These enthusiastic, thoughtful and genuine folks are our Garden Guides for the UW Botanic Gardens Summer Camp at the Arboretum. They are charged with creating fun, educational, nature-based experiences for our campers. They have our 230 acre nature oasis to work with, their own experience and excitement to bring to the table, and a host of materials and curriculum to support their endeavors. Together we will build connection, community and nature awareness as we discover the wonders of the Arboretum. Each guide is paired with a high school student in our Junior Garden Guide program. We still have a few spots left in summer camp, come join us for a week of adventure!
Brian Marienfeld, Summer Garden Guide
My name is Brian and I am blessed to have had an amazing journey in my life, from working for a wilderness therapy organization to getting my Masters at the University of Washington and IslandWood. I am passionate about working with kids outdoors, hiking across this country, soul music, making pizza, and building strong caring communities to mention a few. I fell in love with Washington many years ago and am so grateful for this opportunity to help others connect to this incredible place. I look forward to bringing care and energy to my students and to the Arboretum community.
Tara Nichol, Summer Garden Guide
Tara was born in Seattle and grew up exploring the beautiful Northwest forests, coasts, lakes and rivers during her childhood. Tara graduated in 2007 with a BA in Environmental Education from Fairhaven College in Bellingham, WA. She has worked in Outdoor Education for eight years leading backpacking trips, sailing, and teaching about local ecology. Tara is trained as a Waldorf teacher, and loves the awe and beauty that outdoor experiences give to young people. She enjoys hiking, biking, singing and creating art.
My name is Stephanie and I am thrilled to be a part of the UWBG Education Team this summer! I was born and raised in New York City, but I have spent the last 7 years teaching outdoors in many diverse landscapes across the country. I moved to the Puget Sound 2 years ago to continue to pursue my passion for education through the graduate program at Islandwood on Bainbridge Island. I have spent this last year teaching fourth grade in Seattle Public Schools and I am really excited to be returning to my roots in the outdoor classroom! When I am not teaching, I can usually be found biking, birding, or farming. I am looking forward to exploring and making lots of discoveries in the Arboretum this summer with your child!
Sarah is a life long Seattle resident with deep northwest roots from her childhood years of playing outside and a strong interest in all things nature. She developed and piloted summer camp at the Arboretum three years ago and has since grown the program into what it is today – 7 weeks of outdoor, nature-based fun in the heart of Seattle. Sarah keeps herself busy by developing new programs and building community at the Arboretum. On the weekends Sarah can be found climbing, hiking, scrambling and backpacking in the mountains. Sarah is looking forward to connecting with returning families and meeting all the ones!