Our program facilitators are here to support your children and your family. Each facilitator brings a unique background in nature-based learning, natural history, and compassionate communication to this work.
We love nature, children, and play!
Andrea (She/her) has been working with Fresh Air Learning since early 2015 and volunteered as a parent for 2 years before that. She has a degree in special education and has been working with elementary and preschool families for 20 years. When she's not volunteering with her two kids' various activities you can find her staying fit and getting inspired outside. She believes that Fresh Air Learning helps give kids resilience, stamina, personal responsibility, and a deep connection to nature, it is her hope that kids fall in love with nature forever and grow to preserve it. Andrea is a reporting teacher with our elementary program. See you in our forest office!
Willoughby (He/him) was raised in the Coast Redwoods in southwestern Cascadia (traditional Wiyot and Yurok territories). He fell in love with fungi as a young child, and has been learning from them, along with plants, animals and microbes, ever since. For the past decade he's been offering educational experiences relating to fungi, art and ecology in community contexts and schools. As a parent of a young child, Uma, one of his greatest pleasures has been sharing his knowledge and passion for living beings with her and observing her develop relationships within her ecosystem. Willoughby works to offer ecological teachings woven together with artistic experience and play to help children build relationships with the more-than-human world around them, an embodied awareness of the interconnectedness of all beings, and a place-based sense of belonging, caretaking and gratitude for the gifts of the earth. Some of his other passions include music (He plays percussion in the Carnival Band), and growing, foraging, cooking, preserving and sharing food.
Jocelyn (She/her) has been working in the Early Childhood Education field since 2016. Her favourite moments while teaching have been seeing the proud face of a child who accomplished a task they hadn't been able to do before, witnessing the journey of a child's growing confidence in a new place, and seeing the pure joy and energy of a child who is bursting with excitement!
Jocelyn feels so grateful to live, work, and raise her daughters in beautiful Vancouver. She is passionate about taking care of the earth and its beings, and draws inspiration from the beauty and wonders of nature. Jocelyn is continuously awed by the curiosity and creativity of young children, and enjoys the co-learning that forest school provides. She believes that strong relationships are what truly make a community special and is looking forward to meeting you!
Romi (they/them) wishes to heal themselves, their lineages and the unceded lands they are a guest in through deepened and widened relationships, and tender stamina for a practice of radical and collective care. From these teachings and experiences, they hope to cultivate a being together that might foster a collective regrowth, and medicinal sharing of stories. Romi believes theses needs can be sown by being together in affirmative creativity, and be nurtured through dance, song, slowness and curiosity. From their birth in Treaty 13 territory in Tkaronto, they have lived and learned in Sutiaba territories, Nicaragua, studied in their ancestral lands of Normandie France, and have most recently been a guest in these Coast Salish territories at WSANEC, S’Klallam, Musqueam, Tlseil-Waututh and Squamish. Though they have learned much from their formal education at United World Colleges and UBC, learning from elders, plant medicines, and communities of land defense has been most transformative for them. Romi hopes to honour this by introducing young people to the wonders of the forest, and the land’s embraces that might move us to the transformations that are needed within us, and through us the world.
Hana (She/her) is a Teacher, Biologist, Musician and Yoga Instructor and has been working for Fresh Air Learning for three years. She grew up on Haida Gwaii and later Vancouver Island where she studied Biology and Spanish at UVIC. She has been fortunate to spend time in the Great Bear Rainforest studying salmon, supporting conservation efforts in Ecuador, sustainable forestry initiatives in Nova Scotia and travelling around BC and the Maritimes for 2 years teaching environmental education to elementary schools. She loves how enthusiastic children are when in the outdoors and she is looking forward to a beautiful year of outdoor learning at Fresh Air Learning this year.
Brittany (She/her) is passionate about connecting children to place through nature, play, and self-expression. She values holistic teaching, and views community and the more-than-human, as imperative sites for teaching to the heart, mind, body and spirit. Brittany taught at the Vancouver School Board from 2013 to 2015 until she discovered Democratic Education and has never turned back. She co-ran the Forest and Beach program at Windsor House Democratic School from 2015 to 2019. It was here that she witnessed the value of intrinsic motivation and non-coercive education, and developed a belief in the freedom of educational choice for children.
In July 2020, Brittany will be graduating from a Masters of Education in Indigenous Resurgence and Reconciliation from SFU. During this program, she has focused on Indigenous pedagogies surrounding land, healing, and music; and strives to respectfully incorporate these ways of understanding into her practice. When Brittany is not teaching, she works as a touring musician and enjoys connecting with people, wandering, Yoga and dancing!
Meagan (She/Her) is a certified teacher who is passionate about place-based learning, play and a strength-based approach to teaching and learning. Meagan has a background as a nurse's aide, Educational Assistant and Early Childhood Educator. Through years of play and connection with community members young and old Meagan has learned the value of relationship and trust in the learning process, and in building safe, healthy and rich learning communities. Meagan loves the outdoors and is thrilled to combine her passion for the outdoors with her teaching career at Fresh Air Learning and other Island Discovery programs.
Nicola (She/Her) was born and raised at the base of the beautiful North Shore mountains. She was fortunate to have been born into a family that made exploring nature a top priority, and she spent her childhood hiking, biking and skiing in remote areas. Often in the summer, her family would be custodians of huts in the Rockies. As an only child, mother nature became her best friend.
