2020 Virtual Summit

Are you looking for new ideas, advice, and best practices? Are you in need of a recharge and the positive outlook you get after spending time with people who share and understand your challenges? Do you miss networking with your fellow ANCA peers?

Plan to attend the ANCA Virtual Summit, Sept 14-17! The professional field of nature centers is rapidly changing in response to the pandemic and societal shifts, and the Virtual Summit will share resources, discussions, and energy for you and your organization to navigate these unusual and uncertain times. Join us for this innovative event that's going to leave you with new tools and inspiration for the important work you do!

What to expect

The Summit has a variety of experiences so that you can learn and connect in different ways:

Facilitated Discussions, which are collaborative sessions where all attendees enrich the discussion by contributing ideas and experiences on a topic. Facilitators ensure a shared dialogue that brings out an abundance of perspectives, possibilities, and renewed energy. See the Facilitated Discussion topics here.

Workshops for you to learn about a subject directly from an individual, small group, or panel. Participants who register for the full Virtual Summit will choose two workshops to attend on Tuesday. See the options for workshops here.

Open Space Sessions provide an opportunity for participants to create their own meeting, continue a session that needs more time, or find a group to address an issue that was not presented elsewhere during the Summit.

Networking opportunities will help you grow and strengthen your own network. We'll have spaces for small group interaction, as well as fun events like the ANCA Libation Station and music around the (virtual) campfire.

With these experiences and more, the Virtual Summit will be a vital and formative event for all current and future leaders in the nature and environmental learning center field — especially as we navigate the pandemic.

Do you have ideas for sessions or do want to facilitate a discussion? Fill out this form to let us know what topics are important to you and if you can facilitate a session.


Registration is now closed.

Registration fees per person:

 Full package (Monday-Thursday)  $200
 Three-day package (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday)  $150


All times are Mountain Daylight Time

ANCA Office Hours will be offered throughout the Summit for tech support and questions. Do you have a group of peers who want to meet separately? Come to the ANCA Office and we will put you in a Breakout Room. 

The ANCA Libation Station will open each afternoon/evening and is the place to go for networking and socializing. We will provide Breakout Rooms for small group interaction. 

Monday, September 14

3:30-4:00 PM MDT ANCA Office Open

4:00 PM MDT ANCA Summit Welcome

    • 4:00-4:30 Welcome & Opening Remarks
    • 4:30-5:30 Summit Networking Event

Tuesday, September 15

8:00-9:00 AM MDT ANCA Office Open

8:30-9:00 AM MDT Summit Opening Remarks

    • 8:30 AM Jen Levy, ANCA Executive Director, Morning Welcome/ Schedule Review
    • 8:40 AM Featured Speaker: David Allen, Principal Consultant, Development for Conservation

Appeal results are UP. Online giving is UP. Renewal rates are UP. Outdoor activities on our trails are UP. Your donors are home. They are socially starved and bored. They are reading their mail, watching videos online, and answering their phones. Now is the time to make your case, tell your story, and ask for support. Believe that fundraising will not suffer this Fall, but that you will need to be aggressive and prepared to act early.

David Allen is a fundraising and organizational development consultant, working with non-profit organization boards and staff to help them become better leaders, advocates, and fundraisers.

9:00 AM-Noon MDT Morning Workshops (see full descriptions here)

    • Nature Journaling to Support Meaningful Learning
    • Disrupting White Dominant Culture
    • A Healthy Dose of Nature — A Panel Discussion 
    • Re-opening Your Center Safely: The Toolkit
    • The Thought That Counts: Business Planning Basics for Nature Centers

Noon-1:00 PM MDT ANCA Office Open

1:00-4:00 PM MDT Afternoon Workshops (see full descriptions here)

    • Nature and Learner-Centered Online Experiences
    • Recruitment & Hiring for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion/Social Identities & Intersectionality
    • Build Resiliency for the Challenge of Change
    • Ready to Host a Virtual Event?

4:00-4:30 PM MDT ANCA Office Open

4:30-6:00 PM MDT ANCA Libation Station Open

Wednesday, September 16

8:00-9:00 AM MDT ANCA Office Open

    • 8:30 AM Jen Levy, ANCA Executive Director, Morning Welcome/Schedule Review
    • 8:40 AM Featured Speaker: Marc Stern, Professor, Virginia Polytechnic

How do you bring your outdoor education and activities to students in a virtual setting? Dr. Stern will highlight the findings of a literature review he conducted with fellow researchers from Virginia Tech and Clemson. He will present the highlights from the review which was designed to identify the approaches that appear to work best for virtual EE field trips and activities.

Dr. Marc Stern is a professor at Virginia Tech University, where he teaches courses on Environmental Education and Interpretation, Sustainability and Social Science Research Methods.

8:30 AM MDT Summit Opening Remarks

9:00 AM-2:30 PM MDT ANCA Office Open

9:00-10:30 AM MDT Facilitated Sessions I (see full descriptions here)

11:00 AM-12:30 PM MDT Facilitated Sessions II

1:00-2:30 PM MDT Facilitated Sessions III

3:00-4:30 ANCA Leader Award Ceremony

4:30-6:00 PM MDT ANCA Libation Station Open

Thursday, September 17

8:00-8:30 AM MDT ANCA Office Open

8:30 AM MDT Summit Opening Remarks

9:00 AM-2:30 PM MDT ANCA Office Open

9:00-10:30 AM MDT Facilitated Sessions IV

11:00 AM-12:30 PM MDT Open Space Sessions I

1:00-2:30 PM MDT Open Space Sessions II

3:00-3:30 PM MDT Summit Closing 

4:30-6:00 PM MDT ANCA Libation Station

6:00 PM ANCA Campfire Sing-Along


Register (pay now with PayPal) Register (pay with check or Square invoice) 



Thanks to our Sponsors!

Sustaining Sponsors

GWWO Square Logo

Hennebery Eddy Architects logo

Irvine Nature Center


Taylor Studios INCUltraCamp logo

Workshop Sponsor

beetles logo

Marshall & Sterling Logo

Contributing Sponsors

Crane Hollow Preserve logo

Development for Conservation logo

Linda Loring Nature Foundation logo

Zoom Sponsors

Lark Label Logo

riggs ward logo

The Kubala Washatko Architects logo 

By sponsoring the Virtual Summit, your business can build brand visibility and leads among decision-makers at organizations throughout North America, while also supporting the nature and environmental learning center field as a whole. See our sponsor packages here.