About Us

The mission of The Children’s Nature Institute is to educate children, families and communities through interactive experiences with nature and to inspire respect, responsibility and a connection to the natural environment.

For 26 years, The Children’s Nature Institute (CNI) has been a leader in environmental education for children ages 0-8 years. We are dedicated to environmental education playing a role in children’s development from their earliest years and we are one of few environmental education organizations focusing on early childhood development. We foster children’s innate sense of wonder, and improve academic performance, through the use of hands-on exploration of the natural world. Through our Educational Programs , our Community Programs , and our Volunteer Programs  we reach thousands of families every year, in many ways.

Why It’s Important

There are many reasons why we do what we do. It’s fun. It’s interesting. And it makes a huge impact. For instance, K-12 students participating in environmental education programs at school do better on standardized tests in math, reading, writing, and social studies. It has also been proven that Views of nature reduce stress levels and speed recovery from illness, injury, or stressful experiences. To learn more about academic, physical, and psychological benefits of our work visit our research page.