Our Board and Staff
Board of Directors
Kelby Bowers (he/him) spent his childhood in the southern Willamette Valley on unceded Kalapuyan territory. He grew up hiking in the hills behind his grandparents’ farm up McGowan Creek in the Mohawk Valley and later up Rattlesnake Creek near Pleasant Hill on his parents’ farm. Presently Kelby lives with his wife, Terri, and his daughter and grandson on unceded Clackamas territory just south of Portland. Life’s past chapters include seven years selling real estate in the Bend area and backpacking in the high Cascades; earning a BA in Old and New Testament Studies; twenty years working in graphic design; thirteen years as a potter; and volunteering and serving on the board of directors for Cincinnati’s MoBo Bicycle Co-op. Kelby’s introduction to rewilding began with John Zerzan’s Primal Anarchy, followed by a growing interest in ancestral health and diet (including fermentation!) and ancestral skills. These various strands have been tied together with our director, Peter’s, work in rewilding and Rewild Portland’s 2019 Echoes in Time. Today, Kelby is excited to work at creating and tending outdoor habitat that promotes diverse local flora and fauna and includes actively engaged humans. He looks forward to continuing to learn from the many diverse people (human and otherwise) who are part of our Rewild Portland community.
Carly Boyer (she/they) was born and raised in the Willamette Valley and is shaped by the Yamhill, Luckiamute, and Columbia watersheds. Carly is a gardener, herbalist, educator, maker, event planner, and has worked in field of horticulture for more than 20 years. She attended the Columbines School of Botanical Studies (2006), the Arctos School of Botanical Studies (2007), and the School of Forest Medicine (2010). Carly wrote and self-published her introductory guide book, Urban Herbs, in 2008, which is still in print. She is currently a Senior in the Public Policy, Planning, and Management program at the University of Oregon. Carly is an advocate for regenerative agriculture, community resilience through skills-based education, appropriate land use, and equitable access to natural resources. She also enjoys weaving baskets, sewing, watercoloring, and raising meat rabbits.
Mindy Fitch (she/her) grew up in the Puget Sound area, Salish territory, Washington State. She holds a BA in Creative Writing from Western Washington University in Bellingham and studied filmmaking at Vancouver Film School in British Columbia. Shortly after moving to Portland in 1997, she began editing plant, gardening, and natural history books and field guides at Timber Press, where she remained on staff until becoming a mom in 2006. She now edits on a freelance basis, homeschools with her two daughters, and works on various nature connection advocacy projects.
Jerrilee Geist/Jera (she/they/ki) grew up in the traditional territory of the Coast Miwok, in the hills north of San Francisco, and moved to Portland in 2021, finding Rewild Portland shortly thereafter. Jera works in permaculture landscaping and habitat restoration, and business development/project management for Pro Audio Voices, an audiobook production and marketing company. She is excited to bring her project management and systems-design skills to the Rewild board, where a worldview in which community-building and resilience are central. Outside of work, she is an avid forager, culinary explorer, and fiber artist. Jera’s personal mission is to be of service to the land and its peoples, and to continue to foster meaningful relationships.
Sheila Henson (she/they) is an ADHD coach and educator who brings her knowledge, experience, and passion for neurodiversity, accessibility, and transformative justice to her position on the Rewild Portland board of directors. She grew up in Thousand Oaks, California, close to forest, desert, and the beach, and now lives in North Portland. She holds undergrad degrees in History and Psychology, a Masters in Education, and has worked in education and behavior for nearly twenty years, including teaching in a self-contained behavior classroom at Serendipity Center, a therapeutic school in SE Portland. Sheila has mad skills in crisis prevention, de-escalation, collaborative problem solving, and mediation work. She heads our Transformative Justice committee and receives formal training in this area (most recently in Equity-Informed Mediation and Restorative Justice for Organizations), which she brings to the rest of the board.
