Our Philosophy

Green Chimneys is founded on the philosophy that it is healthy and therapeutic for children to interact with nature and provides a treatment setting in which all interactions with staff and the environment have a potential therapeutic value. We strive to give students every opportunity to be a part of the environment, discover their own special talents, and develop the skills and confidence to grow into independent young adults.

We believe learning takes place both in and out of the classroom, and Green Chimneys School offers an enriched academic environment with a vast array of innovative programming, including life skills, music and art, animal-assisted activities, and outdoor education, all based in experiential learning.

  • Students participate in animal care, garden maintenance, adventure activities and diverse service projects.

  • Students participate in animal care, garden maintenance, adventure activities and diverse service projects.

  • Students participate in animal care, garden maintenance, adventure activities and diverse service projects.

Human-Animal Interactions and Outdoor Experiences Help Children Develop Critical Skills

Our renowned nature-based programs encompass animal-assisted therapy, horticultural activities, humane education, ecological study and sustainable agriculture education. Students participate in animal care, garden maintenance, adventure activities and diverse service projects. Over time, these human-animal interactions and outdoor experiences help children develop critical skills:

  • Trust
  • Self-esteem
  • Empathy
  • Emotional regulation
  • Responsibility
  • Positive social interaction
  • Cooperation
  • Goal attainment

We also believe family connections are essential to treatment and growth. Parents/caregivers are viewed as the experts on their children – knowing what their challenges and strengths are, what works for them and what they hope for them. Families are expected to see their children frequently, take part in treatment planning and counseling sessions, attend workshops/retreats and provide guidance as to what their children need to be successful.

Chinchilla

The Green Chimneys wildlife classroom is home to an adorable pair of chinchilla brothers who are often the first animals students want to hold. The brothers are inquisitive and playful but also very shy so students must be calm, and allow the chinchillas to come to them. The students love to build tunnels and play areas for the chinchillas and watch them in their favorite activities: taking dust baths (an instinctive act to clean their fur) and eating raisins. Considered to be the softest animal in the world, the chinchilla is a rodent native to the Andes Mountains of South America, and is a relative of the porcupine and guinea pig.