December 2022 E-Newsletter

Nature Nurtures Us All

In December, light fades to dark, our energy slows, and we seek comfort and joy from our family, friends, and community (that’s you!).

At ITE, our team is grateful to share the nurturing power of the natural world while creating a gentle, exciting space for you and youth to be and belong.

When you give of your generosity, time, and friendship, you bring light to ITE.

This season, we invite you to join an event or program, make a donation, and share the good work and the goodness of Ironwood Tree Experience. Thank you!

Giving Tuesday Highlights

This Giving Tuesday, we raised money to support youth outdoor programs and nurtured ourselves in nature with friends.

In two weeks, our community donated $7,301, which set us well on our way toward achieving our year-end fundraising goal of $15,000! Only $7,699 more to go by year’s end.

On Giving Tuesday, we invited some of our friends and supporters to join us to walk our talk. To nurture ourselves and our community, we came together and took part in a nature walk and mindfulness breathing exercise, hung out with other ITE supporters, and shared thoughts on why nature is nurturing – for youth and for all of us.

“Nature makes me feel alive. There is so much to learn about the natural world around us and so much beauty to explore.” Madeleine Oslik, long-time ITE supporter

Thank you to Natasha Korshak of The Sol Center for guiding our group in a mindfulness breathing exercise and to ours truly, Eric Dhruv and Kristen Sawyer, for leading a mindful nature walk.

Fall Programs Wrap Up

As our programs wind down, we reflect on some of the amazing experiences we’ve had outdoors in the past few months.

The ITE Field Team facilitated an overnight trip at Florida Research Station with Sahuarita HS. Students were very engaged in the experience by playing games, making meals together, and exploring the nearby creek.

“These students are with their friends or their peers, sometimes with new people, and it does bring a sense of camaraderie between them, and I think that’s nurturing… just being able to look up and be like ‘oh wow, I’m in this big canyon in an area that’s so much bigger than I am.’ … it’s sort of a reminder of how big the world is and how much there is to explore.” Isaac Cortes, ITE Field Instructor

Field Studies For Schools was closed out for the Fall with a final few trips. On separate occasions, students from Verde Valley School and Tucson Magnet HS traversed the Chuk-son Trail to learn about Tucson’s history. A class from Sunnyside HS joined ITE at Gordon Hirabayashi on Mt. Lemmon to learn about the geologic, ecologic, and human history of place and how they intertwine to create a full story.

The final EcoPrograms of the season included a two-night camping trip at Chiricahua National Monument and exploring the biodiversity along the Santa Cruz River at Tumacácori National Historical Park.

Thank You to Our Generous Donors!

Georgia, Christine, LoriAnne, Maura, Steve, Kieran, Aveline, Deb & Jim, Erica, Elaine, Patricia, Akshay, Joe, Julie, Amanda, Annette & Paul, Shea, Gene & Melissa, Karin, Carol, Elva, James, Robin, Ryan, David, Shela, Michael & Keri, Paul, Cheryl, Joan, and Larry

Thank you for your support on Giving Tuesday and all year long – you are appreciated!

Opportunities for Youth

  • EcoPrograms will be back in January 2023! Every month, our ITE Field Team guides local youth, ages 14-20, on outdoor adventures, which include nature walking, birdwatching, hiking, river walking, campouts, and more. Follow this link to learn more about our EcoPrograms.
  • Applications will be accepted until December 16th for the Youth for Blue Skies internship. In partnership with Pima County Department of Environmental Quality, interns will have the opportunity to join their peers and community leaders in exploring climate action, clean air, environmental justice, and ecology through experiences in our Sonoran Desert community. Youth for Blue Skies launches in Spring 2023.

The Top 2 Ways to Give to ITE This Season

This giving season, we hope you’ll keep ITE on your gift list!

Here are the top 2 ways you can show your support:

1) DonateOnline donations are easy to make and directly benefit ITE’s operations and programs. We would also love to see you in person! You can visit us or send a check to The Historic Y – 738 N 5th Ave. #101, Tucson, AZ 85705.

2) Amazon Smile: If you’ll be doing some of your holiday shopping online, don’t forget you can donate to ITE for free through Amazon Smile! When you shop at, Amazon donates 0.5% of your eligible purchases – at no cost to you. Choose Youth Outdoor Experience (that’s us!) as your cause.