Tim Jones started Tír na nÓg Forest School in Saint John in 2012 with six children and one educator. As the father of a preschooler and someone who spends most of his time outdoors, he was looking for a program for his daughter that would offer outdoor, play-based, child-led learning throughout the year, regardless of the weather. Recognizing that current programs under government regulation legislated only two hours a day for outdoor play in fair weather (one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon), he was inspired to recreate the magic of his own childhood where climbing trees, scraping knees and exploring the wonder of nature was the norm!
Today, Tír na nÓg offers a variety of programs from preschool to middle school, summer camps, and adult education training and workshops. Hundreds of children get to experience the magic of the forest each year and have the opportunity to learn and explore at their own pace on 140 acres of land. With increasing limited opportunities for physical activity and fresh air in the public school system, Forest School gives children the opportunity to build a relationship with nature and treats childhood like the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity it is!