The Green Chimneys Mission & Philosophy

Did you know?
Our Farm & Wildlife Center is home to over 200 farm animals, permanently injured or imprinted wildlife and horses. The main purpose for each animal’s presence is to thrive in the care at Green Chimneys and play a supportive role in educational and animal-assisted therapy for children with special needs. By sponsoring an animal, you are directly supporting the daily care for our most popular teachers — our animals! Learn more >

Helping our young people to maximize their potential by providing residential, educational, clinical and recreational services, in a safe and supportive environment that nurtures connections with their families, the community, animals and nature.

From the start, Green Chimneys' philosophy has been based on the belief that if children are given a chance to explore and discover their inherent strengths in a safe and structured nature-based environment, their self-esteem, compassion, coping and social skills will improve. The concept of an enriched treatment setting that brings people together with animals and plants in a mutually beneficial relationship lies at the foundation of the Green Chimneys approach.

Human-animal contact—and contact with all aspects of nature—can have a profound effect on people; these elements are an integral part of the Green Chimneys campus and organizational identity. Each of our programs celebrate the dignity and worth of all living things and our goal for our children, our staff, and all who partner with us is to bring knowledge and meaning to our relationships with the world, and with each other.

A Commitment to Culture & Community

We are proud of our long history as a leader and innovator in education and therapeutic treatment for children with special needs and as such, our organizational philosophy supports a safe and healing environment. Green Chimneys therapeutic treatment and management practices align with a trauma-informed approach to creating and maintaining an optimal environment for safety and recovery. Established universal values and a shared language help create an environment in which everyone feels safe, respected, and included. It is how we teach skills, set priorities and make decisions, which ultimately, affect those we serve.

Our policies and practices are guided by:

  • Creating a Safe and Nurturing Environment
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Social Learning
  • Shared Governance
  • Open Communication
  • Social Responsibility
  • Growth and Change

This approach is most visible in therapeutic education and behavior management programs for our students but it is fully integrated into our staff culture—from hiring practices to performance evaluations—helping us to maintain a strong sense of community and a passion for what we do.

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