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Nature School is Expanding at Herff Farm

Nature School

Nature School is Expanding at Herff Farm

For over 32 years, the Cibolo has deepened our community’s connection with our land and water and has become a model for conservation education initiatives in our greater Central Texas neighborhood.

With the expansion of the Nest Nature School and Learning Village at Herff Farm, the Cibolo continues to devote itself to preserving, sharing, and teaching about living harmoniously and sustainably with our wild and wide-open spaces.

The expansions at Herff Farm will support even more educational programming for all ages through conservation and stewardship-based opportunities as well as diverse community events. Alongside the breathtaking new campus of the Nature School, the expansion includes new indoor and outdoor spaces including:

  • The Hunke Auditorium with adjoining commercial kitchen
  • HEB Learning Lawn
  • Renovated Historic Barn
  • Will Smith Amphitheater

The barn and amphitheater areas provide a unique opportunity to experience a thoughtfully renovated historical piece of Boerne’s rich agricultural history. As you peer through the barn doors, you have a perfect view of the Will Smith Amphitheater nestled aside the barn, an intimate setting to accommodate educational and community events alike with a beautiful backdrop of a meadow and cypress tree lined Cibolo Creek.

The Cibolo Nature School campus itself provides an incredibly unique focal point for the Farm and is quite a sight to behold. The campus will include four individual classroom cottages, all leading into a central natural play space. The new play space is being designed by an internationally recognized nature-play design team to highlight the natural beauty of the space while creating even more play and learning value for students. Each cottage classroom is complete with multiple indoor and outdoor learning spaces, distinct to each class. The indoor classroom space opens through French doors into a covered porch open-air learning and art studio, which then extends into a cozy seating area where the classes can enjoy their lunch while peering out into the central play space. The rich and varied shared play spaces for the school range from pollinator and vegetable gardens to a “hidden forest” where students with their teachers can collaboratively explore a wooded area and feel part of something wild within the fence line of the school.

The Cibolo Nature School will maintain its legacy of providing a rich child-centered learning environment for children ages three to five, built on a unique place-based curriculum model that incorporates best practices from education philosophies such as Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf. The Cibolo Nature School prioritizes high quality academic and developmentally appropriate Pre-K standards through a strong curriculum intended to develop the whole child. Academic domains including pre-literacy, math, science, language development, music, and art are fostered in the rich natural environment.

This inquiry-based and student-driven approach encourages learning through play and fosters each child’s critical reasoning, collaborative and creative thought, and wonder for the natural world. This unique philosophy, along with low student-teacher ratios, provides an opportunity for students to develop their whole selves and create a solid academic and social-emotional foundation not only for kindergarten, but beyond.

For more information about the Nature School please contact Sarah Mortati at sarahm@cibolo.org. If you are interested in supporting the Cibolo as we grow to serve the community in new ways please contact Leigh Owen at leigh@cibolo.org or call (830) 249-4616.