Preschool Enrollment Opens in January

Time in the forest sparks joy, curiosity, cooperation and wonder!

A Unique Outdoor Preschool Experience

The mission of the South Mountain Nature School is to provide children the guidance and resources to play and learn in the South Mountain Reservation with other children while experiencing the wonders and beauty of the natural world.

SMNS’s Nature Immersion curriculum is defined as “free time in nature, resulting in an intimate, deep and personal connection to the natural world.” Our classes promote social and emotional development, teach compassion, gentleness and sensitivity for each other and the natural world and empower children.

Connecting Kids with Nature

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Preschool and Summer Camps

Click below to enroll in Forest Preschool and Summer Camps

The Cedarsong Way

The Cedarsong way is a nature immersion philosophy that fosters kindness for oneself, the community and the natural world.

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preschool girl walking in the woods

Forest Preschool

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preschool girl playing in the woods

Forest School Summer Camp

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Forest School Classes

Click below to enroll in Forest School Classes

After School Classes

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Weekday Caregiver Classes

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Weekend Caregiver Classes

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Our Teachers

MARY CLAIR SONNEMAN

Mary Clair Sonneman

Director & Teacher

Mary Clair founded South Mountain Nature School in the fall of 2016 after earning her Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Certification at Cedarsong Nature School on Vashon Island, WA.

MARY CLAIR SONNEMAN

Anneliese Scherfen

Preschool Teacher

Anneliese has been a preschool teacher for over seven years. She earned her Early Childhood Masters in Education from Hunter College in NYC. She also holds a BFA in Art History from Ohio University.

MARY CLAIR SONNEMAN

Anna Maxwell

Teacher, Preschool, Child Class & Caregiver

Anna Maxwell holds a dual Masters of Teaching in Early Childhood Education and Childhood Education.  She has over 10 years of experience teaching kindergarten in the private and public school settings.

MARY CLAIR SONNEMAN

Becky Gartman

Teacher, Preschool, Child Class & Caregiver

Becky Gartman has been working as a professional in the field for fourteen years – as a director, teacher, trainer, advocate, researcher, and writer. Becky holds an MA in Early Childhood and a BA in Elementary Ed.

MARY CLAIR SONNEMAN

Sam Fagundez

Assistant Teacher, Preschool, Child Class & Caregiver

Sam is a student in Rutgers University’s School of Environmental and Biological Sciences where she majors in Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources and minors in Biology and Sustainability.

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