-based preschool program for 3-5 year-olds. We want to facilitate children’s natural curiosity and inspire joy in the world around them. Children in the program have the freedom to play and interact with their environment, learning to appreciate the variety and scope of the natural world.

Click on a link below to see what we did this week!

Winter/Spring 2020 Blog Posts:

01/16- Sledding Down the Hill!

01/23- Snowshoeing Adventures!


Fall 2019 Blog Posts:

09/19-11/21 – Sticky, Muddy, Chilly FUN!

11/21-12/12 – Fall/Winter Wrap-up

Winter/Spring 2019 Blog Posts:

04/18 – Buzzing Bee’s!

04/11 – When in Doubt, Dance it out!

04/04 – Dirty, Dirt, Dirt!

03/21 – Magnificent Muddy Messes!

03/14 – Is Spring here?

03/07- The Tea Party in the Woods

02/28 – The Mitten

02/21 – I am Bear-y Sleepy!