Director, Program Facilitator
Emily spent most of her childhood exploring and playing in the woods of Ohio, lakes of New York, and the shores of Sanibel Island Florida. One of her favorite things to do was catch and care for Eastern Red Spotted Newts while on vacation in the Catskill Mountains. Emily is inspired by children's sense of wonder, curiosity, and play, and she's all about keeping that spark alive. She loves to share her curiosity and enthusiasm for the natural world with people of all ages and has worked extensively with children for over ten years.
Hollyn comes to Nature Connect with a diverse background in ecology, performance and community development. She is an outdoor adventurer, singer/songwriter, and holds a self-designed degree in "Ecoperformance" from Antioch College. Her first co-op was at the Antioch School, where she helped initiate the Forest Kindergarten program. She spends most of her time outdoors at Heartbeat Learning Gardens, where they are working towards cultivating fresh food access to the underprivileged, as well as a community supported herbalism model. One of her favorite outdoor experiences was during her 3-day solo in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, where she would paddle out at sunset to watch the stars appear 360 degrees around her and listen to the loons call.
Brinkley spent most of her childhood exploring and playing on the beach along Mobile Bay. One of her favorite things to do was make bowls out of the natural clay found on the beach. Brinkley is inspired by children's sense of wonder, curiosity, and play, and she's all about keeping that spark alive. She loves to share her curiosity and enthusiasm for the natural world with people of all ages and has worked extensively with children for over ten years.
Throughout my childhood, I was in the Boy Scouts of Canada and thus involved in backpacking, camping, canoeing and -- of course -- snow shoeing! I achieved my Chief Scout Award (akin to an Eagle Scout) as well as a great love of the outdoors and a conservationist perspective. During the past several years, after my university studies in Botany and Medicine, I have returned to these roots: camping, backpacking, kayaking, along with learning to rock climb, sail, and mountain bike. Even more recently, I've been learning, or re-learning, survival skills; in the summer of 2018, I attended Tom Brown Jr’s Tracker School, which led me to become much more deeply connected with the natural world. I’ve been sharing a lot of this journey back into the forest with my son. I also feel inspired to share this love of nature with other children and other adults, helping others feel more at home exploring and living in the forest.
As a young girl, Natasha dreamed of being a professional adventurer: hunting for fossils in the caves of Mexico; diving for sunken treasure in the Atlantic; discovering a new animal species in the Amazon; white water rafting in the Nile. That same sense of adventure has stayed with her all throughout her chapters as a teacher, coach, aspiring writer, and mother. When she isn’t traveling, Natasha enjoys spending her time reading, working on her writing projects, being way faster than her son Kai, laughing till she cries with her siblings, and doing numerous outdoor activities and sports with her husband—hiking, climbing, mountain biking, and soccer.