We are educators with a big heart and a passion for children and nature. We each are unique in our approaches and interests as we attend to the children's interests while emphasizing love and respect for nature and its delicate ways and yet strong growth and resilience.
Director and Founder
"The Whole is More than the Sum of its Pieces."
"My deep roots and love for nature have been planted by the adults around me from the day I was born. My parents took me on walks and hikes to parks, dams, lakes, ponds, creeks, and rivers. The summers were spent in the country side in Bosnia (former Yugoslavia). This part is so remote that it just got a paved road in 2014. My hometown in Germany consists of 70% forest. And while growing up the schools and after-school care programs organized trips to the country side with scavenger hunts, large group games and overnight stays.
With all these experiences, my most fond ones are the ones in Yugoslavia. The only place were I had complete freedom as a child. I was free to walk around. Walk from my uncle's house to my great aunt's house, which were about 1/4 mile apart. And all in-between was nature. There weren't even street lights and the road was a plain dirt road.
I was free to explore, no adult telling me what to do, think, or say. I was even able to test out my own theories and make mistakes. The adults around us didn't try to 'save us' from having a 'negative' experience. Of course we were always safe and when night fell we had to stay inside.
My greatest memory of nature play was on a rainy day. My cousin and I slipped on the adult rubber shoes/galoshes and walked out the house. The rain had stopped and left a creek along the muddy, clay-like walkway leading to the house. We moved the mud and build dams. We watched the water move in different directions. We gave commands and followed requests. We got inspired and build a long wall to guide the water. The 'material', the clay-like mud was so smooth and slippery, yet strong and durable. We spend hours out there. All the adults did was to joyfully ask us if we were cold or hungry and respected our wish to continue to stay outside. So they let us be. We were submerged in our investigation and exploration; our constructing and deconstructing, our testing of thoughts and theories. We brought part of our inner self to the outer world and experienced the outer world as part of us. That day I felt very whole. And this is the magic of unstructured play."
Biljana Milasin got her Bachelor of Arts in Education in Germany and acquired the Site Supervisor Permit from the State of California. She has been working in education since 1994 and worked in schools in Germany and the United States with different approaches, curriculums, and school cultures. Her experiences range from preschools with traditional non-mixed age groups to schools with the Reggio-Approch and mixed ages in private and public settings. She created and implemented individual lesson plans and curriculums. During her time in Germany she gained experience in a psychiatric working with children and families. In the United States Biljana worked as a counselor in a boarding school for emotional growth supporting and guiding at risk youth. As one of her passions is photography she took the opportunity to teach elementary school children the same subject as well as videography in an after-school program.
Biljana spends much time outdoors in the Angeles National Forest and Santa Monica Mountains and regularly visits workshops on native plants to learn about their properties and medicinal uses.