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T.R.E.E.’s mission is to educate children and adults about the life science processes that govern our planet, to inspire them to appreciate the natural world, and to motivate them to protect it.
T.R.E.E. was created by a classroom teacher after discovering a professionally designed, academically and emotionally enriching outdoor science curriculum that holistically energized her mostly underprivileged students in learning about and spending time in nature. Her ability to artfully implement curricula written by a special group of authors, and her core value that every child must know that they are special and have gifts to share with the world lit the way to T.R.E.E.’s formation.
T.R.E.E. is known in New Orleans more by the names of the programs its educators conduct with over 1,000 students per year who experience 15 to 50 instructional hours in an Outdoor Classroom (EarthkeepersTM, Sunship EarthTM, and Sunship IIITM). In this image, “Fractal” (to help with the challenge of disconnecting from city life, all adults at programs have nature names) is at Earthkeepers having just finished learning with students all about soil, water and air cycles, that these are the building materials of life and these same materials cycle over and over again. Since T.R.E.E. programming began in 1985, there are generations of T.R.E.E. alum, two of whom now teach in the Outdoor Classrooms.
Chris Lee, Fractal, has been helping with Marketing & Development at T.R.E.E. since June 2015, and we met in 2016 when I joined a fundraising campaign in which we managed to raise over $15,000, helping to send over 150 New Orleans area students to Earthkeepers.
1. What products and services do you offer?
We are a group of highly trained Earth Educators who teach New Orleans area students, many of whom have never been outside of the city, at our Outdoor Classroom where they learn some curriculum inspired science, connect with the natural world, and get inspired to care more for themselves, their community, and the planet.
2. How long have you been in business?
Well, our founder and program director, Sue Brown, started teaching our current programs in 1984, but it was in 1995 that the nonprofit, T.R.E.E., Teaching Responsible Earth Education, was formed.
3. How do people find you online?
4. What is lesser known about your business that you wish more people knew?
Until someone actually attends one of our programs, I think it’s easy to incorrectly assume that our programs are run by volunteers. But, we are a highly trained, highly organized, highly effective staff, and every moment of the program has been thought through by experts. Even on a smart, tight budget, our cost per child is more than most people realize.
5. Lagniappe Info.
For a donation, we can arrange to have one of our Earth Educators to take your team on an Earthwalk.
Earthwalks are an amazing opportunity to reawaken your senses. For about an hour you will get to know nature’s subtleties and micro-marvels that are seldom discovered. This is a new way of looking at familiar things and an interesting introduction to seeing unfamiliar things. This is not just a nature walk, but an opportunity to experience the world from a new perspective through sensing, sharing and empathizing with our Earth.