More GREEN time.
Go Outside and PLAY!
Cedar Tree Learning is committed to a JOYFUL childhood outdoors! We keep our classes intimate and get to know each child personally.
Interested in Learning more?
Seasonal offerings are for children ages 4 -10 years.
Drop in Available
Location Whitaker Ponds and Columbia Children's Arboretum
Classes are Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:30am - 1:00pm
10% sibling discount (code: SIBLING)
Scholarships available so that all children have equitable access to GREEN time, contact for more details
Cedar Tree Learning is an all outdoor, all-weather nature immersion for children. Gaining more GREEN time, children learn more about themselves and advance their social and emotional reasoning. At Cedar Tree Learning, children are confronting new challenges or questions because of the multi-sensory experience of green space. Being outdoors immersed in the natural world, children can engage with their surroundings and make focused decisions.
Cedar Tree Learning is grounded in the following pillars:
Cedar Tree Learning aims to provide children uninterrupted time in which to delve deeply into their play.
Children become familiar with the natural environment. They come to deeply know the Earth and aware of seasonal changes. 100% of the time is spent outdoors in all weather.
We establish a strong, predictable rhythm for children to feel safe and comfortable to curiously explore, create, solve problems, challenge themselves and grow.
Self directed play supports healthy imagination. Through storytelling, play, song, and verse, ingenuity is nurtured.
Sensory walks, quiet moments, reflection and time to give thanks to our Earth are a part of every day.
Guides Worthy of Imitation
Children learn by seeing and doing. Guides model respectful, purposeful work to support deep play, cooperation, participation, and creativity.
Cedar Tree Learning provides children a safe place to be children together, learn from one another, support each other and grow together.
And all is done through JOY!
DEZIRÉ CLARKE MEINDERSEE
Cedar Tree Learning
Founder and Director
Dezire’s early childhood was spent surrounded by 2,000 acres of hardwood forest. Instead of swings and jungle gyms, she had natural vines and trees to climb. There were meadows, marshes, a small limestone cave and rocky bluffs. She had access to multiple ponds and creeks to splash in and explore. Whether grinding rocks to “make paint,” gathering flowers and leaves to press and print, collecting fallen butterflies to examine, making doll pillows from dissected cattails, her play was her work. She was, like most kids, a natural scientist.
Over the next few decades, she taught in several diverse venues; adapting museum programs, teaching inner city public schools, a charter school focusing on experiential learning, a director for an immigrant and refuge preschool, etc. In each of these settings, she emphasized outdoor, hands-on lessons whenever possible. She observed that when her students were educated in this manner, they tended to learn quickly and retain the information longer. She also observed that their behavior was calmer and happier in general.
Dezire examined the value and efficacy of education in an outdoor setting. Her work was chosen to be included in her professor’s published textbook promoting outdoor learning and the impact of garden-based education. She believes experience with the natural world teaches us in profound ways.
Dezire saw the value of creating a program that nurtured children and promoted their inner connection to nature. She wanted them to realize the harmony of the natural world and their own place in it. She decided to create Cedar Tree Learning. What your lucky child gets to experience in this school is the culmination of her lifetime of knowledge and achievements.