Who's behind this crazy idea of NatureConnect NW?
Together, our all-volunteer council has nearly 50 combined years of nature connection and exploration. Since 1998 we've engaged with the beings, places, and seasons of NatureConnect, while also following our individual paths – exploring sacred landscapes, ecosystems, and creatures from Alaska to Peru, Scotland to Haida Gwaii, through all the seasons. Each of our hearts and souls feels joyfully compelled to share the magic and mystery of time in nature, where Earth speaks with healing, guidance and inspiration whenever we become present to Her.
Individually and collectively, we are the Vision Keepers for the Mission, Vision and Values of NatureConnect NW, including planning, programming and community building.
Begun in Autumn 2013, the Council has transformed NatureConnect from a one-woman commitment to the Earth, into a collective and collaborative adventure. At heart, we do what we love and invite others to join us.
Each council member is committed to her own path of development in deep nature connection and her callings from our Earth home. We share our learnings as we study and play together. Twice each year we go on retreat to tap into the evolving Spirit of NatureConnect NW, mentor one another in our respective paths, and plan events and offerings for the coming month. We are a group of peers dedicated to the mission of fostering kinship with Earth and all her creatures.
Judy todd, founder, board chair, council member
suzan hill, board secretary/treasurer, council member
Judy started NatureConnect in 1998 in Oregon, her native home. Base camp remains in the Pacific Northwest where she spends time with four grandchildren, the NatureConnect NW Council, and many communities of people working to shape a livable future for all species and offspring of Earth.
Judy’s background includes teaching, leadership coaching, non-profit consulting and development, writing, and nature connection mentoring. She is an accomplished naturalist and poet. Her passion for Earth and its creatures has inspired hundreds of people over many years to engage more deeply with the natural world. She has published a chapbook of poems, The Canticle & The Elegy, and is working on her next collection. Judy currently serves on the board of directors for three additional non-profits: Radical Joy for Hard Times, Sacred Earth Foundation, and The Great March for Climate Action.
For 35 years, Oregon has been Suzan's home. After earning degrees in anthropology and theology, and creating careers in health care, higher education, ministry, and non-profit administration, she has found her final career: working in the nature connection movement and in changing our country’s food system.
A student of the Kamana Naturalist Training Program, 8 Shields Foundation, and the School of Forest Medicine, Suzan is an elder, a storycatcher, and a voice for the planet.
jan shannon, board member, council member
Jan Shannon has been participating with NatureConnect since 2002, inspired by her lifelong passion for engaging with nature’s mysteries, human and other than human. As a result of her VisionQuest in 2004, Jan has been working to fulfill her calling as a nature connection mentor and facilitator of personal and spiritual development.
Jan’s background includes management, computer training and helpdesk support, consulting, business ownership, executive coaching, bus driving, dog training, and dental assisting (ever the Gemini). She is a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified coach and coach trainer, a shamanic practitioner, and a certified facilitator of outdoor adventure learning and family constellations.
Jan is happiest when surrounded by animals, especially her Golden Retrievers Sienna and Baxter, and her cat, Daphne.