As an adult, she has explored many mountain ranges with her family, cycling and hiking around Alaska, bike touring in Europe, hiking the John Muir trail in the High Sierras, kayaking the wild islands near Bella Bella, and of course exploring of all the wonderful things B.C has to offer. Nicola spent many years as an Early Childhood Educator in a Parent
Participation Preschool. and she brings a focus on emergent, play-based learning and a strong emphasis on outdoor education to her work.
Tricia (She/They) loves to connect people with their places. For over 20 years, she has worked as a nature educator, developing programs that explore the streams and forests of the temperate rainforest. She enjoys the time and space that children have when they play outside at forest school, and she loves watching children fill with enthusiasm and wonder in nature. Her favourite thing about the outdoors is playing in creeks, and she has lived in the same watershed for her entire life.
Tricia is a permaculture teacher with a Masters degree focused on ecological restoration and community development. She's also facilitates the Forest School Practitioners' Course and loves to teach teachers how to find their inner mud-stomping child. When she is not teaching, learning and writing about the outdoors, you can find her hanging out with her daughter, running in the forest, gardening, or caring for her many pets.
Rhyan (They/Them) is a settler of Scottish and Irish lineages who grew up as an uninvited guest on Lekwungen Territory. They are an artist, shapeshifter, and queer ancestor in training. Rhyan comes from a theatrical/dance/culinary/tree climbing background and carries each of these practices in their life and to forest school. They believe multi-generational community, storytelling and multi-species connection is imperative to being a human in right relation to the more-than-human world. They are a passionate cultivator of humour, honesty and somatic/physical expression.
Thule van den Dam
Thule (She/Her) is a community worker, theatre-maker, and farmer, doing international environmental policy work in her free time. Originally from the Netherlands, she graduated from the Mahindra United World College in India before studying Human Ecology at the College of the Atlantic in Maine, USA. Committed to an interdisciplinary, empowered and hands-on approach to education, she has facilitated and coordinated a variety of environmental leadership and education programs for youth in the lower mainland since 2015 and helped youth create and perform their own immersive theatre work in Italy and Belgium. She loves climbing tall rocks, cooking for others, and making music with friends.
Liz (they/them) is a BIPOC mixed-raced child of immigrants, born and raised in San Diego, California. They hold two degrees related to education, a BA in English with Single Subject Teaching from San Diego State University and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from The University of Southern California. They have had the pleasure to live in beautiful Vancouver, BC for the last seven years. Liz decided to be an educator because they wanted to make sure that BIPOC children would have a familiar face in the classroom, one that knew and understood their struggles to belong in society.
Liz has enjoyed building upon their passion for nature through attending workshops like Wild Wisdom. Some nature related activities that they enjoy are: weaving, carving, hiking, in plein air painting, and reflective journaling (sit spot). Liz experiences nature through a learning lens and strives to keep that sense of wonder alive for their students and themselves. One of their goals is to encourage all children to find harmony and peace in natural spaces. Another goal is to reach out to BIPOC communities and get children in nature who don't have easy access to it. Liz loves spending time with their partner and dogs in Stanley Park. They also enjoy journaling with fountain pens, reading, and making footbags. Liz looks forward to connecting with you and your children in nature.
Jessica (She/her) has a background in outdoor education, travel and tourism, and holds an elementary teaching degree. She has a passion for exploring nature and sharing that love with others. She believes that all children should have a chance to explore their natural world around them and keep being curious about what they find.
Jessica loves going canoeing, hiking and camping with her husband and two boys. She also loves keeping herself busy with sewing, soap making, canning, and tending to her garden. Jessica also volunteers her time as a Scout leader, and helps facilitate support groups for families who have children with special needs.
Colleen (She/Her) has lived on the North Shore for almost 30 years and finds herself tree-whispering pretty-much every day. You can usually find her hiking, biking, or snowshoeing with her family, friends, or sweet dog, Ella. For her, "Forest-Bathing" injects a sense of stillness, beauty, and reflection - a gift she never takes for granted.
While raising her family, Colleen worked as a writer and taught Humanities at an independent school with an emphasis on all things imaginative - storytelling, theatre, creative writing, improvisation, and spoken word. Students regularly sourced the rocks, rivers, trees, and sky for creative inspiration. She has an Undergraduate Degree from UBC in Physical Education & Recreation, with a minor in Psychology. She's passionate about nurturing children's desire to imagine, create, and innovate - all while embracing the beautiful outdoors.
Althea (She/Her) is a student working towards her undergraduate degree in early
childhood care and education. Althea’s most fond memories of childhood
are the ones she made with her mother in the forest. From a young age,
she’s been taught the value in communing with nature and respecting
the environment. She and her dogs love spending time exploring the
forests of the north shore whenever the chance arises.
Daniella Roze (She/her) M.Ed. specializes in transformative ecological education through nature and place-based learning, leadership training, and ecopsychology. She is the founder of Thriving Roots Wilderness School and is a teacher and curriculum designer at Fresh Air Learning. She holds a Master of Contemplative Education from Simon Fraser University and a diploma in Applied Psychology and Counseling. Drawing from extensive training through Wilderness Awareness School’s Anake program, the School of Lost Borders’ ecotherapy training program, Animas Valley Institute, and The Haven Centre for Transformative Learning, Daniella has studied and taught across North America. The breadth of her training and experience has helped her to understand our interdependence with nature, and the importance of reciprocal human-nature relationships. Daniella is committed to building a life-sustaining world, fostering resilient culture, and supporting others on the courageous journey of whole-hearted living.