How our team carries out the mission at home

At the Nature Center, we're a passionate bunch committed to environmental stewardship and conservation.

It should come as no surprise that many members of our team demonstrate these qualities outside of their work at the Nature Center, at home and in their communities, by integrating environmentally friendly practices into their home and daily routines to better care for wildlife and the environment.

We'd like to introduce you to a few members of our staff that are going the extra mile to carry out a portion of our mission in their personal lives:

Cindy Oakley

Welcome Desk Assistant

Cindy Oakley is one of a few at the Nature Center who has opted for renewable energy. Unlike fossil fuels, renewable energy significantly reduces the amount of carbon emissions emitted into the atmosphere.

For Cindy, the choice to switch to renewable energy was about independence. She wants to use natural resources to provide for her home needs. “It's like a rain barrel, you don't install them to replace your water supply. It's about using what's already here to supply our needs. The sun and the rain exist, so we should use them,” Cindy said.

Jane Richards

Content Marketing Specialist

Jane Richards maintains 5 acres of chemical-free land where she gardens organically and keeps bees. She is aiming to create a space to benefit the health of native plants, wildlife and pollinators.

“Bees are indispensable to our ecosystems. They are essential to biodiversity, they beautify landscapes and, of course, are responsible for our food supply,” Jane said.

Kay Carlson

President & CEO

Each year, Kay purchases native plants from the Nature Center's annual plant sale to grow her pollinator gardens at home.

To help sustain the declining population of many pollinators, including the monarch butterfly, Kay said that she enjoys watching these pollinators being able to feed and thrive in her landscape.

Kristina Arthur

Volunteer Coordinator

Kristina uses natural resources to grow her gardens. She has multiple rain barrels and compost bins which feed and water her vegetables and plants. By doing this, she’s conserving water and diverting waste away from landfills to provide organic nutrients to her soil.

“Using natural sources of water to reduce consumption, while also transforming waste into free soil, is one of the ways I practice reducing, reusing and recycling at home. By taking these small steps at home, my husband and I are demonstrating to our children how we all play a small role in caring for the environment," Kristina said.

Nick Mikash

Natural Resources Specialist

When it came time to renovate portions of his home, Nick wanted to opt for more sustainable, environmentally friendly products. Instead of installing carpet, which contains VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which are emitted into the air inside a home, or using traditional hardwood treated with stains, he opted for bamboo flooring.

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