OUR TEAM

Amara at Smith Rock

Amara Dreamer

Founder, Program Director, and Instructor

As a lover of nature, Amara Dreamer teaches connection and respect for the natural world in all of her pursuits. She founded Wildheart Nature School in 2011. Amara’s nature experience includes farming edible and medicinal plants, facilitating classes to preserve indigenous and natural life ways, working for a wilderness protection non-profit, backpacking, undergoing nature-based rite of passage initiations, and spending a lot of time simply being in outdoors. A student of wisdom traditions from North and South America, Amara holds a Bachelor’s degree from Arizona’s Prescott College, with a competence in Cultural Anthropology and a breadth in Environmental Studies. In alignment with the college’s mission to promote social justice and environmental sustainability, Amara focuses much of her time on social and environmental education for children and adults in her community. She believes in bringing young people as well as adults the opportunity to develop an intimate understanding of nature that will help them live in harmony with the earth. Amara is certified in Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED by the American Heart Association.

Dreamer with staff

Rainbow Dreamer

Founder and Instructor

Rainbow Dreamer lives up to his name as a visionary healer, artist, and teacher. He founded Wildheart Nature School in 2011. As a natural mentor to young people, he offers a caring, enlightening, and joyful presence. He has spent the last few years learning the art of brain tanning, and keeps a regular practice of tanning hides for sale and for personal use. While he primarily works with deer skin, Dreamer has experience with elk, beaver, raccoon, squirrel, otter fish, snake, buffalo, and bear. When he is not tanning and creating clothes and sacred items with his leather, Dreamer spends much of his time following these animals in the woods, learning deeply about art of tracking and communicating with nature. His most recent passions are ultra-marathons and paddleboarding. Dreamer completed his Bachelor of Arts Degree at Prescott College with a competence in Medical Anthropology and a Breadth in Environmental Studies. Gifted at working with young people, Dreamer facilitates excitement, curiosity, and respect for the natural world. He is certified by the IAKP (International Association of Kambo Practitioners) to offer Kambo in a professional, safe, legal container. He is also certified in Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED by the American Heart Association.

 

Trail riding, instructor on horse in Bend Oregon

Courtney Mariposa

Instructor and Administrator

Courtney grew up in California in the lands of White Sage and Coastal Live Oaks. She spent her childhood coated in a layer of salt from the sea, getting lost in the high desert mountains on horseback, camping under the stars and being present with nature in silence and stillness. As a teenager she had an awakening which sparked her un-schooling process and lead her down a path of healing herself and the earth by sustainable practices and reverence for the natural world. Through her activism for the protection of the wilderness, endangered species, and water, she is a guide and advocate for sustainable ways of living. She believes that children are especially sensitive and intuitive to the forest, and that they are essential to guide society to its roots of living in commune with nature.

She joined Healing Hands school of Holistic Health in 2012 where she studied massage therapy of eastern and western traditions and learned ancient plant wisdom and medicine applications. As a healer and young mother of two boys, she brings a nurturing and empathetic energy to the children she guides. Her intention is to unveil the magic of the forest, and empower children to embrace their true essence, the place where the universe resides in each of them. To have meaningful experiences in nature, with a reciprocal relationship with the earth, giving to and receiving.

Today she spends her time exploring the forests of Oregon with her mustangs, organic mini-farming, enjoying Sit Spot in the woods and unschooling her two beloved sons.  Courtney is certified in Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED by the American Heart Association.

