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.

We carry out this work in alignment with our Guiding Principles, the blueprint for how we deliver our services and collaborate with each other to do so.

  • 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.

Copper the Tamworth Pig

Tamworth pigs originated in the United Kingdom and are considered a rare breed.  Copper, named for his burnt orange color, came to Green Chimneys from a neighboring farm that raised pigs for food.  When one of our pigs lost his best friend, our barn manager decided to find him a stall mate.  She saw Copper, the runt of the litter, and fell in love with him.