The Sam and Myra Ross Institute at Green Chimneys

Decades of human-animal interaction and nature-based therapies have distinguished Green Chimneys as an innovator in special education and residential treatment. Today, nature-based programs are an integral part of the Green Chimneys campus and organizational identity. Inspired by the remarkable work and lifelong commitment of its founders, Green Chimneys marked its 65th year with the launch of The Sam and Myra Ross Institute on October 27, 2012.


From the start, founders Sam and Myra Ross made animals a core component of Green Chimneys’ special education and residential treatment services.

Mission of The Institute

The Sam and Myra Ross Institute at Green Chimneys is dedicated to education and research on the human connection to animals and the natural world and serves as a model and training site for the varied facets of human-animal and nature-based interactions, grounded in evidence-based practices for implementing diverse and ethically responsible educational and therapeutic interventions and activities.

Green Chimneys and The Sam and Myra Ross Institute offer a meaningful introduction to the theoretical and practical principles of incorporating animals, plants and the natural world in the re-education, socialization and treatment of deeply impacted children who have experienced crisis and a lack of success in their lives.

The Institute serves to deepen the legacy, vision and impact of Green Chimneys’ animal and nature-based programs by demonstrating how purposeful contact with animals and the outdoors can enhance formal therapies and traditional education, and sharing knowledge to bring continued growth and leadership to the field.

Learn about the work of The Institute >

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