Welcome to Wellspring

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Working Hours
Monday - Friday 09:00AM - 17:00PM
Saturday - Sunday CLOSED
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Courses of Study


This Course of Study is designed for individuals who want to learn more about this growing global movement and the many benefits for young children.

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Forest School Teacher

This Course of Study is designed for individuals with a teaching background in either a formal or informal setting who want to acquire the skills, knowledge-base and understanding to facilitate Forest School classes.

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Forest School Director

This Course of Study is designed for individuals with an education or business background or relevant experience, who wish to create and/or direct a forest school program.

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Forest School Leader

This Course of Study is designed to prepare individuals to become leaders in establishing FS programs in public and private schools and to become FS advocates.

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Class Descriptions

Read more here to learn about each class offered, including elective classes.

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Our passion and purpose

After founding Wauchatchie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Jean Lomino’s passion quickly turned to reproduce the awesome learning environment offered by nature to children everywhere. Jean established Forest School Teacher Institute to train traditional teachers from around the globe to be nature teachers and to promote Forest School research. All trainees gain firsthand experience through observation of forest school programs in a variety of natural settings and school venues, at training sites throughout the Eastern US.

PhD in Leadership and Environment Education.

Forest School Teacher Institute is headquartered at the main campus of Wauhatchie School http://www.wauhatchie.org, located on the grounds of Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center, Chattanooga, TN. Seven other Lab school sites are located within a 50 mile radius of Chattanooga.

FSTI training is endorsed by the MSED in Outdoor Teacher Education at Southern Adventist University.

Important Wauhatchie School Announcement

Change is the rhythm of nature.  Seasonal changes are the most obvious. Summer melds slowly into fall, and fall into winter, with spring bounding in to surprise us all. With winter here now, trees are laid bare and birds have left for their southern homes. Forest creatures, after busily gathering and storing food for winter, are hunkered down these cold mornings.  Change can also be seen at the “edges” of ecosystems where two meet, as when a forest gives way to a meadow or a sandy shore meets the ocean.  Here, at the edges, great diversity of life is revealed in a flurry of sights and sounds.

Changes at Wauhatchie School are like biological “edges.” This school year has seen such amazing activity. Our enrollment has grown to an all-time high, with a group of parents more committed than ever, and a teaching and administrative staff that is top of the line!  Wauhatchie School remains at the forefront of the forest school movement that is surging around the world.  Six years ago I could not have foreseen that the little forest school Diana Meadows and I founded at her family’s beautiful Lookout Lake property would become such an exciting and momentous endeavor. Since 2015 well over 500 children have benefitted from nature-immersion education and almost 300 teachers from around the globe have received training as forest school teachers at Wauhatchie School!

In the midst of all this amazing energy, I feel certain that my decision to bequeath the leadership of Wauhatchie School to the next generation is perfectly timed. As with all things, new ideas and fresh perspectives can make what’s already great, even better!   Even though my directorship will end this school year, I will keep a strong connection with Wauhatchie School.  After all, WS is the embodiment of my vision for what education should be for all children, and it will remain an important part of my life.

My retirement from Wauhatchie School, however, doesn’t mean my work is ending! With renewed vigor, I will be channeling my energy into the Forest School Teacher Institute, training more teachers and directors, writing a book, plus some new projects on the horizon!

The Wauhatchie School Board of Directors has begun the search for a new WS Director.

A position description and application process is posted on the “About Us” page. We welcome all interested individuals who possess the necessary qualifications to apply! 

With gratitude to the entire Wauhatchie School family, both current and past— teachers, parents, donors, board members, and supporters around the world for allowing me to serve you, I remain

Naturally yours,

Dr. Jean Lomino


Next steps for you

Call Us: 423-240-2715