Re-Defining the Outdoors in Early Childhood: A Lens Towards Equity (RDTO)

Status: Current

This work was informed by the historic and systemic lack of representation of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) children and families in nature in the Seattle area, and the accumulating research that outdoor time improves physical health, development, and mental health outcomes in childhood. RDTO represents a mixed-methods approach to remove barriers to high-quality, nature-based learning, and to increase access and opportunities for all families with young children to engage with the outdoors. This project aims to examine the impact of Tiny Trees, the first licensed, full-day, community-based outdoor preschool serving a predominantly BIPOC community, on physical and health outcomes in early childhood. We will collect survey and focus group data to holistically assess outcomes for Tiny Trees families with enrolled children, outdoor educators and leaders, and community members.


  • Tiny Trees

Funding Sponsors

  • Intramural - WSU Health Equity Research Center

Communities Involved

  • Historically marginalized communities

Study Locations

  • Washington

Study Type

  • Observational study
  • Mixed methods

Study Characteristics

  • Ages 0-18

Principal Investigator(s)

Team Member(s)

Heath Research Initiatives

  • Urban

Focus Areas

  • Child development
  • Climate change and health
  • Health disparities
  • Mental health
  • Stress