Forest Friends Team


Laura Johnson

Program director and lead teacher

Hi! I'm Laura. I'm passionate about helping people grow. That love of seeing people grow drives me to teach, to create, to write, and to bring Nature Preschool to the Coeur d'Alene area. 

I've taught in outdoor environments to kids and adults alike from the time I was 16.  I taught at the collegiate level for my former career - teaching introductory classes, technical classes, and teaching other professors in a fellowship program. Through experiences with my adult students, my own family, and seeing first-hand the huge need for quality early childhood programs, the vision for Forest Friends school began several years ago. I've pursued that vision through volunteer work and pilot programs in the community, and now am opening our first pre-K & K program. 

I am a lifelong student of nature.  I love to see things go by in a blur on my mountain bike or up close and personal hanging from a climbing rope. I also enjoy the slower process of digging in and learning more about North Idaho plants and animals - taking notes and painting watercolor sketches.


I hope you'll join me as we start building a community for Nature Preschool in Coeur d'Alene, and I hope you'll reach out and connect!

  • M.S. in Forestry

  • Certificate in Montessori Primary (age 3-6)

  • Over 20 years of Outdoor and Environmental Education experience

  • Pediatric First Aid & CPR certified

  • Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certified