 

Photograph of Tess Vining

Tess Vining

Early Childhood Waldorf Teacher and Kindergarten Director

Inspired by the holistic approach to education in Waldorf pedagogy, Miss Tess completed a two-year intensive teacher training at Waldorf Teacher Education in Eugene, Oregon, and began working as an Aftercare Teacher at Corvallis Waldorf School, before becoming Director of Early Childhood at CWS. The incredible community of the Waldorf School of Bend brought Miss Tess to Bend in 2016, where she assisted in early childhood and grades classes before leading the Huckleberry Preschool.  During summers, her son attended Wildheart Nature School camps and learned environmental stewardship and the virtues of being a reliable, resilient and loving friend in a greater community.  Integrating the values of Wildheart nature education and Waldorf, the Wildheart KinderCamp was formed to serve Kindergarten-aged children. When not teaching on the farm, Miss Tess is playing in the PNW mountains with her family and friends. Miss Tess is certified in Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED by the American Heart Association.

 

Margaret-profile

Margaret Persaud

Early Childhood Teacher

A New York native, Margaret has worked closely with children and parents for over a decade in the classroom, at home and in summer camps. She began her undergraduate studies majoring in Early Childhood Education. Becoming discouraged with the current model of education, she left school in search of a more holistic approach. While living in Sedona, Arizona, she discovered Maria Montessori and Rudolph Steiner’s alternative pedagogies of instruction. It was then that she started to structure her philosophy of education around the physical, academic, social-emotional, and spiritual needs of the child. She believes that an integration of these practices will nurture children to be uniquely themselves while creating a strong sense of social responsibility and accountability for caring for our planet.

Margaret received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Early Childhood Education from Long Island University. She studied at the West Side Montessori School receiving her American Montessori Society certification for children ages three to six. It was there that she became involved as a Diversity Council representative, a SEED (Seeking Equity in Education and Diversity) member and Peace advocate. Margaret has worked with schools to provide Social-Emotional Learning workshops focusing on non-violent communication, kindness curriculum, and mind-body-wellness practices for educators and children alike. She believes that the transformation of self is the key to transforming our relationships and our community. The collective well-being can only be addressed as deeply and authentically as we show up to meet ourselves.

Margaret and her daughter Grace enjoy cooking, yoga, dance, art, meditation, camping and soaking in hot springs. Margaret is certified in Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED by the American Heart Association.

Laura Parker

Laura Parker

Instructor 

Laura Marie Parker was born in Bend, Oregon, where she spent much of her early childhood years climbing the crab apple tree, cross-country skiing and hunting for crayfish in the river across the street from her house. From a young age she helped her dad clean wild poultry after his hunts, which nurtured an important appreciation for the giveaway of the animals. 

Laura Marie Parker is a published Author, intuitive healer, Community Created Herbalist (CCH), tarot reader, Wildheart Nature School Instructor, Green Witch, mother to three boys, and a part of Team Soulmate (with her partner Jacob Joseph Norris). Laura published her first novel, “The Year I Lived Dangerously: A Traveling Memoir” in 2018; which is an exploration of finding Autonomy and her Soul’s purpose, after growing up trying to protect others from facing their own shadows. 

After birthing three boys and spending many years studying the art of healing with intuition, tarot and herbs, she furthered her studies in 2015 when she began her correspondence course with Susun Weed, her mentor in Herbalism. She practices the Wise Woman Tradition and has many mentors, including Susun S. Weed and Lynn V. Andrews.   Laura offers shamanic herbal consultations,  ceremony for life transitions, herbal classes and workshops, tarot Readings and family Herbalism. Laura lives in Bend, Oregon with her sweetheart their three boys.

She is certified in First Aid/CPR.

 

Katerina Brown, Wildheart Instructor

Amber Grace Kliger

Instructor 

Amber is an ally, big sister, teacher and loving guardian to the children she gets to work with. As a long time nanny and outdoor educator, she is always looking forward to playing with the little ones and seeing what she can teach them, as well as what sparks their joy and curiosity!

Having worked in the Wilderness Therapy Industry for several years, Amber spent time working one-on-one with troubled youth as a field instructor. She lived and worked in the Wilderness with each therapy group for 8 consecutive days every other week. She advanced to be a Senior instructor, taking on the additional responsibilities of managing the structure of the days, staff team, department communications, and much of the field logistics. This helps her be confident in co-facilitating an outdoor interpersonal program, as well as working with youth and any troubles that arise on the day to day.

