Relocate the Garden

Relocate the Garden

December 5, 2021
Signatures: 296Next Goal: 500
Support now

Why this petition matters

Started by Sandi Vincenti

Please help us relocate and rebuild A Child’s Inspiration: Wildlife Discovery Garden and the Nature Heroes. We need help and support to move the Garden to our new land consisting of 10 acres with beautiful wetlands, meadows, forests and more in Wentworth, New Hampshire. We need help to secure the purchase of two off-grid camp set-ups to get our family and the ambassador animals through the winter to continue our dream of giving back and creating our homestead and nature programs for all.


Securing the funding to move our homestead and programming to New Hampshire will ensure that we can continue our vital work in ways we never dreamed possible. We will be able to facilitate and demonstrate sustainable examples such as constructed wetlands for waste treatment, rain collection systems, solar and hydropower, restorative agriculture and permaculture, native landscaping, and more. The $2,500 to purchase our camp set-ups will bring this dream into reality for us and those we impart.


After nearly five months of heroic efforts to save the Garden in Philadelphia, we had the last option to move the operation to a space where we could start over. We knew we could not secure the financial resources to continue engaging a lawyer to investigate the deed conveyance and advocate for our adverse possession rights. Although, we need to work hard to find the resources and $2,500 to move the Garden to new land in Wentworth, New Hampshire to continue bringing our work to people who seek connection.

Help save and move our nonprofit Garden, identity, and sanctuary. Please share far and wide. A developer is planning for the demolition and loss of the Garden in its current location. Including all physical property and vital and protected habitats. Please help us save all the trees, the fort/bird observatory, habitats, bee and bat houses, plants/planters, ponds, and other property that their new native habitats will allow. 

We may also have an opportunity to work legislatively to protect other gardens from falling victim to the same fate. You can make a difference by signing our petition to show how much the Garden means and donating to A Child's Inspiration: Wildlife Discovery Garden. Help us move our Garden and Nature Heroes outreach programming. Your signature and support will help spread the word about the need for this valued asset. This petition will help show the importance of A Child's Inspiration: Wildlife Discovery Garden and the need to care for critical green space for future generations to continue enjoying and learning.

A Child's Inspiration benefits all ages and demographics both in-person (locally and regionally) and remotely. We have received partnerships and support from many organizations and individuals. In addition to our onsite work (,, outreach (, and, in our twelve years, thus far, we have received a fantastic amount of additional support and recognition, not limited to those below:

Cornell University has approached us to re-introduce the Endangered Nine-Spotted Ladybug into the wild. This point of pride is in addition to the Garden's existing Native Bee Share and propagation/breeding program, Honeybee Conservancy grant for our Native Bees, Monarch Waystation, Audubon Certified Bird Habitat and Sanctuary, National Wildlife Certified Sanctuary and Garden Status, National Wildlife Advanced Certified Bird Sanctuary, Watershed Certified Property, Pollinator Partnership, and S.H.A.R.E. site. We have worked with or nurtured partnerships with The Franklin Institute and CUSP, Philadelphia Water and The WaterWorks, TreePhilly, the WINS program through the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Fairmount Park Conservancy, and Connor Barwin (he even planted one of the nine trees throughout the Garden). And with Pennsylvania Master Naturalist, Master Watershed Stewards, Smith Playground, FirstUp, P.A.E.E., By My Side Parenting, Arcadia Commons, the Philadelphia City Nature Challenge, Philadelphia City Rowing, and we are Pa's only Small Axe Peppers grower.

We receive minimal outside support due to little overhead. We have received sponsorships from P.T.S.S.D. (the Penn Treaty Special Services District through the Rivers Casino) under an umbrella fiscal sponsor (By My Side Parenting) before receiving our 501. We have acted as a fiscal sponsor and received sponsorship for our work alongside the Philadelphia City Nature Challenge. We have also received a donation of Native Bee Houses through the Honey Bee Conservancy.

The Garden has minimal expenses outside of minor maintenance and materials costs. However, we utilize repurposing and in-kind as much as possible, including a bird observatory, ponds, aquaponics, vertical gardening, greenhouse, etc. We provide the supplies personally through creative reuse, in-kind, small sponsorships, and micro-grants, though we have paid all back taxes for the current garden space totaling upwards of $20,000 to keep the space green.


