is for everyone.
At the heart of this work, we are committed to embedding principles & practices Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. (J.E.D.I).
To cultivate and sustain a network across Colorado advocating and providing regenerative, nature-based experiences for all children and families.
Championing children’s right to a relationship with nature.
Authentic, relationship focused community
Collective Decision-Making Principles in Action
Passion in our work
We know people were made for authentic connection with each other, so we intentionally take time for relationships in all our interactions.
We are dedicated to connecting all children in all communities to nature and its myriad benefits. (The ‘natural’ environment looks different from place to place, so we embrace place-based learning and being connected to nature in different ways. This may mean forests, prairies, places without access to green space, and more.)
We are aware of the history of environmental movements harming certain populations and thus center the practices of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in all of our work. We work to deepen our relationships with BIPOC communities and increase decision-making power and authority in those communities.
We welcome input and energy from anyone at any time in any capacity. We are committed to maintaining autonomy of individuals and groups, while also organizing for more collective power and shared resources.
We seek to restore children’s interaction with nature to a better and more worthy state. "Regenerative futures, means moving beyond a “doing ‘no harm’” mindset to one in which we build the capacity of our social, environmental, and economic systems to heal and thrive." (https://www.thinkplaceglobal.com/global-institute-for-regenerative-design/) We plan, considering intentional impact for a healthy, sustainable world for these and future generations.
We believe people do their best work when they are connected to it with their whole being, so we plan work in ways that allow participants to use their creativity and ignite their passion.
The Outdoor Ed movement
"In the world of outdoor preschool, equity means that all families have a fair and just opportunity to access nature and outdoor preschools and their benefits." - Oregon Health & Outdoors Initiative
Environmental Education in the 1960s-90s, Sustainability Education in the 1990s-2010s, Ecological Literacy in the 2010s and now Regenerative Learning Ecologies in the 2020s describes history and progression of learning and healing from harms cause by settler colonial culture. Indigenous traditions and Traditional Ecological Knowledge have long held "the earth as a family member to be treated with reciprocity. When European settlers colonized the United States, they 'intentionally disconnected people from their natural learning environments' through forced removals and assimilationist practices, such as boarding schools that forbade Native culture." From How Outdoor Learning Can Bring Curiosity and Connection to Education in Tough Times.
Today this continues through our own nature-based programs where typical demographics trend more wealthy and more white, while Black, Indigenous and other People of Color (BIPOC) are not represented (in leadership or as participants), do not have trusting relationships with program providers and/or do not have access financially due to history of economic repression and increasing present day economic wealth disparity.
Part of our work at Colorado Collective for Nature Based Early Education is in deepening our relationships with BIPOC communities and increasing decision making power and authority to those communities who are not currently represented and who are currently not part of the founding steering committees.
Building this trust takes time, vulnerable and challenging conversations, deep history education and accountability with action steps.
J.E.D.I. work in ECE
The Willamette Partnership has created an Outdoor Preschool Equity Toolkit to facilitate this work in the field.
"Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) means everyone has equitable access and opportunity"
- University at Buffalo