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Outdoor Experiences Staff

A Cleveland Metroparks Naturalist is on-hand daily from 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. to answer your questions. Call the Cleveland Metroparks Outdoor Experiences Facility closest to you to have your questions answered by a naturalist.

Cleveland Metroparks Outdoor Experiences Facility

Brecksville Nature Center

Brecksville Reservation
440-526-1012

CanalWay Center

Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation
216-206-1000

Garfield Park Center

Garfield Park Reservation
216-341-3152

Look About Lodge

Open for programs. Staff can be reached via North Chagrin Nature Center.)

North Chagrin Nature Center

North Chagrin Reservation
440-473-3370

Rocky River Nature Center

Rocky River Reservation
440-734-6660

Watershed Stewardship Center at West Creek

West Creek Reservation
440-887-1968

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Outdoor Experiences Staff

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Andy Hudak

Outdoor Recreation Specialist I
Primary Location: Outdoor Recreation
Andy has a passion for outdoor activities of all kinds. He enjoys sharing this passion and teaching other. His past experiences include leading expeditions and teaching about natural resources across the country and abroad. Andy now enjoys providing outdoor recreation experiences.
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Angelec Hillsman

Outreach Manager
Primary Location: Nature Tracks
Angelec started as a full-time naturalist at North Chagrin Nature Center in 2004 then moved to CanalWay Center as a Naturalist I and is currently the Outreach Manager at NatureTracks. She enjoys working with children in the outdoors.
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Ashley Hall

Naturalist
Primary Location: Rocky River Nature Center
44-734-6660 | Email
Ashley received her B.A in Anthropology and Animal Behavior from Indiana University Bloomington in 2007 and worked as an Educator at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum and Zoo. She is an active member of the academic paleontology community and loves sharing her passion for fossils, science, and natural history with everyone she meets. Ashley enjoys birding, educating the public via social media, and being a life-long learner.
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Ashley Rossetti

Outdoor Recreation Specialist II
Primary Location: Outdoor Recreation
Ashley joins the team from Youth Outdoors and enjoys helping people connect with nature particularly with natural areas in their “backyard.” Her interests include hiking, backpacking, skiing, rock climbing, trail building, and wilderness exploration.
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Belinda Gruszka

Information Specialist
Primary Location: Outdoor Recreation
Belinda provides visitor information and administrative support for the Outdoor Recreation team. She is an avid outdoorswoman and thru-hiked the entire 2,076 miles of the Appalachian Trail in 2007. She has been an active volunteer for Cleveland Metroparks as a Trail Ambassador since 2005 and more recently has begun volunteering for Youth Outdoors. Her interests include hiking, cycling, backpacking, kayaking, canoeing, art, cross-country skiing and gardening.
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Beth Robb

Historical Inerpreter/Naturalist
Primary Location: Brecksville Nature Center
440-526-1012 | Email
Beth joined Cleveland Metroparks in May 2016 as a seasonal naturalist and was selected as a Historical Interpreter/Naturalist in October 2016. She graduated in 2013 with a degree in anthropology and a certificate in field archaeology from the University of Akron. She enjoys arts and crafts, the Civil War, dressing up like a pioneer and working with children.
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Beth Whiteley

Naturalist II
Primary Location: Rocky River Nature Center
Beth has been with Cleveland Metroparks since 1992 . Beth began her career at the Therapeutic Riding Program at the Rocky River Riding Stables for special needs residents of Cuyahoga County. Today utilizes her artistic background to create nature-inspired creations that are used in different programs.
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Bethany Majeski

Naturalist I
Primary Location: Rocky River Nature Center
Bethany has been working with Cleveland Metroparks since 2007. She enjoys connecting people to the planet via sustainable food and gardening programming.
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Beverly Walborn

Naturalist
Primary Location: Rocky River Nature Center
Bev Walborn began her career with Cleveland Metroparks in November 2010 as an Education Specialist for Eco Explorers. Since joining the staff at Rocky River Nature Center Bev has enjoyed sharing the joys of nature with children of all ages. She also shares her passion for birds by serving as the advisor for the Northeast Chapter of the Ohio Young Birders Club.
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Brian Fyfe

