About the Butterfly Garden

 

The Butterfly Garden is a nature-based program turning education inside out(side) and thinking and playing outside the box (or building)! 

 

Our Butterfly Garden Preschools offer at minimum 5 hours of outdoor time each day. The Butterfly Garden Forest Kindergartens spend at least 2 of those hours in a forest every day. All programs are "screen free".

 

Each school is individually owned with varying hours/schedules/pricing and age-ranges of children. 

 

Meet Janine:

 

As a mother of three (10 y/o, 22 y/o, 24 y/o), my former profession as a pediatric registered nurse, and now as a certified teacher, I've been given the unique perspective of viewing a child's optimal growth in terms of health, intellect, and spirituality. I feel I have a firm grasp on what education is meant to be and this, in turn, has become my burning passion! The quote "A mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains it's original dimensions"--Oliver Wendell Holmes, sums it up nicely. I believe what our schools focus on (read Our Philosophy) is the inherent right of every child, and it is my purpose in life to provide it!

 

Along with children, my other passion is nature. I feel strongly about protecting and preserving nature and our environment (you might call me a tree-hugger!). I may feel this way because of my experiences and exposure to nature and the outdoors as a child growing up (camping, hiking, biking, etc.), which may have just been the generation I grew up in ('70s/'80s). But what I see now, and what statistics are saying, is that this type of recreation is on the decline. That saddens me as I know the future of our earth will rest upon the decisions our children make as adults (as well as ours today, of course!). And I wonder how much they will try to protect and preserve something they can't appreciate and have no close, personal relationship with. This has led me to the creation of the Butterfly Garden and opened my eyes to the necessity for every child to have access to one in their neighborhood.

What I have discovered is a way to merge my deep love for nature with my passion for children in a way that can only be described as spiritual. To me this is not a job, it is a calling (that I would do even if I won the lottery)!

 

So now, after having moved from Maryland, South Africa, Virginia, San Antonio, Germany, Copperas Cove, Corpus Christi and finally to Austin, I am ready to call this place home and follow the direction of this path. I intend to use our programs as a vehicle to express my passion and enthusiasm for nature and education through the nurturing and care of the children in our communities, while sharing my knowledge and experience with their caregivers to the benefit of their children and our planet!

 

As my dad always taught me, "Always leave the campground a little cleaner than you found it", I'd like to leave this world a little better than I found it!

~Janine

 

 

 

"Now I see the secret to the making of the best persons.  It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth."     —Walt Whitman