Our Naturalists Team encompasses Outdoor Leaders, Naturalists, and Lead Naturalists- all of whom specialize in delivering high quality educational and meaningful outdoor experiences to our communities. Many of our Naturalists are alumni who have completed one or more of our Youth Leadership programs but have continued to strengthen and expand their skills to enter the outdoor workforce. We are grateful for their expertise and are proud to see them lead our communities..
CNC Volunteer Naturalists are essential to the success of our programs that are delivered in partnership with the National Park Service and the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority at Franklin Canyon Park. Our Volunteer Naturalists provide guided interpretive nature programs, host our nature center, and facilitate environmental education programs for school field trips both online and in-person at Franklin Canyon Park in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Community Nature Connection values the diversity of human experience, perspectives, and identities. We believe that this spectrum of diversity should be celebrated and central to our work. We understand that representation and inclusion of diverse voices and individuals are critical to achieving our mission of increasing access to the outdoors for all communities. We are committed to recruiting and hiring a diverse staff, board, and volunteer base to continue our work of engaging communities who have been institutionally and historically underrepresented in the fields of conservation and outdoor recreation.
Founder, Amy Lethbridge (she/her), PhD
Amy grew up running wild through the creeks and forests of Northern California. A 1988 encounter with schoolchildren in Southern California who had never seen the ocean opened her eyes to the deficit of nature that many urban children experience and her life’s passion was found. Amy has worked for the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) for over 28 years and is a Deputy Executive Officer. She serves as a pro bono Executive Director of Community Nature Connection, as she did when it was previously named the Mountains Education Program (MEP). Amy has a B.A. in Liberal Studies, a Masters in Organizational Management and a PhD in Leadership and Change and, as adjunct professor at Antioch University - Los Angeles, she was part of the academic team that developed the Masters in Urban Sustainability Degree. She recently served as the President of the National Association of Interpretation and is a Certified Interpretive Guide, Manager, and Trainer. She has trained tour guides and park/natural area managers in outdoor education and heritage interpretation in nine countries. Her very favorite thing is when she is sharing an outdoor activity with a young person and they tell her, “I saw this once on TV.”