Recreation Specialist
Primary Location: Youth Outdoors
Brian enjoys leading programs that help urban youth develop outdoor skills and gain an appreciation of the natural world. His interests include hiking, cycling, fly fishing, photography and kayaking. Brian joined Youth Outdoors in 2003.
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Carl Casavecchia

Special Project Manager, Cleveland Metroparks 100th Anniversary - 2017
Primary Location: Outdoor Experiences Administration
Carl began with Cleveland Metroparks in April 1983 as a seasonal naturalist. He was promoted to full-time naturalist in 1985, then to Nature Center Manager at Garfield Park Nature Center in 1993. He has worked at Brecksville, Rocky River, North Chagrin and Garfield Park nature centers. On February 10, 2014, Carl began his new position of Special Project Manager, where he will be coordinating Cleveland Metroparks 100th Anniversary in 2017, as well as being a member of the Guest Service Training Team for all Cleveland Metroparks employees.
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Carly Martin

Naturalist/Geocaching Coordinator
Primary Location: North Chagrin Nature Center
Naturalist, Carly has been a naturalist with Cleveland Metroparks since 1998. She has varied nature interests including night hikes, adventurous programs, monarch tagging and creek walking. Cleveland Metroparks Geocaching is overseen by Carly who enjoys the challenges provided by this hobby. Carly's motto is "You can't have fun 'less you're getting dirty!"
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Dale Versteegen

Recreation Specialist
Primary Location: Youth Outdoors
Primary Location: Youth Outdoors Growing up in rural Australia Dale developed a passion for exploring the natural world in a variety of ways. Since arriving in the United States in 2004 Dale has spent time teaching adventure based science programs in Washington State, Minnesota, California, Colorado and Ohio. His experience includes leading hiking, kayaking, skiing, camping, rock climbing and caving trips.
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Dan Sahli

Outdoor Recreation Specialist II
Primary Location: Outdoor Recreation
Dan joined the Outdoor Recreation staff in the summer of 2014, bringing a wealth of experience in various outdoor recreation activities. He loves teaching people about outdoor skills while helping them instill a lifelong love of the outdoors. His interests include backpacking, kayaking, mountain biking, and hiking and biking with his family.
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Debra Shankland

Naturalist
A Cleveland Metroparks Naturalist since 1994, Debra has had the privilege of working at Garfield Park, Rocky River, and Brecksville nature centers, and also at Look About Lodge and CanalWay Center. Her special interests include plants, frogs, fungi and ecosystem integrity. She is the on-site volunteer coordinator for the Watershed Stewardship Center and a citizen science advocate, helping people to be effective stewards of our environment.
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Diane Balach

Building Host
Diane Balach joined the staff of the Watershed Stewardship Center in July, 2014, as the building host. The building host engages with the public by answering questions, assisting guests to naturalists with information, and is responsible for opening and closing the facility as needed. Diane enjoys the activities throughout the Cleveland Metroparks such as hiking, cycling, and photography.
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Doug Kusak

Historical Interpreter
Primary Location: CanalWay Center
Doug has a lifelong love of learning and a desire to spread enthusiasm for the wonders all around us. Those traits serve him well in his exploits for Cleveland Metroparks (since 2007), the Great Lakes Science Center (since 2002), and the steamship Wm. G. Mather (since 2003).
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Faruq Abdul-Khaliq

Recreation Specialist
Primary Location: Youth Outdoors
Faruq's experience includes serving the needs of culturally, racially and socioeconomically diverse populations within the United States and internationally. As an educator and outdoor enthusiast, Faruq has a talent for providing positive experiences that captures the imagination of youth and adults. He previously served as lead facilitator for the Center for Families and Children in the Fathers and Families Together program based in Cleveland. When not at work, Faruq especially enjoys fishing with his family that includes two daughters and two sons.
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Foster Brown

