Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! We are so grateful for our instructors here at Earthroots! Distance learning has given Teacher Appreciation Week and the power of communication greater meaning.
We are sending many thanks to all of the teachers around the globe, for their immense work and impact moves us beyond words. #ThankATeacher today!
Get to know some of our beloved instructors here at Earthroots in this Q&A!
What is your favorite memory from volunteering/working at Earthroots?
I have lovely memories of attending the Annual Festival and Fundraiser event, making Cob homes with Mrs. Kat and Mrs. Raz, exploring natural spaces with students, and of course visiting the beautiful property at Big Oak Canyon.
Forest play during the rainy season of Fall 2016, resulting in the wondrous
“beach day” at O’Neill park. The kids went swimming in the river adjacent to the forest kindergarten class, a special treat considering the river is usually a dry creek bed. Other fond memories I have include making acorn pancakes, watching the kids singing, excitedly waiting patiently to start afire using fire by friction, and seeing a rattle snake slither by the group during class.
Some of my favorite memories from Earthroots include making fire in the rain with Forest Kindergarten, the all-night fire at the Winter Solstice campout, watching the kids watch marmots and deer on a high Sierra trip, sit spots at the mouth of San Mateo Creek, and teaching a teen camp with my brother in Trabuco Canyon.
This school year learning what my students know about water, watershed, ocean and how these bodies of water hold us, was fascinating. Then being able to share what I know with them and hike along many areas of the San Mateo Watershed with the students in different seasons observing and learning together was a pure joy. We even had my friends at Orange County Coast Keeper come out and teach us how to test fresh lagoon water and ocean water at Trestles. So cool! Hoping to work on a five year water study with our returning and new students to learn even more!
Sitting in the fire pit at O’Neill, making the latkes for Chanukah in the rain.
My very first experience with Earthroots was at a wilderness survival summer camp, meant for my son’s enrichment. After the very first day of the weeklong class. I was hooked on this amazing feeling of nature connection. So much so, that I signed up to volunteer. The rest is history!
Every day we have walked barefoot in the creek.
Why do you enjoy working/volunteering at Earthroots?
I love the Earth, human, plant and animal connections. Earthroots has helped me learn to make much more space for those things! I also Love the feeling of doing things manually and as it was done by our ancestors, long ago.
I love working at Earthroots! Being immersed in nature and connecting to a community of folks who appreciate the natural world is a blessing. Earthroots has brought into focus the importance of nature connection, and I truly believe that we are teaching the next generation of humans to respect and take care of the earth.
The opportunity to work outdoors surrounded by nature is truly a dream for me as much as it is to share my love for my native language and culture, and I feel happy and grateful to be able to experience it all with children by my side.
I enjoy working for Earthroots because I can bring my uniqueness and passions and gifts to the community every day, and I get to be energized by the bright eyes and minds of children.
Earthroots has brought me my family, my community and everything good in my life, besides my mother, who has always been there for me.
I love working for Earthroots because it gives me an opportunity to share my gifts within a community of amazing people. I grew up in Orange County and imagined settling down in a place with less people and more open space, but Earthroots is what keeps me here.
What are your favorite things to do in nature and what locations?
Family camping trips are my favorite. Together we have visited many National and State Parks across California and also in Arizona and Utah. Joshua Tree National Park and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park are our go-to destinations and have a special place in our hearts. Our day-to-day adventures include visits to the beach and local city parks.
I love working in gardens growing food and making soil. These days that happens at my house in Costa Mesa. I love kayaking in the Upper Newport Bay. I love harvesting plant medicine, where ever it grows. I love singing and eating with friends and family. I love watching birds and learning about insects. I am always “in nature”, no matter where I am.
I love swimming in the ocean, for my energetic nature connection, I get my workout on, at the oceans edge from Doheny to San Clemente and back several times a week. I feel very connected and at peace with the Redwoods of northern California.
While at home, I love gardening in my yard, turning the compost and watching the birds. Out and about, I love rock climbing at Joshua Tree National Park and swimming in a clean flowing water just about anywhere.
Do you have something to share about yourself that would surprise us?
I didn’t grow up in the outdoors at all. I went on my first camping trip in college at age 19.
Two years ago I ice climbed Mt. Whitney; it was a free climb (no ropes). One of my most epic adventures ever! That same year I finished the entire John Muir Trail and hope to re hike it in sections with my daughter Hailey. She would like to complete it before she finishes high school. She is well on her way. It is such a gift to be backpacking with her now.
I grew up in Orange County, yet I never learned to enjoy its beaches.
I used to be a corporate lawyer in New York City. I left my job and city life to live in a rural region of South Africa for two years. I also had a pet mongoose for a short time and made many discoveries about life while living in South Africa.
I’m a professional hula hoop dancer and I used to make hula hoops and perform in my free time.
I was a barrel horse racer in high school. Also I judged horse anatomy in 4H.
I was bit by a Terciopelo (also known as a Fer de Lance) while backpacking in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica in 1999. This snake is known to claim many lives in that part of the world and I am so grateful for surviving the experience.