PO Box 1366, Freeland WA 98249

office: 360.331.4811


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About Calyx

Calyx School is the 347-acre classroom at South Whidbey State Park (SWSP) on Whidbey Island, Washington.


Founded in 2011, Calyx works to connect children with nature, community and self, and to nurture the next generation of environmental and social justice leaders by providing low and no cost place-based, nature, and service learning experiences for children and families.


Nurturing the Genius of Childhood

Just as the calyx of a flower supports the bud as it explodes into full blossom, Calyx supports the natural development of each child as he or she blossoms into full being. We work together – children and adults – with nature and in nature, through a dynamic creative process that is collaborative, at times messy, and always beautiful. In life and in learning, we believe that the journey is the destination.

Calyx honors and nurtures the whole child. Our emergent curriculum integrates the natural world and the arts in all aspects of learning. We are grounded in the local and embrace the global, while celebrating diversity in all its forms. We are inspired by and speak the many languages of children – the languages of the imagination, art, music, movement, drama, story, the natural world, among others – and use these languages to foster a love of learning through truly multilingual education.


A Collaborative Learning Community

Calyx Nature School is a learning community for ages 5 – 11 (and growing), supported by the creative energy of families, who actively contribute in the ways they are able.


We are a collaborative work in progress, with a dynamic group of individuals and families – parents, grandparents, educators, and children – working together to create a progressive alternative learning community on Whidbey Island.


Calyx is a fee-based, cooperative program. Calyx is committed to inclusion and diversity, and will turn no child away solely because of the family’s inability to pay.



Year-Round Offerings in Nature

Calyx is based at South Whidbey State Park, where we learn from and work in the Park’s 347 acres of old growth, wetlands, forest understory, saltwater shoreline, and tidal lands. Calyx also maintains a partnership with, and a Community Children’s Garden at, South Whidbey Tilth.


Calyx has served more than 300 children through its year-round outdoor learning programs, which includes its core year-round learning cooperative, summer programs, and an after-school program.


As a founding member of the Nature Education Network, Calyx partners with Service, Education and Adventure (SEA) and Washington State Parks, to provide a nature-based, arts rich, service learning environment to support children’s intellectual, physical, and emotional development.