Naturalist
Primary Location: North Chagrin Nature Center
Foster has been with Cleveland Metroparks since 1996. He combines the arts with interpretation in presenting awarding winning music, storytelling and characterizations to folks of northeast Ohio. He enjoys making his annual canoe trip to Algonquin Provincial Park with his family.
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Gayle Albers

Manager of Watershed Stewardship Center at West Creek
Gayle is the Manager of the Watershed Stewardship Center. She has enjoyed promoting science and outdoor education in various roles, including Education Specialist and Conservation Coordinator at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. After earning her MS in Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development, she served as a Regulatory Wetland Scientist at St. Johns River Water Management District. Gayle is excited to promote sustainable practices and healthy watersheds through citizen science, environmental stewardship opportunities, and the exploration of our urban parklands.
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Jake Kudrna

Naturalist
Primary Location: North Chagrin Nature Center
Jake has been working with Cleveland Metroparks since 2014. He is always aiming to learn new information about the natural world, not only to be able to better educate park guests, but also to have the ability to show off to his friends any time they go outside. His main interests are in reptiles and amphibians, but generally he just enjoys being outside.
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Janet Jaeger

Information Specialist
Primary Location: Brecksville Nature Center
Janet Jaeger is the Information Specialist at Brecksville Nature Center. She previously worked at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo as a cashier and receptionist.
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Jeff Riebe

Naturalist
Primary Location: North Chagrin Nature Center
Jeff began working with the North Chagrin Nature Center staff in 1999. He enjoys seining for native fish, training birds of prey, and creating and maintaining live animal exhibits at the nature center.
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Jen Brumfield

Naturalist
Primary Location: Rocky River Nature Center
Jen eagerly combines her passions for extreme birding, field studies, outdoor education and detailed scientific illustration into a truly "wild" career. She passionately offers thrilling public and school programs park-wide. Since 2005 she's written and illustrated seven field guides to the flora and fauna of Cleveland Metroparks. She composed over 100 dragonfly and damselfly illustrations for the second edition of The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Northeast Ohio.
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Jennifer Graham

Historical Interpreter/Naturalist
Primary Location: Rocky River Nature Center
440-734-6660 | Email
Jen graduated with an honors degree in early U.S. history from Oberlin College in 2012 and has since worked for various historical organizations across Northeast Ohio. She has experience as an interpreter at Hale Farm & Village, an educator at the Cleveland History Center, and a local history AmeriCorps member at the Oberlin Heritage Center. She especially enjoys the study of women’s history, social movements, and how history connects to the natural world. She loves salamanders, stargazing, silly songs, and reading outdoors.
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Jenny McClain

Naturalist
Primary Location: Brecksville Nature Center
Jenny joined the Outdoor Education staff permanently in 1996 and has worked at the Brecksville Nature Center since 2000. Her special interests include monarch butterfly natural history and pre-K programs. She also enjoys getting people of all ages out on the trails throughout Cleveland Metroparks.
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Jill Hauger

Naturalist
Primary Location: CanalWay Center
Jill has worked seasonally with Cleveland Metroparks since 1999. She has worked with a variety of departments but is excited to now be in Outdoor Education as Naturalist 1 at CanalWay Center. Jill loves working with children and exploring nature and is an avid hiker.
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Jo Ann Kubicki

Information Specialist
Primary Location: CanalWay Center
Jo Ann started as secretary for the Institute of the Great Outdoors in 1991. Since 2000, she has been the Information Specialist for CanalWay Visitor Center. She is interested in history, nature photography, and bird watching. She has been assisting with surveys of amphibians, bat, owls, coyotes, and deer and also leads Audubon bird walks.
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Joe Higgins

Naturalist
Joe joined Cleveland Metroparks staff as an education specialist in 2014. He combines his passion for freshwater aquatics and education to develop curriculum for school groups visiting the Watershed Stewardship Center. Prior to his current position, Joe worked as an aquatic research technician with Cleveland Metroparks in 2012 assisting in ecological surveys in streams throughout the park district.
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John Rode

