Our Story

Green Garden was founded by a single mom from Metro Detroit who wanted the absolute best early childhood experience for her son. More than a decade later, the same values still hold true. From our organic gardens and menu to our curious learning approach, Green Garden focuses on the individual needs of the whole child and family.

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About Us

Green Garden has a heart that thrives on achieving the best for each individual child, family, team member, and community it serves, for the sake of a better world. This is what drives us to continually challenge ourselves far beyond the status quo of a plastic and worksheet filled daycare. With a foundation of love and passion for every child to experience the greatness of what is possible, we continue to structure ourselves based on that same foundation today. That means your child matters to us. Your family’s joys and challenges are our joys and challenges. The team members we walk alongside each and every day are worth more to us than their hours of work. Our communities where Green Garden has been planted are the places we want to work with to create healthy and strong neighborhoods. The world we’ve been given is one we truly want to take care of and understand how our choices impact generations to come. We take our calling to care seriously, and you’ll see that in each and every classroom we lead, campus we plant and team member we help to grow.

Why Choose Green Garden?

Nutrition & Wellness

We embrace a healthy approach to childhood nutrition and wellness

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Family Focused Community

We aim to be extension of home, not a watered-down version of school

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Curious Learning Movement

We create intentional “YES” environments that foster autonomy and develop inquisitive thinkers

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Gardens & Growth

We believe nature offers never-ending opportunities for growth and learning

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Outdoor Classrooms

We build spaces outside of our buildings to continue learning throughout every moment our day

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What Parents Are Saying

My two kids have been a part of the Green Garden family for a few years now. This place is not a day care, it is more of a learning facility. Green Garden and the teachers provide a great and loving environment with lots of activities. My kids love going to school and they love the teachers. I also like the fact that the food that is provided is organic. That is important in today’s society, especially because of the use of pesticides. I also like the owner of Green Garden. I see her all the time. She is involved in the daily activities and she provides good benefits for the teachers. Better benefits for the teachers should mean more talented teachers. Overall, this is a great place and one of the better decisions my wife and I made for our children.

Doug W.

As a new mom trying to navigate Covid, I was extra cautious when it came to selecting a facility that would make us feel safe but that also felt like home. We found that in Green Garden – the staff is wonderful and engaged, communicative and kind and our son has a blast every single time he goes to school. We recently moved into the older toddler program and our only regret was having to say goodbye to Miss Nekeshia. Thank you so much to everyone at GG!

Marney B.

Dropping your infant or child off at daycare for the first time is such an emotional event. The staff at Green Garden really help to make this transition more comfortable. The teachers here are so kind and you can easily tell that they are passionate about their jobs. Both my children are excited every morning to go in. It makes those drops offs so much easier when your little one has a smile on their face and talks about their teachers at home. Additionally as a plant based family we have greatly appreciated their organic, vegetarian menu. They are also very welcoming and supportive of LGBTQ families. A truly warm, enclosing and welcoming environment.

Aleigha P.

All three of my children attended Green Garden and we couldn’t be happier with our experience there. We transferred from another local day care facility when my oldest was 2 years old, before the other kiddos were born, and it was the best decision we ever made. Green Garden staff are caring and knowledgeable. Everyone at Green Garden was attentive to our children’s medical needs, and the directors have always been quick to respond to questions, concerns and last minute schedule changes. I am impressed with how little staff turnover they have, which is unusual in the child care industry. The teachers truly became an extended family to us, and I will miss them as my youngest heads off to kindergarten. My favorite part of our experience at Green Garden has been the unique classroom setting, coupled with lots of nature and outside time! I also loved the sense of community, with “after-hours” family activities that helped build relationships with other Green Garden families. Our children learned so much and made lifelong friendships. I cannot say enough good things about Green Garden!

Christina C.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the best child care center I’ve ever encountered. They actually do put children first, they don’t just talk about it (as so many centers do as they become overly concerned with numbers and finances). It’s incredible to watch them grow – both physically and in mission to children and families – and to contribute so strongly and positively into their community. Highest recommendation possible.

Jenny P.

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Our Team

Erica Kral

Founder and Executive Director

Erica is a devoted wife and mom of four boys. Family is the foundation of Erica’s life and it is why Green Garden exists. Through constant education in early childhood education and leadership Erica has sought to better her world by bringing growth to everyone she has a chance to pour into. She is energized by her time with extended family, opportunities to stay active in nature and exploring as much of the world as possible.

Samantha Ford

Regional Director

Sam has a passion to see each and every child grow up and into the unique person they are to become. She has taken her education, experience, both personal and professional, and uses them to be a teacher of teachers helping to grow Green Garden to reach more and more families. When Sam is away from Green Garden she loves to spend time with friends, her husband, Donovan, and her beloved pup Missy.

