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Educational Programs

The L.E.A.F.F. Program

Leading Empowered Action on Farm and Forest, L.E.A.F.F. is an innovative year-round outdoor education program at Snipes Farm and Education Center for home schooling, remote learners and for after school adventures.

Nature offers vast inspiration and lessons to guide and delight us. As we travel through each season life continually unfolds in unique and amazing ways. At Snipes Farm, the seasons on the farm pose questions and challenges that drive the learning.  Each day begins a new adventure as we go on exploratory hikes, play games in nature, visit and care for the animals, learn where our food comes from, learn stewardship of the land, and new skills that build upon one another.  

Children ages 6-14 will have wonderful opportunities to fine tune both their fine motor and gross motor movements at the farm, all of which are foundational to the development of all other skills and learning.  All of the activities will be woven together in an interdisciplinary manner engaging the students with writing for real purposes, reading literature connected to the themes, and engaging them in hands-on science and engineering projects.  Learning takes place in the outdoors all year long.  

  • Exploratory hikes 
  • Play games in nature
  • Visit and care for the animals
  • Learn where our food comes from
  • Learn new outdoor skills and
  • Engage in hands-on science and engineering projects. 

The inspiration for L.E.A.F.F. was the Backyard Brent Program developed by Brent Deisher, a passionate science and outdoor educator of more than 25 years. Over the course of the Summer and Fall in 2020 Brent provided outdoor classes using NJ county and state parks as the classroom,. Brent is now Director of Curriculum and Program Development for Snipes Farm and Education Center. L.E.A.F.F combines the wisdom of outdoor/environmental and STEM education with farm/garden and nutrition education to provide a powerful hands-on learning experience on a working farm.


Spring 2021 L.E.A.F.F. Programs  

Contact: Melanie Douty-Snipes or 215-801-9478


Our children, ages 7 and 10, loved their outdoor classes with Brent. Each day they would excitedly tell us about their adventures, whether it was building a shelter, whittling, playing capture the flag, or simply exploring the woods and creek at the Preserve. Their experience with Brent inspired them to build a "survival shelter" in the woods near our home, and they often shared the "joke of the day" with us over dinner. Brent created a fun and educational experience with his Wolfpack program and we are very grateful that our children were able to experience it during their period of homeschooling.

-Frenchtown parent

My 8 year-old son is really enjoying nature camp this winter.  He has learned about cold-weather survival, using a compass, winter wildlife, and building a shelter.  He is delighted to see and interact with the animals on the farm, hike, and be immersed in a natural environment.  I'm happy he is getting fresh air and exercise while gaining knowledge from experts in nature education.

-Kathryn Shaw, Hopewell

My daughter, who is six years old, has been attending classes with Brent Deisher over the winter. She always comes home excited about the new things she has learned. She barely even mentions the cold because she is having so much fun and we make sure she dresses warmly in layers. It has been wonderful for her to get outside with her peers in a safe environment this winter. Brent leads the kids in games, nature exploration, fort building and all sorts of highly engaging activities. She also recently asked me if she could be a park ranger when she grows up! Brent's ability to foster a connection to nature with children is really special and I highly recommend his classes.

-Veronica R., Hopewell parent


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