Manager, Youth Outdoors
Primary Location: Youth Outdoors
John provides program management and leadership for Youth Outdoors. His interests include teaching outdoor skills and providing opportunities for youth to enjoy nature. John is an avid hiker, backpacker, fisherman, canoe camper and cross-country skier. He has worked at Youth Outdoors since 1999.
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Joyce Masterson

Host
Primary Location: Rocky River Nature Center
Joyce joined the Rocky River Nature Center in December 2014, as the building Host. She loves the outdoors and has spent many hours walking the trails of the Cleveland Metroparks. In addition to working at the nature center, Joyce is a freelance graphic designer and musician.
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Judy MacKeigan

Primary Location: Outdoor Experiences Administration
Judy MacKeigan joined Cleveland Metroparks in 2010 as a seasonal employee while completing her MA in History at Cleveland State University. She became a permanent part time employee in 2013. As historian she has the privilege and joy of researching and sharing the history of our unique park system as well as the broader history of the communities that make up Cleveland Metroparks. She contributes monthly to our history blog “Roots Revealed,” presents programs on various aspects of Metroparks history, and is part of the 100th Anniversary steering committee.
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Karen Lakus

Historical Interpreter
Primary Location: CanalWay Center
Karen joined Cleveland Metroparks in 2010 after working as an interpreter for various agencies in Lake County for 12 years. Coming to CanalWay was like coming home since she grew up on Canal Road and spent a great deal of time exploring the surrounding parks. Karen is interested in local history, particularly Native Americans, and she especially enjoys working with children.
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Kathy Schmidt

Naturalist
Primary Location: Brecksville Nature Center
440-526-1012
Kathy has been with Cleveland Metroparks since 1982. She finds so much in nature to be fascinating, and she especially loves plants and their historical significance, and primitive skills.
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Kathy Sobel

Information Specialist
Primary Location: Youth Outdoors
Kathy joined Cleveland Metroparks in 1993. Prior to working with Youth Outdoors, she served as the Division Secretary for Outdoor Education and then as Bookshop Assistant for EarthWords. When she can find free time, she enjoys gardening or spending time in the outdoors with her family hiking, camping and boating.
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Kelly McGinnis

Naturalist
Primary Location: Brecksville Nature Center
Kelly has worked at Brecksville Nature Center since the fall of 2000. She enjoys doing various programs for people of all ages, especially children. She enjoys hiking and just being outdoors.
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Kristen Hoffert

Information Specialist
Primary Location: Rocky River Nature Center
440-734-6660 | Email
Kristen began her career with Cleveland Metroparks two years prior to joining the Outdoor Experiences division. Previously, she worked in non-profit organizations. She enjoys hiking, volunteering, and just being outside.
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LaDonna Sifford

Naturalist II
Primary Location: CanalWay Center
LaDonna joined Cleveland Metroparks Outdoor Experiences in 2010. LaDonna enjoys facilitating fun, purpose driven experiences where visitors learn to see themselves as a part of the natural world.
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Linda Hnath

Information Specialist
Primary Location: Youth Outdoors
Linda joined the staff of Outdoor Education in 2000 working with Foster Brown Historical Interpreter for Cleveland Metroparks. Her specialties are local and Ohio history. She enjoys hiking, handcrafts and historical research and music. Linda is also an Information Specialist for Youth Outdoors.
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Lynne Barron

Information Specialist
Primary Location: North Chagrin Nature Center
Lynne started working at Cleveland Metroparks in 2001 as a nature shop assistant manager. She recently changed her work environment from retail to education, when she became the Information Specialist for North Chagrin Nature Center. In her spare time, Lynne enjoys camping and hiking.
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Mario Jackson

Naturalist
Primary Location: Nature Tracks
Mario has been an Naturalist for NatureTracks Outreach Program since January 2009. He enjoys combining education, entertainment, and technology as a means to help teach inner-city elementary school students. Mario has a strong education background in Visual Communication Technology, but his special interests include hiking different parts of Cleveland Metroparks and learning about bees and snakes.
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Mark Warman

