Outdoor education is not a new idea. It has been practiced by societies all over the world for thousands of years. Learning, playing, and just being outdoors has always been a way that children orient themselves not only to the environment itself, but also to the beliefs, traditions, and cultures of their people which infuse these places. Outdoor education belongs to everyone, and it is powerful and resilient enough to support people of all backgrounds. 

Tiny Trees is committed to expanding the cultural relevance of its classrooms, its community events, and its partnerships with other organizations. As a predominantly white organization, we understand that our role is to amplify the voices of communities and organizations engaged in this work, and to collaboratively build their capacity. Our role is to listen, change, build, and collaborate. 

Through the Best Starts for Kids (BSK) program in King County, we have been further empowered to do just that. In 2019, Tiny Trees received BSK funding and support to advance this work, including: 

  1. Collaboratively develop culturally appropriate outdoor programming with community organizations that support and are led by people of color (learn more on our Community page).
  2. Support families of color enrolled in Tiny Trees preschool (learn more on our Families page).
  3. Continuously train, develop, and support staff at Tiny Trees in anti-racist work. 

This project, retitled re-Defining the Outdoors (rDTO), is based on the research and work of Khavin Debbs. The current rDTO team includes Eya, Karyn, Khavin, Nina and Whit.