As a longtime lover of nature and the wilderness, Amber has spent countless hours camping, backpacking, hiking, and exploring. Over the last several years, she’s found interest and joy in learning more specifically about ancestral skills as well as foraging and wildcrafting. She holds a current Adult/Pediatric CPR cert, and has Wilderness First Responder training. Amber loves to share a digestible version of outdoor skills and fun facts with the littles when learning opportunities arise, as well as step back and let them self guide their experience.

When Amber is not working with kids, you can find her working her craft in the healing arts as an Oregon Certified LMT, cooking or wildcrafting in the kitchen, or gone on a nature excursion. 

Amber looks forward to lovingly spending time with the kids that come through Wildheart Nature School and being of service where I can!

 

Profile Photos of Horyu

Horyu Scott Clouser

Instructor and Adminstrator

Born and raised in southeast Idaho, Horyu from a young age loved magic, fantasy, going camping, climbing trees, curiously observing insects, and the sense of immense wonder that occurs when in wild places. He is a certified Sound Healer and Reiki Master, and is currently studying Permaculture Design with the intention of bringing about greater awareness to living in harmony with our planet through regenerative practices and principles. He enjoys hiking, gardening/farming, playing music, kayaking, paddle-boarding, working on bushcraft/primitive skills, and dancing. He is fascinated with that which is mythical, magical, sacred, and it brings him joy to nurture and share that relationship with all who are open to tapping into the beauty of life that is ever present. Nature is a living library, and when we are humble enough to realize this, the doors to a wonder of knowledge and wisdom become available. He truly feels that the next generations are our future, and we must do all we can to give them the tools to thrive and have meaningful connections with all life.

He is certified in Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED by the American Heart Association.

Sophia Rose profile photo in front of flowers

Sophia Rose Hofelich

Instructor 

Growing up in the woods of a rural town of southern Illinois, Sophia Rose began her life deeply embedded in nature. Throughout her childhood, she spent the majority of her time creating her own world of fantasy and magic, with which she is still deeply connected. 

Sophia found purpose in healing arts and completed her Bachelor’s degree in exercise science, with intentions of creating a practice centered around healing through connection to what is innate and authentic. 

Sophia has spent time studying the harmonies of life through travel and exploration, as well as continuing her education in herbalism, botany, and ecology. With curiosity and love, Sophia has found herself working with wild food gardens, primitive skills, womb health, and arts of many forms. Her passions revolve around environmental and social justice to create a safe place for all of life to thrive. With her adventurous and peaceful nature, Sophia Rose strives to bring children and adults into their truest most joyous selves. She is also certified in Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED by the American Heart Association.

 

Nicole-Blume-Wildheart-Teacher

Nicole Blume

Instructor

As the daughter of a retired National Park Ranger, Nicole grew up with a deep love and respect for nature that has inspired the course of her life’s path. Although born in Los Angeles, her parents took every opportunity to get outdoors on hikes, kayaks, canoes, snorkeling adventures, camping trips, and remote travel locales, from trekking across Alaskan glaciers to hiking in tropical Fijian forests to swimming with sea turtles in Hawaii. Blessed to have access to nature as a child, Nicole is passionate about sharing her love of nature with children from all walks of life. 

Nicole also grew up on a backyard sanctuary for abandoned, abused, and endangered tortoises, where she cared for a wide variety of rare and exotic species. From her beloved tortoises she gained a deep wisdom about slow time and the seasonal  rhythms of animals. A longtime Girl Scout who earned her Gold Award and led countless camps for kids, Nicole also learned invaluable nature-based and leadership skills while immersed in a community of caring and empowered women and girls.

