The Nature Explore Classroom at

Holy Cross Early Childhood Center

Our program is an on-going evolution as we continue to create a natural outdoor learning experience that is as important as our indoor classrooms.

We began to collaborate with an outdoor educator who presented staff with the challenge of “Risk vs. Reward Outdoors”. We confronted our personal feelings about getting dirty, safety, and how to let go and trust the child. We began to challenge one another and ideas flowed from there. We then shared our passion with other early childhood programs in the City and presented a workshop titled “The Art-Nature Connection”. We continued to expand our own professional development by completing “Assessing Appropriate Risk in Natural Outdoor Classrooms” and “Using Your Outdoor Classroom” by the Nature Explore program.

We are truly a playground for all seasons in New Hampshire. The cycle of life is demonstrated by the pear and apple trees on each side of our open field. We were blessed by robins who created their nest, laid their blue eggs and gave birth in our evergreen. The pine needles, cones and colorful fall leaves falling down give way to materials for our artistic creations. The ice and snow teaches us to balance, dig, slide and use a whole different set of muscles and opportunities. Spring arrives when we can really enjoy mud, worms and rebirth as we prepare our gardens for planting. Then, the joys of summer and floral blooms, veggies, and once again harvesting our riches. Families appreciate our vegetable, floral gardens and landscape. Family comments include…” our children are gaining skills, knowledge and a shared value of nature and rich learning throughout the year”.

Holy Cross Early Childhood Center is on the perimeter of a large city. Families and children are all grateful for our green grass, trees and natural surroundings. We are grateful to all the staff, families and community partners who have donated and labored to support our certification.


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420 Island Pond Road
Manchester, NH  03109