Children with Hiking Group Gain Outdoor Education at Nature Preserves

Author: Jessica | 12/08/17

Hike It Baby image

Members of the hiking group, Whidbey Island Hike It Baby, visited the Del Fairfax Preserve near Oak Harbor in the fall of 2017. Photo courtesy of Sharlie Tassie.

Saying the word “coyote” is tricky for 2½ -year-old Savanna Tassie.

But she knows what a coyote is. That’s why she howls when she looks at the interpretive panel that shows a painting of a coyote and other wildlife at Admiralty Inlet Preserve on Engle Road south of Coupeville.

“It’s where she learned what a coyote is,” said Sharlie Tassie, Savanna’s mom. “She learned that from one of those displays.”

Savanna loves to get outside and go hiking with her mom. She’s been doing that a lot lately since her mom learned about the nonprofit group, Hike It Baby.

Started by a Portland, Oregon mother, Hike It Baby is an organization with a focus that warms our hearts — getting families with small children outdoors and on to trails. “Raising a Generation to Love the Outdoors” is the group’s slogan.

Sharlie Tassie, from Coupeville, started a Whidbey Island chapter last year. She and other moms and dads schedule group hikes at various parks and preserves across the island. They’ve taken a liking to a few of the Whidbey Camano Land Trust preserves, including Del Fairfax Preserve near Oak Harbor and Admiralty Inlet Preserve.

“It’s all about getting families outside in a safe, supported way,” Tassie said.

Sometimes, the group will host stroller friendly or “toddler paced” hikes, Tassie said.

Their goal in November was to get outside for 30 minutes three times per week or walk 30 miles.

To learn more about the group, check out


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