About Us

Science has proven that an increase in "screen time" and decrease in time spent outdoors have an adverse effect on children. Contact with nature awakens our senses. By allowing children to explore and spend time with nature we can foster and renew this connection with the natural world which has been lost to classrooms and technology.  *Louv (2008) states that “Natural play strengthens children’s self-confidence and arouses their senses” (p. 186).  


Children who learn and play outdoors are healthier and more socially well-adjusted, not to mention, their attention span is superior to children who spend the majority of their time indoors.  Our program addresses the whole child, his or her cognitive development, of course; but also social, emotional, communication and self-help areas of development.

*Louv,R. (2008). Last child in the woods: Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder (Updated and expanded). Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

Landis Woods Nature Preschool is owned by Manheim Township and operates under the guidance and support of the Recreation and Park Planning Department.

Meet the Staff

Mr. Matt Geyer

Lead Teacher

I graduated from Albright college with a B.S. in Psychology. I received My M.S. in Teaching, Learning and Curriculum from Drexel University. I grew up in Lancaster County. I live in Lebanon County with my wife and two daughters. I enjoy spending time with family, raising poultry and livestock and being outdoors. I volunteer as a 4-H leader in Lebanon County.

Miss Michelle Steinmacher

STEM Specialist/Aide

I earned my B.S. in Meteorology from Millersville and recently completed my M.S. in Atmospheric Sciences from Texas A&M University. I have always enjoyed hiking, spotting wildlife, and exploring the outdoors, and I am excited to share my interests with our students!

Mr. Alex Van Pelt

Environmental Educator

I graduated from Penn State with a B.S. in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management with a focus in Environmental Interpretation. I grew up in York County but have lived in Lancaster County for the past few years. I enjoy working in my garden and exploring the outdoors.