News

Natural Wonder Summit Hosted by ERAFANS Coming to Anne Springs Close Greenway

This June, nature-based educators, administrators and childcare providers alike will converge at the Anne Springs Close Greenway for a three-day event to explore nature-based early childhood education and personal natural connection. Educators are invited to recharge with old friends and new as they celebrate outdoor play and natural learning. Situated in Fort Mill, SC, the Anne Springs Close Greenway will provide the perfect backdrop for the conference set for Friday, June 3 through Sunday, June 5. The summit features sessions for educators working with children ages three through eight years old (preschool to third grade). 


Held annually, the Natural Wonder Summit features an evening keynote session highlighting important topics in nature-based education. The summit provides a great training and networking opportunity for all educators to learn from industry leaders about teaching in nature and the benefits. This year, events include a keynote  session hosted by Robin Moore and Nilda Cosco, of the North Carolina State University College of Design Natural Learning Initiative. A campfire networking session will follow the keynote. Saturday includes in-person presentations and experiential outdoor workshops on the Greenway, and on Sunday, participants may join along for a private history hike beginning at the Greenway Gateway or rent a kayak at Lake Haigler (available for an additional cost). ERAFANS will provide a professional development certificate at the conclusion of the event. Most of the training will take place outdoors, rain or shine.

“We are thrilled to offer this unique training opportunity here at the Anne Springs Close Greenway,” explained Lindsey Arnautovic, ASCG Operations Director. “Along with ERAFANS and NLI, we look forward to hosting early childhood teachers, environmental educators and anyone interested in learning more about connecting children with nature and learning of the multitude of benefits that has on child development. With a wonderful keynote speaker, networking opportunities and fun sessions to attend and learn from, we hope folks take advantage of this weekend in our effort to inspire and educate our next generation of outdoor enthusiasts.”

The Anne Springs Close Greenway is home to a nature-based preschool that began in 2019 and now helps to fulfill the Greenway’s mission of connecting people to nature by fostering a sense of wonder for the natural world and encouraging a new generation of conservationists. The Greenway’s preschool follows North American Association for Environmental Education (NAEE) Guidelines for Excellence, providing indoor and outdoor experiences for the half-day preschool program and preparing our youngest learners for kindergarten, while positively influencing their emotional, mental, physical and social development.

For questions, please call 803-547-4575. To register, visit ERAFANS.org.

About the Anne Springs Close Greenway

Since 1995, the Anne Springs Close Greenway has provided a place for the community to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities from fishing, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding to picnics, kayaking and more. The 2,100 acre nature preserve located in Fort Mill, SC is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to sunset for outdoor recreation enthusiasts and nature lovers to use its 40+ miles of trails. The Anne Springs Close Greenway is owned and operated by Leroy Springs & Company, a 501(c)3 organization that receives no government funding for its ongoing operations and programs. The Greenway relies on revenues from its endowment, membership and program fees, and private contributions from individuals, community and corporate partners, and other donors to fund operations and capital needs.