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About Mary Van Dyke


Mary Van Dyke trained as an architect in the UK. Mary has gardened and lived in Northern Virginia for over 15 years, volunteering with Cooperative Extension programs in VA and working with school communities. She is a Master Gardener. Mary contributes to local, regional and national community conversations on environmental education issues. She founded her company Green STEM Learning to promote environmental literacy and the benefits of learning outdoors and to provide garden-based educational services and products.


Mary encourages her students to explore, “dig in the dirt”, to ask questions and learn about nature and design. Green STEM Learning offers students real-world outdoor problem-solving opportunities. Mary brings her love of culture, cuisine, communication and creativity to her programs.


Mary Van Dyke is the Outdoor Resource Teacher at Eastern Ridge School (pre-K to K). She teaches and works with the community to manage the extensive school landscape of woods, vegetable, herb and flower gardens. The Eastern Ridge School is in the Reggio Emilia tradition and children take time to play outdoors, climb trees, hike, garden, forage, cook and practice their creative skills. Mary was recently Visiting Horticulturist at Jamestown Elementary School (pre-K to 5), and Garden Teacher at Brooksfield Montessori School, and provided after-school outdoor experiential programs for K to 8 grade.


With focus on communication and design,
Mary has 

an extensive background to share in research and writing

for her blog, reports, programs and lesson plans.

Mary lives, gardens, and plays flute with her family in Arlington, VA.


BA Hons Architecture - Bristol University

Diploma in Architecture - Oxford Polytechnic

PhD - London University, School of Oriental and African Studies
Certificate, Environmental Leadership - Duke University
Leadership Arlington Signature Program - Arlington




"Mary, in my opinion, is the top early childhood garden educator in the region."
Assistant Professor Cynthia B. Smith
K 12 Education Director, Potomac Environmental and Education Center, GMU
December 2016


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