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Our Story


A dedicated group of nature-based preschool directors, teachers, and childcare providers conceived of ERAFANS as they struggled to find support and local training. Founding director Monica Wiedel-Lubinski reached out to leaders from across the region with a call to action. All of them rose to the occasion. 

These founding members forged ERAFANS in late 2016, one in purpose, to provide support, services, and inspiration to nature-based educators with the ultimate goal of giving all children access to meaningful nature-based education. We incorporated as a non-profit in November 2016, and became a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in June 2017.

The nature preschool movement continues to flourish.  There is an ever-growing need for relevant professional development for teachers and childcare providers working in (or working towards creating) nature-based programs at schools and childcare settings of all kinds. ERAFANS is thrilled to be part of the solution!


We offer professional development for teachers, environmental educators, naturalists, administrators and others working in nature-based education. We know that when we provide inspiration, expertise, and support to the adults in a child's life, we can ultimately ensure that all children benefit from nature-based education and play.

We support programs such as nature preschools, forest kindergartens, nature-based in-home childcare centers, elementary schools and the like. Our reach is inclusive of ALL learning settings.

In 2016, we set out to grow networks in the Eastern region of the U.S. But within weeks, we had a national presence. To date, we have worked with teachers in all 50 states and 24 different countries! With every training and event, we nurture new networks of teachers who support and cheer one another on. Everyone is welcome to attend our programs no matter where you live!

ERAFANS is guided by a group of dedicated nature-based educators and advocates. Learn more about our founding members and Board of Directors here.

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