Fresh Air Learning is a registered charity that connects children to nature through play, exploration, and hands-on creation and discovery.
We believe that children need lots of time to play outdoors. When we get to know our local places without the rush that we often feel in our day to day life, we form a connection to those places that is beautiful and deep. We currently work to bring nature connection programs to children ages 2 to 12 in the Metro Vancouver area, but our vision extends far beyond that, to a future in which children of all ages play, learn, and create freely in their neighbourhoods. We envision children and adults working together to connect with and become stewards of the places where they live, and we look forward to a future in which all forms of learning turn to natural places as some of a child’s most important teachers.
Our story began in 2010, when a small group of families got together to create an outdoor program for their young children. We hired our first facilitator, early childhood educator Lisa Howey-Louter, who co-created the program with Tricia Edgar, a long-time outdoor educator. In 2013, our Vancouver programs began with facilitator Cara Agro in Pacific Spirit Park, and in 2014 we partnered with Island Discovery Learning Community to create a part time, nature-based program for distributed learners. Since our first full year in 2011-2012, we've expanded to run parent and tot programs, a Friendly Forest program for children on the autism spectrum, and have co-created the Spreading Our Branches network of forest school educators in Metro Vancouver and beyond.
We believe in sharing, and we work to expand the forest school movement by creating informal mentorship and professional development opportunities. We strive to create programs that are inclusive, welcome a diversity of children and families, and respect our natural and cultural heritage.
"My son loved Fresh Air Learning. He now chooses the outdoors as his favourite place to play!"
- Program parent