Director Mary Clair Sonneman with some of her students.

Director Mary Clair Sonneman with some of her students.

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.

Founder and lead teacher, Mary Clair Sonneman, is a former high school English teacher with a background and keen interest in progressive education. She has a passion for the natural world and loves to play outside.

Mary Clair Sonneman walking on a trail to main camp with her daughter.

Mary Clair Sonneman walking on a trail to main camp with her daughter.

Mary Clair attended a Forest Kindergarten teaching training program at Cedarsong Nature School on Vashon Island in Washington in July 2016, earning her Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Teacher Certification. Read more about this wonderful school here.  She has a BA in English from Boston University and a teaching credential from San Francisco State University.

***South Mountain Nature School is hiring and is interested in collaboration opportunities. Please reach out!***