Liz Yarbrough

Madison Heights Campus Director/Senior Director

Being with Green Garden from the very beginning, Liz thrives in her role as our Madison Heights Campus Director as well as her additional support roles. She is certified as a Car Seat Safety Technician and loves helping new families navigate the world of parenthood. When not at Green Garden, she loves spending time with her son Remi— a Green Garden alumni—as well as camping, hiking, making art and anything that gives them time together.

Vanessa Dietderich

Hazel Park North Campus Director

Vanessa’s excitement for her role at Green Garden is unmistakable in her smile here everyday. She brings incredible experience to Green Garden as she walks alongside her campus as they all learn and grow together. She loves life, whether at Green Garden, spending time with her husband and two daughters or being a certified Reiki master/teacher and lifelong learner herself.

Treuana Ridgeway-Taylor

Huntington Woods Campus Director

Treauna is a Detroit native and grew up traveling back and forth between Michigan and Louisiana. A love of quality early childhood education was passed down to Treauna from her mother and grandmother before her. She knew this was her calling as she pursued and earned a degree from Michigan State University and brought her skills and values to Green Garden. She loves seeing children grow and winds down by enjoying a great film.

Lo Washington

Hazel Park South Campus Director

Lo’s outgoing personality and hardworking spirit has been monumental to her success helping care for children for the last decade. She’s a morale booster and can always find a way to perk someone up. Her commitment to family shows no matter her environment – outside of Green Garden she relaxes by cheffing up new recipes and singing her heart out with her family and friends.

Angie Coffman

Rochester Hills Campus Director

Angie’s heart for children can be seen in her love of her two sons, opening up her home and heart as a foster parent, her 25 years of experience caring for children professionally, and her everyday heart for our students and staff at our Rochester Hills Campus. Her favorite ways to spend her weekends are being with her family, reading a great book and exploring nature on her bike.

Shelby Schaeding

Madison Heights Assistant Campus Director

Shelby’s welcoming personality aligns perfectly with her beliefs in self-expression and supporting children’s growth at an individual level. She learned about these values while she obtained her Bachelor’s degree at North Central University — she studied youth development, family dynamics and substance abuse counseling. When she’s not with our team, she enjoys spending time with her husband and pup, Fox.

Sarah Lambrix

Program Quality Specialist

Sarah cares deeply about offering high quality childcare whilst supporting the growth of new and exisiting teachers. She graduated from Lake Superior State University with a bachelors in Early Childhood Education and has spent over 15 years in the field. Her connection to Green Garden goes beyond her work as she shares our values on her time off spending time with her husband exploring nature and bringing new life to her 142-year-old farm house.

Matt Harris

Director of Nutrition & Outdoor Classrooms

Matt’s excitement for vegetarian cooking, nature, and passing these values onto the next generation are seen everyday as his smile carries him from one campus to another bringing culinary delights and ingenuity and care to each of our outdoor classrooms. Matt has true joy that overflows into his work, his team, our whole Green Garden family.

Alex Bateman

Facilities Manager

Alex brings project management experience and his love for family to Green Garden.  Hazel Park is where he grew up and he loves that his work allows him to support his hometown community. He brings his knowledge and skills to life as he takes care of our physical environments. Outside of work, you can find Alex fishing with his daughter or driving fast things.

Kelly Konieczki

Nature Specialist

Kelly’s warmth, patience and love for nature floods into our outdoor classrooms and gardens. With her help, Green Garden children and staff bear witness to new species of plants and insects.  While she may be hard-to-catch, like a Monarch butterfly, Kelly is integral to the team at Green Garden and brings so much joy to the eyes of the staff and children.

Sara Evans

Nature Specialist

Sara brings over 20 years of child development experience, being that she homeschooled her two children using a nature-based approach and seeking out the wonder in their eyes the entire time. Her family time is extremely important to her whether it’s something as exciting as travel, simple like watching TV with her husband, or even just playing fetch with her cat. Sara believes that everything is amazing, as long as you take the time to look.

Riam Talib

Account Manager

Riam graduated from Boise State University and earned a Bachelors in Business Administration and helps manage Green Garden’s accounting as well as provides administrative support. She could have brought those skills anywhere, but connected with our Green Garden quality and second-to-none values. Away from the accounting books she loves to read, spend time with family and travel.

Bridget Ekis

Director of Enrollment and Marketing

Bridget came to Green Garden with the goal of bringing her love of storytelling and photography to support the Early Education Field. She earned a Bachelors of Art in Photojournalism from Columbia College Chicago and is originally from Waterford, Michigan. She is passionate about sustainability, access to quality childcare and supporting the arts. In her free time she enjoys cooking, spending time with family and attending performances of any kind.

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