Magnolia Nature School

Alabama's First Nature Based Preschool

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What a Place to Grow and Learn!

Woods, Streams, and a Farm right outside the door! Each morning starts with animal poses yoga, then a class planning meeting..."What adventure will we do today?" Here are a few of the adventures we get into, all the while learning to read, do math and best yet... play well with each other and build community.


Nature is Our Classroom!

For many years, Camp McDowell has housed a summer camp where thousands of children come to learn more about the world around them and what God is calling them to be. For over twenty years, McDowell Environmental Center and Farm School have brought school children from around the southeast to learn more about the wonders of nature and their connections to it.

McDowell is now creating an opportunity for preschoolers in the local community to attend an all-day, nature-based preschool on the Camp McDowell site. Magnolia Nature Preschool offers opportunities for three, four and five year olds to learn and play in the natural world. We offer full time and part time programs for children. Whether you want your child to have preschool five days a week from 8-5:00 each day... or only come one day a week from 9-2:30, we have the place for you!

Go to our Facebook page, Magnolia Nature School at Camp McDowell to see our exciting photos and videos. What fun! You do not have to live in Walker or Winston County. Some parents might choose to carpool to bring their preschoolers two or three days a week for this amazing opportunity.

The preschool program is accepting applications now. All local families who are interested, please apply! A deposit of $150.00 will be required with the application. The deposit will be returned if your child is placed on the waiting list.

So what is Nature-based preschool? It is a growing trend across the country of realizing that good old fashioned playing outdoors teaches children so much about socialization, kindergarten readiness, and provides a great background for later science, math and engineering learning. Preschools are realizing the importance of allowing inquiry based learning to start at an early age. This is a child centered, yet adult guided, exciting style of learning. It is the goal of Magnolia Nature Preschool to have the majority of the day spent outside playing in sandboxes, exploring trails (with grownups of course), visiting the Farm School animals, and even wading in shallow streams and making mud pies!

Magnolia Nature Preschool will follow the guidelines set out by the state of Alabama to promote kindergarten readiness. The school will follow the same school calendar as the Winston County School System. Registration information and applications can by contacting Madeleine Pearce at or by calling 205-792-1969.