Bluff Lake Team

OUR TEAM

Many people and organizations contribute to the success of Bluff Lake Nature Center, including:

BLNC Staff

Rachel Crouch
Executive
Director
email Rachel

Rachel Crouch is a Colorado native with a mission to make culture and nature accessible to everyone. She has a degree from the University of Colorado Boulder in History and Education. Rachel has worked in the nonprofit field for over 10 years, including spending time at the Missouri History Museum and the St. Louis Science Center. Rachel has been the Executive Director of BLNC since 2018, and has helped grow the organizations education programs and accessibility to diverse communities. Rachel also serves on the Board of Directors for two partner organizations: Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership and Friends of the Front Range Wildlife Refuges. Her favorite thing about Bluff Lake is finding bones and going on insect hunts with kids!

Heidi Pfeiffer
Education
Manager
email Heidi

Heidi first joined the Bluff Lake team as a summer camp counselor, then took over as Education Manager in December of 2018. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Ph.D. in experimental psychology focused on education and health psychology. The beauty of Colorado’s natural spaces drew her to relocate from her hometown in Wisconsin, but she is still a part-time professor at UW-Milwaukee teaching online psychological statistics. She loves working with kids, hiking, biking, gardening, and bird watching. Her favorite thing about Bluff Lake is seeing kids’ wonder and natural curiosity as they explore and learn about the outdoors.

Jacob Reta
Site Manager
email Jacob

Jacob is a graduate of New Mexico State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Fish and Wildlife Conservation Ecology. He is the Site Manager for Bluff Lake Nature Center. One thing that he loves about Bluff Lake Nature Center is interacting with the kiddos that visit Bluff Lake.

Leila Regan-Porter
Development Manager
email Leila

Leila Regan-Porter has had a profound love of nature ever since her childhood days of hiking the countryside of England, where she was born. Prior to Bluff Lake Nature Center, Leila lived in Macon, Ga. and worked at the Otis Redding Foundation, where she managed everything from marketing and administrative duties to fundraising campaigns and grant writing. She also served as grant writer for the Tubman Museum, and has written for Paste Magazine, Performing Songwriter, the Macon Telegraph, Macon Magazine, and more. She served as president for the boards of Bragg Jam and Main Street Macon. She loves visiting Bluff Lake with her daughter and husband, and seeing her child’s appreciation for the outdoors grow through education and exploration.

Carly Winner
Environmental Educator
email Carly

Carly is one of Bluff Lake’s Colorado Association for Environmental Education- AmeriCorps program 2020-2021 members. She is a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Environmental Studies and Elementary Education. Throughout college, she interned at several environmental non-profits, worked in field-based research labs, and taught in classrooms with students of all ages. Carly is excited to work with youth and get them excited about our beautiful outdoors!

Chira Noce
Environmental Educator
email Chira

Chira is one of Bluff Lake’s Colorado Association for Environmental Education- AmeriCorps program 2021 members. Born in Denver, Colorado and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Chira has developed a love for animals and the outdoors, exhibiting this through international conservation projects, working with students ages 5-12 at city summer camps, and facilitating energy education activities for high school students. She is excited to serve and bring our youth closer to nature and get them excited about being outside! Her hobbies include hiking, backpacking, paddle boarding, occasional skiing, and tasting new ice cream. Chira will graduate in May 2021 from Regis University with her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and minors in Mathematics and Physical Education and is eager to see where serving at Bluff Lake will take her in the future.

Craig Jackson
Accountant
email Craig

BLNC Office
Main Phone
720-708-4147

2021 Summer Camp Counselors

Arrianna Towner
Camp Counselor

Arrianna recently moved to Denver from San Diego where she grew up. She got her BA in Anthropology from San Francisco State University and while there fell in love with the Bay Area. She lived in San Francisco for a few more years after she graduated. Arrianna is very passionate about living a sustainable lifestyle and teaching the next generation about environmental education. She believes that this is the key to combating the climate crisis.

Kristin Palyo
Camp Counselor

We are thrilled to have Kristin returning for her second consecutive summer as a counselor at Bluff Lake Summer Camp! Kristin is a Colorado native attending CU Boulder and studying Psychology. Her hobbies include skiing, skateboarding, and hiking. She loves all things outdoors and is very passionate about environmental sustainability.

Marcia Nobuyama
Camp Counselor

Marcia was born and raised in Seattle, WA. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Washington State University and has taught art for 6 years as well as being a henna artist during the summer. She owns her own company, Old Soul Henna and has travelled all over the US working at festivals. She enjoys hiking with her 11 year old Border Collie/ Australian Shepherd, Skyy and wants to share her passion for the outdoors.

Nicholas

Mouton
Camp Counselor

Nicholas was born and raised here in occupied Arapaho and Cheyenne territory, in the valleys and plains below the front range of the rocky mountains. They grew up playing outside, and observing the web of life that thrived in their childhood backyard and along the ditch behind the neighborhood. In adulthood Nicholas has spent a majoity of their time outside as well; in gardens behind preschools, on farms and homesteads, or in the wilderness as a guide for youth. Learning and Teaching and Being, with Nature and with young humans is what has brought Nicholas to Bluff Lake Nature Center.