As a lifelong lover of young adult fantasy literature, Nicole has read thousands of fantasy books, written numerous stories, and created fantasy-themed art projects in a variety of mediums, from drawing and painting to wood, metal, leather, and stone. Her love of fantasy books led her to major in English Literature at UC Berkeley with a concentration in Children’s Literature. After graduating, she quickly became disillusioned with the corporate world, and returned to school to become a teacher.

In addition to earning her preliminary multiple subjects teaching credential, Nicole graduated from both the Waldorf Institute of Southern California and the Waldorf Practical Arts Training program. As a dual-certified Waldorf teacher, she has worked as a mixed-age kindergarten summer camp teacher, teaching assistant, woodworking and practical arts teacher, and class teacher for a variety of ages and grade levels. She enjoys beeswax candle dipping, reed and pine needle basket weaving, eco-dye printing, traditional woodworking, and a variety of other natural crafts. 

Nicole felt happiest and the most at peace as a child when she was meandering the woods and forests, crafting simple playthings out of twigs and leaves, and dreaming of the day she would leave the big city for a countryside life–which she found here in Bend, Oregon with her life partner and two children. 

She is certified First Aid CPR AED by the American Red Cross

 

Joe Abel

Instructor

Joe grew up living in Southern California in sunny San Diego. Joe was fortunate to live so close to the beach and exposed to San Diego’s rich biological diversity, both on land and in the waters off the coastline at an early age. Throughout his childhood, he would attend the Junior Rangers program bordering San Ysidro and Tijunna learning about the ecology of estuaries and the importance of wetlands to the ecosystem in Southern/ Baja California. This ultimately ignited a lifelong meaningful appreciation of nature and inspired him to act as a steward in his community. During his summers in his childhood every year he would also visit his grandparents in upstate New York near Rochester and be immersed in the tranquil beauty of its rural surroundings, including trips to the local fish hatchery and the Audobon Bird Sanctuary near his grandparents home. These experiences would help stimulate his deep love of being outside in nature throughout his life.

Early on in life being around his younger neighbors he found himself to be a mentor to them and found his calling of working with youth. Joe graduated from San Jose State with a Bachelor’s Degree in Child & Adolescent Development with a focus on working in community programs. He has worked with children/adolescents for about a decade in various educational/recreational settings ranging from children museums, after school programs, summer camps, and city recreation programs for youth. Growing tired of the typical education model system, Joe decided to leave/move from California to Oregon in search of an educational program for youth that aligned more in tune with his own beliefs/core values which led him to be an instructor here at Wildheart Nature School! In his free time, Joe likes to hike/explore the central Oregon region with his dog, ride his bike, skateboard, go long distance running, paddle boarding and creating various art projects/crafts.

Anna-Profile

Anna Causley

Instructor

Growing up in Northern Michigan, Anna was immersed in the beauty of the Great Lakes and Northern forests full of her favorite birch and cedar trees. Spending most of her childhood summers at a summer camp in Canada, Anna fell in love with the Canadian wilderness and the many lakes and rivers she called her home while on numerous canoe trips. She developed a deep reverence and love for nature which has carried throughout her life. Anna attended Naropa University for both her undergraduate and graduate studies receiving a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with a focus on Permaculture Design and Herbal Healing and a Masters in Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy. A wilderness therapy internship brought her to Bend, Oregon a couple years ago where she completed her graduate degree and decided to stay. Anna focused her masters thesis on early childhood attachment and how it is the foundation for children to learn and grow into healthy adults. It is her joy to show up for children as a secure adult and help facilitate their exploration of who they are in the nature of life. In her free time Anna can be found frolicking in the forest or writing songs in her faerie home.

She is certified in Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED by the American Heart Association.

Katerina Brown, Wildheart Instructor

Katerina Brown

Instructor 

Katerina Brown

As an international traveler with deep roots in the Appalachian mountains, Katerina has a strong connection with the natural world. She desires for all people to have access to nature education and strives to help others appreciate and respect our Earth.

