Our People

We take the time to listen to you and to consider your wants and needs. We believe in our mission and values, and we care about your experience. We make things happen with a positive attitude toward action. We sweat the details, but also consider the big picture. We have very little turnover with our employees, which translates to a seamless professional experience with everything we do. We define customer service as a relentless pursuit of excellence in communication, follow-through, and in exceeding expectations.

Lara Kreuter is the Co-Director of the Nature Place. She is a Texas A&M graduate with a double major in Wildlife and Fisheries, and Forestry Science. During her time in college she worked a leadership camp, volunteered with small mammal trapping, and various other animal related projects. She was also lucky enough to attend a study abroad program in Dominica, researching Imperial Parrots. She has loved animals from a young age and was able to peruse that ambition through her studies. After graduating she did an internship in Arizona studying Red Faced Warblers. Through the combination of experiences, Lara moved towards teaching, and had the privilege of working in the outdoor education for three years at different education centers in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Texas. She finally moved into the assistant director role at The Nature Place in the Spring of 2018. CLICK HERE to contact Lara.

Martie Jones is the Co-Director of The Nature Place. Martie grew up in the rolling farmlands of Pennsylvania. She has been in the Outdoor Education industry for over 10 years with 6 of those spent at Colorado Outdoor Education Center. In her time here she has played a variety of roles. These have been leading horse-pack trips, developed and implemented programs at Big Spring Ranch for Boys (COEC’s summer camp), facilitated team building, led hikes at The Nature Place and filled many other roles.

Decidedly outdoorsy, she loves playing and teaching sports, cycling, and rock climbing. With a passion for experiential education. She enjoys taking students of all ages through team-building and leadership development experiences. Martie particularly enjoys helping teams maximize a sense of ownership and encouraging transformation through innovation and creativity. CLICK HERE to contact Martie. 

Shelley Churchill joined The Nature Place in 2001 as the office manager. She has more than 20 years of experience in accounting and guest services. She studied business and accounting at the Community College of Aurora. Shelley’s friendliness, organizational skills, and enthusiasm contribute greatly to those around her. She loves spending time with her family, and animals, and enjoys hiking, camping, and fishing.

Kitchen staff. Our experienced kitchen staff works hard to accommodate special dietary requests, and they take pride in their cooking. Guests regularly comment on how delicious the meals are, and they joke about how much weight they’ve gained while here!

Housekeeping. Our housekeeping staff ensures that our guests are comfortable by accommodating and anticipating needs in a prompt and courteous manner. They perform daily touch-ups in addition to cleaning, making beds, and caring for the rooms and other facilities.

Maintenance. Our maintenance staff is passionate about caring for our buildings and related systems. The team works hard to keep things up-to-date and shipshape.

Staff naturalist biographies

Bud Wobus (PhD, Stanford; MA, Harvard; BA Washington University).

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