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.

Barred Owl

This barred owl fell from his nest and ended up on the ground in New Paltz, NY where he was rescued and cared for but it was quickly apparent that he was severely disfigured. He had a twisted, crooked beak, his wing feathers weren’t fully developed and one eye was shut while the other did not look as it should. This was not a bird that could be released back into the wild. Green Chimneys wildlife specialists worked with a local veterinary hospital to improve the bird’s health and determined that the owl was totally blind in one eye and 80-90% blind in the other.