Our community and beyond have been immensely supportive; they have participated in our programming and outreach, donated, advocated for, and generally favor and support the Garden, green space, and ecological benefits. We could not have done any of it without your support.

We are moving the Garden to continue teaching and protecting nature and being a resource for our community and beyond. As mentioned, we have maintained, improved, and provided services in the Garden for over twelve years; we had paid upwards of $20,000 in back taxes dating back to at least 2000, including saving/pulling it from the sheriff's sale just four hours before the sale began. We have always done everything that we could to preserve nature.

We are moving the entire operation to raw land, where we will need to rebuild and reconnect; this will require us to sell our home and move everything. We are moving the Garden to continue teaching and protecting nature and being a resource for our community and beyond. We have maintained, improved, and provided services for twelve years. The Garden is important, no matter where we land:


Our Mission is to provide a safe, nurturing, & inspiring environment supporting the whole child.

We believe that learning happens holistically through relationships with people & wildlife.

We Empower children through creativity & discovery to think for themselves while considering the environment & others.

We Envision curious, open-ended, meaningful, & engaging; STEAM-powered problem-solving & exploration.

We Strive for a natural environment that immerses us in joyful experiences.

We Value & Emphasize a multicultural, JEDI-focused, and age-appropriate approach that respects and honors All children as individuals, All families as unique, & of course, All of nature.

Understanding that a child's work is discovery, inquiry, & play, we look for a balance of independence & community building.

We fully commit to a positive & supportive learning environment, inclusive, open to all learners, & sensitive to cultural diversity.


Concise links for folks to help save the Garden:






A Child's Inspiration: Wildlife Garden is a resource for environmental education programming. – We encourage love and respect for our environment and the natural world. We work towards a commitment to conserving our environment through discovery and engagement.


A Child's Inspiration: Wildlife Garden is a natural resource preserved and maintained as an educational and environmental demonstration garden/site. We work to pass along the love of learning and conservation of our shared environment and the natural world.

"Every child should have mud pies. They should have grasshoppers, water bugs, tadpoles, frogs, and mud turtles. They should have elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, and chestnuts. They should have trees to climb and brooks to wade. They should have woodchucks, bats, bees, and butterflies. They should have hayfields, pine cones, rocks to roll, and sand. They should have snakes. They should have huckleberries, and any child missing these misses the best learning."

"One has that magical capacity to see the land as an animal does; to experience the sky from the perspective of a flower or a bee; to know a hundred different smells of mud."


We believe that regular connections with the natural world encourage children to develop:

* Respect local cultures and climates and themselves as a part of nature.

* Feelings of unity, peace, and well-being as global citizens.


We believe it is essential for children to:

* Be respected as competent, powerful learners and risk-takers with a voice in their creations.

* Be supported in developing life skills through holistic nature-based learning.


We believe it is vital for families to:

* Understand the value of children's daily connections with nature.

* Support children's appropriate risk-taking and exploration of nature.

* Enjoy regular experiences in the natural world with their children.


We believe it is crucial for educators to:

* Allow enough time each day for children to explore freely in nature-based spaces.

* Support children's appropriate risk-taking and adventurous play in nature.

* Provide children with opportunities for silence and contemplation in natural settings.

* Encourage children's development of a sense of wonder and environmental stewardship.


At A Child's Inspiration: Wildlife Discovery Garden, we strive to create learning experiences that are enriching, innovative, meaningful, and engaging. Our partner network of green spaces/gardens/wildlife sanctuaries, including our own Discovery Garden right here, and green spaces/gardens/nature centers located in urban and suburban communities around the Greater Philadelphia area enable us to develop, evaluate, and sustain nature-based education.


Founder and Nature Nerd Sandi Vincenti has spent the last 22 years teaching, directing, and advocating for the importance of early childhood, environmental education, and nature. Helping discover the beautiful pathways of both of these loves, Sandi's journey began at the Philadelphia Zoo as the Conservation Coordinator, Children, and Family Programs, followed by a push forward, carving paths in a few varied learning, teaching, directing, and board roles. Sandi is now proudly the co-founder and nature nerd behind A Child's Inspiration: Wildlife Discovery Garden, the Nature Heroes, and Philly Nature (, and in always remaining a passionate life-long-learner, a Master Naturalist, a Master Watershed Steward, a Grounded Kids instructor, past President of the Friends of Penn Treaty Park on the Delaware River, member and frequent presenter at PAEE, and board member of Arcadia Commons, green space advocacy.


