November 2022 E-Newsletter

Nurture Yourself in Nature

November is the perfect time to immerse in the beauty of the natural world and feel nature’s positive effects through and through.

While exploring parks, forests, and historic trails, with friends or alone, we often discover more goodness in ourselves, one another, and our community.

This season, allow nature to nurture you with peace, comfort, and joy.

Read on to experience how ITE shares natural beauty and fun.

Fall Program Highlights

ITE had an exciting start to our programs this fall with our Field Studies for Schools program!

In September, we partnered with 3 schools to get outside and take advantage of the still-flowing water and abundant life of the desert as a result of monsoon season. We partnered and explored with classes from Sahuarita High SchoolDesert View High School, and Sunnyside High School in Madera Canyon and Tumacácori National Historical Park.

In late October, we went on an overnight trip with Sahuarita HS to Florida Station. In these programs, students got hands-on experience learning about oaks, mesquites, and junipers; the carbon cycle; climate change; and oak wasp galls – which they dissected!

Outside of Field Studies for Schools, ITE staff welcomed new and returning EcoNetwork youth to our EcoPrograms! Youth joined us for two programs so far this fall. On September 24th, participants journeyed to Mt. Lemmon to celebrate National Public Lands Day by hiking at Box Camp, with pit stops along the way to observe the many critters on the trail. In the beginning of October, participants joined us for a trip to Madera Canyon to hike the Super Trail. Playing in the water; spotting deer, a tarantula, and lizards; and even experiencing hail, it was an exciting experience.

Finally, ITE collaborated with The Gregory School to lead 40+ sixth-grade students and their teachers on a campout! These campers had a spot at Molino Basin on Mt. Lemmon and set up their camp, hiked, participated in a salsa-making challenge, made s’mores, and bonded with their classmates.

ITE staff learning and leading during the NAAEE

ITE Staff Receive NAAEE & AAEE Scholarships!

ITE Staff had a very busy second week of October. The team participated in the 2022 North American Association for Environmental Education conference, held this year in Tucson, AZ, by tabling at the share fair, presenting to international visitors, guiding an urban tour of Tucson, and attending several professional development sessions.

“NAAEE has promoted excellence in environmental education throughout North America and the world. We are dedicated to strengthening the field of environmental education and increasing the visibility and efficacy of the profession” (from the NAAEE website).

A big thank you to the local NAAEE affiliate, Arizona Association for Environmental Educators (AAEE) for providing generous scholarships to make attending this conference possible for all of us at Ironwood Tree Experience. THANK YOU!

Ironwood Tree Experience is an AAEE organization member.

ITE staff attend NAAEE/AAEE conference

Staff & Board of Directors Highlights

  • Congratulations to Rebecca Perez, ITE Program Coordinator, on her AAEE award for “Outstanding Environmental Educator in Informal or Non-formal Settings” and for being featured in an article from The Wilderness Society, “Latinx people share their connections to the outdoors and the environment”. Way to go, Rebecca!
  • With love and anticipation, we give a shout out to Kristen Sawyer, ITE Youth Development Manager, who is expecting her first baby in January 2023. Congratulations, Kristen and Frank!
  • A Big ITE Welcome goes to Ajang Deng (ITE Alum), Danny CliffordJeff Hartman, and Elena Martin. They join Paul Bellows, Axhel Munoz, Josh Schachter, Corina Ontiveros, and Chuck Hutchinson as ITE Board of DirectorsYou are all appreciated!

Investment Report for 2021-2022

ITE Donors, Partners & Supporters – Your generosity and encouragement help our organization thrive.

With your help, we got back into the swing of things this past year and provided meaningful experiences for youth.

Read about our accomplishments in our Investment Report, and check out our Youth Spotlight, Julia Ortiz-Tzul.

Youth Programs

Opportunities for Youth

  • In partnership with The Wilderness Society, ITE youth, ages 16-22, have the opportunity to join their peers in a multi-series program called Eco-Truths for Indigenous Youth. Through outdoor field trips, overnight camps and virtual meetups, EcoTruths for Indigenous Youth engages Native youth in fostering relationships with Mother Earth, all her offspring, and the various forms of life that have emerged from her re-creative energies.
  • ITE youth can join outdoor experiential opportunities throughout the year through the EcoNetwork. The EcoNetwork is made up of youth, ages 14-20, who are currently in ITE programs and actively contribute to the ITE community, as well as 200+ young alumni who have participated in programs in the past. Youth who are part of the EcoNetwork are among the first to be recruited for paid and unpaid ITE Internships and have access to ITE EcoNetwork Benefits and Services.
  • In partnership with Pima County Department of Environmental Quality, ITE youth in high school have the opportunity to join their peers and community leaders in Youth for Blue Skies. This internship explores climate action, clean air, environmental justice, and ecology through experiences in the Sonoran Desert community. Youth for Blue Skies launches in Spring 2023.