Murray Nature School

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0%
10 acres
0%

of lead teachers are certified

Forest School Instructors

for daily exploration and learning in a

PRIVATE FOREST

of the day spent

learning outdoors

0%

of lead teachers are certified

Forest School Instructors

10 acres

for daily exploration and learning in a

Private Forest

0%

of the day spent

learning outdoors

About EDS Murray Nature School

The Murray Nature School is a pioneering experiential education program in the CSRA. Our unique approach combines student-led, inquiry-based learning in nature with a thoughtful integration of research-based language, literacy, and math curriculum. This holistic model fosters an environment where children develop social and emotional awareness, enhance gross and fine motor skills, cultivate a sense of place and self, and build confidence in core academics. All this unfolds within the most extraordinary classroom ever created – the forest.

Our Faculty

Our faculty, certified by The Forest School Teachers Institute (www.forestteacher.org), provides distinctive experiences for pre-kindergarten through first-grade children. Guided by students’ innate curiosity, our approach encourages them to explore and investigate scientific concepts such as habitats, ecosystems, erosion, decomposition, amphibian and insect life cycles, seasonal changes, bird songs, and migration through natural, explorative play. These discoveries form the foundation of our curriculum, where teachers actively support and expand upon learning through additional exploration, journaling, and engaging games.

The Nature School Campus

Nestled within our expansive 48-acre Flowing Wells Campus, the 18-acre forest and wetland habitat dedicated to the Nature School provides a picturesque environment for students to explore, wonder, study, and play. Situated near the Richmond and Columbia County line, just 15 minutes from downtown Augusta, our Nature School campus is strategically positioned in the heart of our region’s substantial growth, offering proximity and a tranquil, remote atmosphere.

Our Lead Teachers

David Gardner

Nature School Director, Nature Kindergarten Teacher

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EDS Faculty since 2020; 14 years prior experience

B.S., Animal Ecology, University of Aberdeen

Introduction to Forest School Certification & Forest School Teacher Certification, Forest School Teacher Institute

Wilderness Advanced First Aid, Wilderness Medical Institute

Certified Interpretive Guide, National Association of Interpreters

Heather Jackson

Nature Kindergarten

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EDS Faculty since 2023; 17 years prior experience

B.S., Elementary Education, Augusta State University

M.Ed., Elementary Education, NOVA Southeastern University

Gifted Endorsement

ELL Endorsement

Ashley Williams

Nature PreKindergarten

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EDS Faculty since 2019

Introduction to Forest School Certification & Forest School Teacher Certification,

Forest School Teacher Institute

Current Parent

Grade Levels & Curriculum

The Murray Nature School encompasses pre-kindergarten through first grade, with each group led by two or more full-time faculty members who are Certified Forest Educators. In addition, they are also trained in the Orton-Gillingham Method, Singapore Math, and Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA).  The Nature School curriculum is closely aligned with our Walton Way campus, ensuring a seamless transition for students as they move on to the next grade.

Plan Your Visit

We invite you to schedule a personalized tour and see for yourself the difference an EDS education can make in the life of your child. Please click the button below to book your visit to our Murray Nature School Campus. Be sure to dress for the weather and wear walking or hiking shoes!

Book Your Murray Nature School Tour Here

Parent Testimonials

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Nature Preschool Parent

“I could not be happier with NPS. I was dropping off my child late the other morning after an MD appt. and I could hear the other boys in the woods and suddenly they all came running up the hill, yelling and smiling; it was a wonderful thing to see, these little boys bursting out of the trees, so happy and full of life and energy. I think NPS is truly heaven on earth for little ones.”

Nature Kindergarten Parent

“The Nature Kindergarten’s first week started in fantastic style, didn’t it? [Our child] comes home unbelievably dirty, tired, and happy with himself and the world. What more do you want?! That’s exactly how it should be, I think. So thank you very much!”

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Karen Blanchard Lilly

Director of Admissions