Naturalist
Mark has been with Cleveland Metroparks since 2013. With the help of wildlife, West Creek, and an old landfill, he encourages visitors to invest in the health of their local waterways at the Watershed Stewardship Center. He has a special fondness for salamanders, aquatic insects, and fish.
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Martin Calabrese

Naturalist
Primary Location: Rocky River Nature Center
Marty has a BS in Natural Resources (wildlife management) from The Ohio State University and a master's degree in Biology (ecology) from John Carroll University. Marty began his career in 2004 as a biological sciences technician for the USDA, then worked as a seasonal naturalist for Cleveland Metroparks, wildlife education specialist for Lake Metroparks, wildlife specialist turned Science Resource Center coordinator at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and finally landed back with Cleveland Metroparks in 2014 as a naturalist.
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Matt Arnold

Primary Location: Garfield Park Center
216-341-1704 | Email
Matt joined the Outdoor Recreation team in the summer of 2016 with a focus on adaptive recreation. He loves backpacking, rock climbing, biking, and any other reason to be active outdoors.
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Matthew Knittel

Naturalist
Matt has enjoyed the outdoors (especially the Cleveland Metroparks) since he was a young boy. Since then, he has not stopped running through forests and meadows and splashing through streams. An MS in Natural Resources and the Environment helps him identify the flora and fauna, and understand their role in the ecosystem. Matt previously worked for ODNR, the Environmental Education Center at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and various environmental education groups including Creek Connections. He is eager to share his knowledge and experience of the outdoors to anyone willing to learn.
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Meghan Leitner

Naturalist
Primary Location: CanalWay Center
216-206-1000  | Email
Meghan has always had a passion for the outdoors and loves being able to spark that same interest in today’s children. She became a naturalist with the CanalWay Center in the summer of 2016 and she’s excited for the adventures the Cleveland Metroparks has in store.
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Min-Sui Keung

Nature Center Manager
Primary Location: North Chagrin Nature Center
Min has worked with Cleveland Metroparks since 1998. Center Manager Min Keung is interested in making connections with nature, people and food. Her primary interests include creating a green space wherever she goes. Min is also a member of the Diversity Advisory Council. Her goal is to get people of all ages and abilities to enjoy nature.
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Natalie Schroder

Naturalist
Primary Location: North Chagrin Nature Center
Natalie joined Cleveland Metroparks in December of 2014. She enjoys sharing her passion for our natural world with people of all ages, especially children. In her spare time, she enjoys camping and hiking with her family.
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Outdoor Recreation - Other

Seasonal staff
Primary Location: Outdoor Recreation
216-341-1704
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Pamela Taylor

Naturalist
Primary Location: Brecksville Nature Center
Pam joined Cleveland Metroparks in July 2001 as an interpreter/education intern with the Zoo. In June 2003, Pam transferred to Garfield Park Nature Center as a seasonal naturalist and in January 2004 was selected for her current position as part-time naturalist. She enjoys hiking and camping.
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Patti Donnellan

Naturalist
440-887-1968 | Email
Patti Donnellan has been with Cleveland Metroparks since 2015. She grew up exploring the woods and fields in search of wildlife of all kinds around her home and in Cleveland Metroparks. Patti was a naturalist for the State of Alabama where her love of wildflowers really took off. She enjoys hiking, caving, bird watching and sharing her passion and enthusiasm of nature with others.
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Phoebe Atkinson

Naturalist-Eco Explorers
Primary Location: CanalWay Center
Phoebe joined Cleveland Metroparks as a naturalist in 2014, after more than 18 years in the environmental education/interpretation field. She loves hiking, singing, and spending time with her kids and family.
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Rachel Nagle