Austin Domenico
Camp Counselor

Austin was born and raised in New York. He has a Bachelor’s degree in special education/childhood education. He has just recently moved to Boulder this summer because of his love for the outdoors. He has grown up always loving the outdoors, exploring, hiking and skiing. He has frequently traveled to the Adirondacks region and hiked many high peaks and hopes to someday hike the 46 Adirondack High Peaks. He looks forward to many hikes in the Colorado mountains.

Katie Johnson
Camp Counselor

Katie was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado. Growing up she enjoyed activities such as hiking and skiing. She is currently working towards a Bachelors of Arts in Marine Affairs at the University of Miami as well as minors in Ecosystem Science and Policy and Africana Studies. She looks forward to providing an educational and fun camp for the kids this summer.

Jay Ballard
Camp Counselor

Jay was born in Las Vegas where he has worked with kids for over 6 years. He got the chance to become an instructor with an after school program while he played semi professional soccer. After that first year he went on to become site leader for that program, instructional assistant, PE assistant, SPED instructional assistant, and soccer coach. He’s new to the area and is excited to join Bluff Lake and is looking forward to a great summer!

Youth Education Volunteers

Greg Ruterbories
Youth Education and Site Stewardship Intern

Greg grew up in Colorado and has also lived in North Carolina. He has been lucky to have opportunities to share experiences with his children in both mountain and ocean environments. Greg is participating in his Internship here at Bluff Lake Nature Center as part of his Outdoor Education degree through Red Rocks Community College. His future aspiration is to inspire the next generation through stewardship and exploration of the natural world.

Sandra Gomez
Youth Educator and Spanish Translator

Sandra is a recent transplant to Colorado but has loved her time as a member of Central Park. Since finding Bluff Lake on her first couple of running routes, she has loved running the 1.03  mile loop trying to make it out there as much as possible.  She is currently a PhD student in Counseling Psychology at Columbia University focusing on Latinx populations’ mental health and career development. Specifically, Sandra has a passion for community and creating inclusive spaces that allow people to thrive, like Bluff Lake.

Kora Flaming
Youth Educator

Kora has been volunteering at Bluff Lake since fall of 2018. Before she retired, she taught fourth and fifth grade in Aurora Public Schools at Montview Elementary and Jewell Elementary for 31 years. She has always loved teaching kids about science and seeing them get excited about learning outdoors. She now spends her time volunteering with several organizations, taking care of with her 3 grandchildren, hiking and walking, cooking and baking, and church activities.

Emily Seddon
Youth Educator

Emily has a Master of Science in Behavior, Evolution, and Conservation. Bluff Lake Nature Center caught her eye because she is passionate about educating youth about the natural world to inspire a new generation to appreciate and care for the environment. She is a curious spirit, fascinated by nature and the great outdoors, and prefers to be in the mountains observing wildlife and studying plants as much as possible.

Sarah Bogdan
Youth Educator

Sarah has been a dedicated volunteer at Bluff Lake since fall of 2017. She has a master’s degree and is an excellent environmental educator. The students and other volunteers love working with Sarah because she is genuine, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and patient.

Barb DeSarro
Youth Educator

Barb first visited Bluff Lake with her son’s class back in 2002 and really enjoyed it.  After recently retiring from CDOT as a roadway designer/project manager she is happy to rekindle her BA in Environmental Conservation by leading field trips.  She loves teaching kids about biology, science, maps and seeing them learn through exploring nature.  In her spare time she enjoys volunteering, hiking, yoga, biking, gardening, traveling and spending time with her two adult kids.

Karen Heaney-Chapman
Youth Educator

Karen Chapman has been enjoying the abundance of water fowl, frogs, deer, red tailed hawks and other creatures as well as the beautiful sunsets at Bluff Lake for many years.  When she found out there was an opportunity to share her love of the park with others, she signed up as a volunteer.  Karen is a retired educator for DPS.

 

Board of Directors

Jonathon Fitzpatrick
President
Director, Project Development, Pivot Energy

Britta Blodgett
Vice President
Sr. Communications Strategist, Colorado Workforce Development Council

Jennifer Thurston
Member
Program Director, Anschutz Medical Campus

Steve Lundt
Member
Certified Lake Manager, Metro Wastewater Reclamation District
Member, Colorado Lake & Reservoir Management Association
Member, North American Lake Management Society

Luke Galli
Treasurer
Strategic Planning Manager, Wells Fargo

Harold Skramstad
Member
Community Volunteer

Dave Santucci
Member
VP Marketing, Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau

Lisa Pera
Secretary
Eligibility Division Deputy Director, Department of Health Care Policy and Financing-State of Colorado

Jared Luner
Member
Public Policy Analyst, Xcel Energy

Steve Hebert
Member
Planning & Economic Development Manager, Town of Bennett, CO

Ginni Dickinson
Member
Online Counselor, BetterHelp

 

[If you are interested in serving on our Board of Directors, please contact Jonathan Fitzpatrick at jonathan.fitzpatrick@gmail.com]

Major Donors