A Child’s Inspiration: Wildlife Discovery Garden, the Nature Heroes, and Sandi Vincenti exude:


Passion for quality education, children, families, and conservation
Knowledge and a focus on environmental and sustainability efforts
Talent, intelligence, creativity, and hard work
Drive, direction, and commitment to excellence.
Willingness to create ways to make a change.
Inspiration and is mission-driven and passionate.
Dedication to self-improvement and new challenges.
Engagement with the public and local decision-makers.
Recognition for hands-on, multi-intelligence, inquiry-based, differentiated, and child-centered learning.




Working for over 22 years in the nonprofit field, I dedicate myself to students, staff, and families and am eager to embrace the hands-on aspects of running a vibrant school. I relish the chance to be an active educator and learner. I root myself in a commitment to quality public education that embraces the natural world as a classroom. As an eager, passionate environmental advocate, educator, early childhood advocate, consultant, director, and conservation/outdoor enthusiast, I come to you with open arms and a desire to lend knowledge, experience, hands, and heart toward fostering the best practices and progressive sustainability. Through innate curiosity and wonder, being inspired by young stewards of the environment, I look forward to joining a team of dedicated individuals who share my love and belief in the healing and learning capacity of the natural world, community, family programming, and early childhood. I believe in providing unique opportunities to harness the natural world as a teaching resource: inspiring wonder, independent learning, and critical thinking. 


My approach to education and the natural world inspires respect and stewardship for the natural world. As illustrated in my story above and below, I believe in meeting the whole child's needs and understanding that a child’s full potential – physical, social, emotional, and intellectual – is realized by exploring their environment, embracing their innate curiosity, and fostering their motivation to learn. In encouraging exploration, children become intimately familiar with the natural environment; with experience and knowledge, children strengthen their identity and confidence and develop the capacity to problem-solve and discover solutions specific to home communities.


I embrace the natural landscape as an educational tool to build an emotional connection between children and the earth. I encourage children to discover what they love about the forest, fields, rivers, and ponds – recurring experiences in nature during childhood improve a child’s well-being, spark creativity, and help them envision their place in the world. Children become keen observers of their surroundings; each natural shift prompts children to question, search, observe, and hypothesize, leading them down multiple lines of inquiry.


I look forward to the opportunity to expand an innovative, growing program, create relationships with other like-minded institutions, and work with a Board of Directors to develop a path-breaking educational approach. I continue to grow in prioritizing frequent communication with and among children, families, and teachers to generate loyal and long-lasting relationships. I embrace the challenges of expanding programming, ensuring positive educational outcome assessments in all domains, maintaining a dedication to a nature-based curriculum, and preparing to move to a new location while successfully running the day-to-day operations.


I embrace a leadership approach that provides an atmosphere free of bias where teachers and children can achieve their maximum potential. A commitment to Nature-based education, including peace, social justice, and equity. A passion for the outdoors and a desire to share enthusiastically with staff and children, regardless of the weather. A flexibility and can-do attitude to face everyday challenges with patience, determination, grace, and good humor, modeling positive behavior for children and faculty. I am passionate about protecting the environment, advocating for clean water and healthy habitats, restoring ecosystems, getting more people connected to their native lands and rivers, and ensuring environmental justice. I believe in impacting those who live in or visit the watershed through fun and inspiring hands-on work and pursuing opportunities with respect for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. I believe in supporting other organizations and individuals in their local communities to help them make things better through my enjoyment of being a voice for the watershed and collaborating with partners to protect, advocate, educate, and engage communities. As an advocate for science-based environmental practices, I seek to engage communities to get involved in protecting nature. I must bring people together to prevent pollution, improve habitat, and promote the enjoyment of our local lands and waterways. Be assured that my work is always protecting children and our shared environment.

Support now
Signatures: 296Next Goal: 500
Support now