Outdoor Recreation Manager
Primary Location: Outdoor Recreation
Rachel joined the Outdoor Recreation family in 2011. She enjoys connecting people to nature through outdoor recreation activities and seeing the transformation of someone who has never tried an activity before to becoming quite proficient at that skill. Some of Rachel’s favorite trips have been leading backpacking trips in the Grand Canyon and on the Appalachian Trail. In addition to backpacking, Rachel spends her free time stand up paddleboarding in-line skating, and cycling. Her favorite word is “AWESOME,” so be sure to say it when you participate in a trip/program with her.
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Selby Majewski

Naturalist
Primary Location: North Chagrin Nature Center
Selby joined the staff at North Chagrin Nature Center in 2014 after working seasonally at the CanalWay Center. She enjoys community-building in the outdoors, getting messy in the name of knowledge, and discovering nature in unexpected places with children and adults.
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Sharon Hosko

Manager, Brecksville Nature Center
Primary Location: Brecksville Nature Center
Sharon has been with Cleveland Metroparks since 1989. Her interests include nature photography, hiking, and bicycling. She specializes in aquatic biology, insects, and astronomy.
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Stacey Allen

Manager, CanalWay Visitor
Primary Location: CanalWay Center
Stacey has been a naturalist at Cleveland Metroparks since 1993. Her specialties are sharing nature with preschoolers and historic-cultural activities with all ages. She spends much of her free time working in fiber arts.
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Stefanie Verish

Naturalist
Primary Location: North Chagrin Nature Center
Stefanie became a member of the Look About Lodge staff in 2005. She creates art for various park projects and special events. Her favorite activities include public programming that encourage people to appreciate nature through artistic expression.
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Stephanie Bettac

Naturalist-Eco Explorers
Primary Location: CanalWay Center
Stephanie joined the Cleveland Metroparks staff in September 2014. Stephanie truly enjoys helping people of all ages enjoy their natural world. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, camping, and exploring with her family.
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Susan Stroemple

Information Specialist
Primary Location: Brecksville Nature Center
Sue joined Cleveland Metroparks in March 2015. She looks forward to incorporating her customer service background and love of the outdoors in her current position.
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Suzi McCarthy

Administrative Coordinator
Primary Location: Outdoor Experiences Administration
Suzi began her career with Cleveland Metroparks in June of 2014 as an Information Specialist at Rocky River Nature Center. She has since changed positions and is currently located at the Lakefront Administration Building. Suzi enjoys spending time outdoors and with her family.
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Terri Martincic

Information Specialist
Terri joined the team at the Watershed Stewardship Center at West Creek the week of the grand opening in June 2013. She has an unnatural affinity for citizen science bird surveys and pulling garlic mustard. She enjoys spending time with her family, exploring new places and any excuse to play outside.
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Traci Williams

Naturalist
Primary Location: Nature Tracks
Traci was an animal care/education intern and docent volunteer at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo before her current station as Naturalist with Outdoor Education. She previously worked with World Bird Sanctuary in Mystic, CT as a supervisor for free-flight bird shows. Her special interests include animal behavior dynamics (in training and care), raptors, dragonflies, and honey bees.
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Valerie Fetzer

Manager, Rocky River Nature Center
Primary Location: Rocky River Nature Center
Valerie has been with Cleveland Metroparks since 2001. She began her journey as an Education Specialist at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo where she coordinated the overnight and day camp programs. She then joined the Outdoor Education staff in July 2007. Currently working out of Rocky River Nature Center, Valerie strives to connect people of all ages with the natural beauty that surrounds them.
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Valerie Hearst

Recreation Specialist
Primary Location: Youth Outdoors
Valerie joined the Youth Outdoors team in 2006. Her interests include hiking, biking, snowshoeing, camping, and backpacking. She enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for outdoor adventure with youth of all ages.
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Wendy Weirich

Director of Outdoor Experiences
Primary Location: Outdoor Experiences Administration
Wendy Weirich started working with Cleveland Metroparks at Garfield Park Nature Center in 1993. She spent 14 years as the Manager/Naturalist at Look About Lodge in South Chagrin Reservation, and then managed Rocky River Nature Center. Wendy enjoys all the wonders of nature especially birds, wildflowers, and gardening in harmony with nature.