Her kind, compassionate personality and innate ability to teach and work with children was sparked in her youth when she helped raise her younger sister. From there, she taught at summer camps, Girl Scouts, art and music classes, mentored, and tutored one-on-one. Realizing how to offer these gifts in college (University of North Carolina at Wilmington), she studied Social Work and focused on supporting and empowering children and families, specifically those at-risk, low income, and disabled. She ran non-profit programs such as the Strengthening Families and the Grandparent Support Network. Katerina believes everyone deserves a safe outlet for full self-expression.

She is also an Earth Path Education (Asheville, NC) instructor, with a dedication of inspiring and connecting as many children, despite age or demographic, to the magic of our surrounding plants, animals, and elements. As a dancer and a certified yoga teacher for children and adults, she truly believes in the power of body movement.

Today, she brings her love of nature into her pottery work and her birth work. She is a certified labor (Hypnobabies) and postpartum doula, lactation counselor, and placenta specialist who has also studied with herbalists in women’s health. Having grown her own foods and medicines, she believes in the healing power of plants and is an advocate for living with the land. Her dedication to sacred songs and sweat lodge ceremonies has allowed her to dive deep into her spirituality and truly understand the importance of preserving tradition and the earth itself.

 

Rainbow Dreamer

Clay Savely

Instructor 

Clay was fortunate to grow up in the dense Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina on a magical property with flowing creeks, springs, lush, diverse rain-enhanced forests, and abundant animal life. He spent most of his time outdoors as his parents encouraged a deep connection with the spirit of the land. Clay developed a deep connection with the forest and the unseen forces alive within the micro and macro worlds of wonder at an early age. Through growing food with his family, he became intimately connected with the cycles of the seasons.

As he grew older, Clay learned more about himself and the world through traveling, music, art, and community. Eventually going to college at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington on the Atlantic Ocean, he discovered a deep connection with fire and water through the presence of the ocean and the wonders of creating fire out in the forests at night. He studied Environmental Science, Film, and Creative Writing with some time abroad in Australia as well with an abundance of diving on the Great Barrier Reef. Clay eventually realized that instead of being a scientist and studying nature, he wanted to work with children and open their minds and hearts up to the vast wonders and spiritual connection that he had experienced first-hand as a child and young adult. He was called back to the mountains after school and began teaching for experiential education groups outside of Asheville. He fell in love with guiding trips in Pisgah National Forest, a temperate rainforest with remnants of the magic first encountered and revered by the Cherokee peoples.

Clay is passionate about teaching primitive skills, survival skills, plant knowledge, environmental science, writing, nature art, and ceramics among many other things. He particularly enjoys sharing his father’s unique art form of impressing plants and flowers into clay and creating complex designs inspired by nature’s majestic creations. He is certified in Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED by the American Heart Association.

 

 

Profile Photo of Elizabeth Stauder

Elizabeth Stauder

Instructor 

Elizabeth is a first-generation Central Oregon local blessed with many memories of hiking, camping, and exploring in the abundant nature here. She has also been privileged to encounter a wide variety of natural landscapes and a diversity of cultures through her travels during her 20’s.

Elizabeth has over a decade of experience in teaching, mentoring, and serving communities both locally and abroad, working with both adults and children of various ages, including in Spanish. With a degree in Sociology, and minors in English, Spanish and Gender Studies, she has a fascination for studying and shepherding the harmonization of systems, as well as a love of story-telling, cross-cultural learning, and inviting society to greater degrees of inclusivity.

As a lover of both wild nature and human nature, Elizabeth has also studied the mind-body connection and its role in health and healing in various forms over the past decade. She is currently completing a three-year long, international professional training program that is part of the leading-edge of Trauma-Safe therapy, called Organic Intelligence®. Elizabeth has an active coaching practice, Entering The Stream LLC, and supports clients to heal trauma patterns through nervous system regulation and synchronization, during the days when she is not in the nature classroom. Her study and understanding of healthy attunement, and biological rhythms of healing, growth, and wellness has informed her mentoring at a foundational level. She has brought these tools into the classroom, creating a naturally therapeutic environment, and has coached and trained other teachers in these skills.

