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Hickory Hill Nature School

"Nature is everyone's home". -Endsley Gummey age 7

Hickory Hill Nature School Is The First Forest Kindergarten to be both State Licensed and The Cedarsong Way Accredited  In The Country!

Hickory Hill Nature School follows The Cedarsong Way® Education Model which includes:

  • All-Weather Nature Immersion time everyday. Nature Immersion is defined by Erin Kenny as “unstructured free time in nature resulting in an intimate, deep and personal connection to the natural world”.

  • Child-led Flow Learning

  • Inquiry-based Teaching Style

  • Child-inspired, Child-directed Documentation of Emergent Curriculum

  • Place-based Education in a permanent location.

  • Small class sizes, low teacher to child ratio

  • We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity Care Provider.


Pennsylvania State Licensed Program


Our Program

Our goal is to introduce children to the natural world at an early age and create a positive impact on their mental, physical, and social well-being.  We encourage children to interact, explore, play and understand our natural environment. When able to follow their own interest, children will retain and process information more readily. Our outdoor classroom space is the first of its kind in Southern Chester County.



Hickory Hill Nature School is proud to be an Accredited Cedarsong School.
Cedarsong Nature School ( is an award-winning
leader in the U.S. Forest Kindergarten movement and has received international
accolades for its groundbreaking work. Schools that are Certified as Accredited
Cedarsong Schools are verified to be using The Cedarsong Way® teaching
methodology including a commitment to nature immersion and unstructured free
play; flow learning; inquiry-based teaching; emergent curriculum and
documentation of the learning. Schools that are Accredited Cedarsong Schools
have proven to be operating at the same high level of excellence as the original
Cedarsong Nature School. Cedarsong Accreditation is your assurance of the best
quality outdoor education program.

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"A place where every child feels loved, heard, accepted and understood".

-Stacey Gummey

“Children cannot bounce off the walls if we take away the walls.”

-Erin Kenny


Life and Kindergarten Readiness Skills Gained in our Forest Kindergarten program:

  • Willingness to take risks

  • Excitement about learning     

  • Respect for others           

  • Empathy

  • Physical stamina

  • Self-regulation

  • Risk & hazard assessment

  • Emotional balance/resilience 

  • Self-confidence                     

  • Self-esteem

  • Self-awareness

  • Conflict resolution

  • Negotiation

  • Cooperation and teamwork Kindness

  • Compassion

  • Kindness

  • Problem-solving

  • Critical thinking

  • Divergent thinking

  • Self-motivation

  • Creativity

  • Imagination

  • Perseverance

  • Peer communication

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Stacey Gummey

Founder, Executive Director and Lead Teacher

Stacey is a certified Forest Kindergarten Teacher and a trained Pennsylvania Master Naturalist.  She is also a native of Kennett Square, PA. Stacey and her husband Michael are also the proud parents of Endsley (10) and Hutch (7). They currently reside in Chadds Ford, PA.

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