Nature & Creativity

Map Unavailable
Date(s) - Saturday, September 23, 2017
8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Hapgood Wright Concord Town Forest



For K-12 (and beyond) educators from a wide range of disciplines, this course will explore the role of Nature in creativity, art and personal expression. Drawing on the works and ideas of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, participants will be guided through expressive exercises that help them understand their own relationship with nature and how that informs their sense of creativity and self-expression.  Techniques practiced throughout the day will be transferable to teaching in a number of settings and for a wide range of ages. On the morning of the workshop, participants will be invited to connect with nature in creative and inspired new ways. Through nature walks, theatrical play, and reflective journaling, we will share in the experience of rediscovering our connection to the beautiful world around us. This workshop will take place along Thoreau’s Path on Brister’s Hill (Concord, MA), which will provide the opportunity to investigate the natural and social history of Walden Woods—and the ways in which that landscape inspired Thoreau, Emerson and others.

In the afternoon, participants will attend the matinee performance of Nature.  Performed outdoors, as a “walking play,” Nature is the mythic telling of Emerson and Thoreau’s mutual love of the natural world.  Grounded in the story of their friendship, this virtuosic production offers a perspective on their lives that is strikingly relevant, richly complex, and yet utterly simple. Following the play, we will participate in the post-show Q & A, where participants are encouraged to ask questions based on their readings and experiences of the day.  The day will conclude with a brief group reflection and closing exercise with the cast of the play.

The workshop will be led by Markell Kiefer and Tyson Forbes, who created the acclaimed outdoor walking play Nature, about Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau; Jeff Cramer, the Curator of Collections for the Walden Woods Project’s Thoreau Institute Library; and Whitney Retallic, the Walden Woods Project’s Director of Education.

Participants can choose to attend the one day session on September 23rd or participate in the two online sessions in addition to the face-to-face session and earn one graduate credit (pending course approval from Worcester State University). The online schedule and costs are outlined below. Participants who are only attending the one day session will need to email before registering in order to receive a discount code. 

On-line Session, Part 1: September 15th – 22nd
On-line Session, Part 2: September 24th – October 20th


  • EDCO members – One Day Only: $125*
  • Non-EDCO members – One Day Only: $150*
  • EDCO members with one credit option: $220* (plus additional $125 payable to Worcester State University)
  • Non-EDCO members with one credit option : $260* (plus additional $125 payable to Worcester State University)

*Each option includes the price of the ticket to the performance of Nature ($25)

For more information and to register, visit the EDCO Collaborative’s registration site: 

For questions about the course, please contact Whitney Retallic at