Elizabeth began working for Wildheart Nature School in 2016, where she found the forest to be the ideal classroom for supporting and enhancing children’s natural inclination to learn and grow, through synchronization with the earth’s natural rhythms and living relationships. She then became a Forest Kindergarten teacher for the Bend Forest School in 2019, and spent two and a half years developing more longevity and consistency of relationship with her students & co-teachers there, as well as confident leadership in a year-round, all-outdoors classroom. She is looking forward to co-creating an inclusive space of curiosity, reciprocity, enjoyment and meaningful community with the Wildheart Kindergarten beginning this Fall 2021.

While not teaching children in the forest or seeing coaching clients, Elizabeth can be found enjoying nature hikes, gardening, cooking organic local food, catching up with friends, spending time in spiritual community, reading and writing, studying and practicing sustainable living, and relaxing with her sweetie and their adorable cat-baby.

Elizabeth is certified in Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED by the American Heart Association.

 

Alsia, Wildheart Instructor Outdoors

Alsia Hunter

Instructor 

Alsia grew up in the Southern Mountains of Tennessee. Nestled just outside of the Cumberland Gap, she spent most of her days outside in the creeks and forests surrounding her home. Mudpies, puddles, and woodland creatures filled her being with joy. She spent most of her days, alone, with the creatures of the forest basking in the unknown of her own imagination. On special days, her parents would take off into the wilderness with her, showing her how to white water canoe, hunt for mushrooms, and identify rocks and different plant life. From a young age the mysteries of the Great Outdoors sparked a small flame that never stopped burning. This instilled a deep love and connection to the earth. She carried this with her throughout her teenage years, where she went to Outward Bound, and then later she became an Outdoor Guide. During college she began leading outdoor trips, including whitewater kayaking, backpacking, hiking, and star gazing. She learned many secrets of forest in the Great Smoky Mountains and into North Carolina’s Pisgah National forests. It gave her great pleasure to take fellow peers into the wilderness for the first time. Helping them identify plants, animals, insects, and even mapping the stars was what she felt like she was on this earth to do. While attending College, she became sick and needed both western and eastern healing in order to live. She accounts her remarkable recovery to the Master Healers who helped her through this time. Through this, she learned that healing work was an integral part of her reasoning for being on this planet. She practices many different modalities of healing including energy work, clearing of the subtle bodies, and using different plant medicines to activate and clear different channels in the body. After recovering from her illness, she went back to school studying Eco Psychology, and spent her college days focusing on the healing power of nature and the elements. “Nature truly saved my life as a child, having an allergy that caused many different behavioral issues, I spent most of my days in the forest alone, where I felt that I could be understood.” Because of this, Alsia believes it is the utmost important to tend to our children and to teach them the importance of our earth. Her teachings revolve around connecting to the spirit of the forest, and teaching survival skills to our young ones so that they may know what it is to truly live and be one with the earth. Alsia is certified in Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED by the American Heart Association.

 

COLLABORATORS

Katerina Brown, Wildheart Instructor

The Children’s Forest of Central Oregon provides a network of outdoor places and programs dedicated to moving all children along a continuum of learning, exploration, and healthy living through engagement with nature.

They seek to:

  • Develop opportunities for all children and youth to safely and accessibly engage in free play, exploration and recreation activities that connect them to nature
  • Provide all children and youth first hand connections with nature by providing meaningful, inspirational, and interdisciplinary education programs including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), social studies, creative writing, and art
  • Improve health outcomes in youth by providing opportunities that lead to increased physical activity outdoors
  • Develop programs that foster leadership skills in youth, promote a sense of connection and stewardship for public lands, and provide potential environmental and natural resource career paths.