Erica Savadow-Pope (she/they) grew up on the East Coast, roaming the sparse woods around her suburban development in Maryland. She moved to New York City for a few years, feeling pretty aimless and disconnected, then moved to Portland in 2008. She’s always had an appreciation for nature and cared not a lick for the trappings of “normal” youthful suburbanhood. It wasn’t until Erica settled into the Pacific Northwest that she finally understood what had been missing in her life. Her feelers had been out, but with no ideas on what they were grasping for. Here, she grew roots and didn’t feel so alien for her lack of attraction to the world of materialism and glamor. To pay the bills, she does bookkeeping and administrative work. To live, she has learned to spin her own cordage and wield a knife, start a fire with ferro and friction, weave baskets, build a relationship with local plants, and feel inspired by the brilliant ingenuity of others embracing a relationship with the wild. She feels beautiful when she wakes up under the sky, washes her face in a cold creek, and spends her days with dirt-y hands.
Peter Michael Bauer (he/him) is our Executive Director and an instructor for various programs. A fourth-generation Portlander, his first merit badge in the Boy Scouts was basketry. From there he went on to receive his Eagle Scout rank. He has followed a path of non-traditional education. From the age of 16 he has traveled the country attending programs such as Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracker School, Wilderness Awareness School in Washington State, Rabbitstick Rendezvous, Echoes in Time, Wintercount, Lynx Vilden’s Stone Age immersion program, and the Columbia Basin Basketry Guild (where he currently sits on the Board of Directors). He has been an environmental educator for many organizations in Portland, including Cascadia Wild, Friends of Tryon Creek, and the Audubon Society. Prior to becoming the full time executive director of Rewild Portland, he worked in the film industry as a production coordinator for several years. In his spare time he weaves baskets, practices the banjo, and translates Chinookan Myths into Chinuk Wawa at the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Portland office. He is the founder of rewild.com and author of Rewild or Die (under the moniker Urban Scout).
Nursery Director & Youth Program Instructor
Ivy Stovall (she/her) delights in the abundance, patterns, and chaos of the natural world and of humanity. So it makes sense that three years into a Biology degree, she flipped majors and earned a BA in Interdisciplinary Humanities at the University of West Florida. Her broad education prepared her perfectly for her work in outdoor education, which she began as a 4H camp naturalist, teaching outdoor skills and elementary and middle school science curriculum in the field. Since then she has taught high and low ropes challenge courses, ESL at all grade levels, and developed a North Portland homeschool co-op and independent art, adventure, and theater camps for kids in her community. These days she lives and works at The MudHut Kulturhaus, her St. Johns urban permaculture homestead, where she shares her enthusiasm for outdoor living and hosts camps, workshops, skillshares, music and theater, women’s groups, and community celebrations and ritual. She likes to always be harvesting and keeps her hands busy making herbal medicines, homebrews and fermentations, botanical inks, dyes and pigments, wild foods, basketry, and natural building. Always a student and always a teacher, Ivy enjoys contributing to and learning from the passionate people of the Rewild Portland community. Many Rewild kids have learned fire and knife skills around The MudHut fire pit and know Ivy as the Echoes in Time kids’ camp coordinator. Ivy loves the creativity, curiosity, and wildness of young people and is dedicated to the work of building healthy intergenerational communities connected to and through the natural world.
Rose Covert is a constant maker and an artist who creates in many directions. Her paintings, sculptures, and woven works have been displayed throughout the Pacific Northwest. Most recently Rose has been engaged in woven sculptural work made of plants growing within a 30-mile radius of where she lives. She makes these very intricate and wild shapes by weaving one stick at a time, thus creating pathways to follow and build upon. As a member of the Columbia Basin Basketry Guild and a childhood educator, Rose moves seamlessly between student and teacher, learning from the materials, the process, and the people she works with. As a teacher Rose is drawn to engagement and embodiment, beginning by exploring the mediums and materials we’ll be working with, then using our senses and intuition to get a feel for what we’ll be making. Her teaching style has an emphasis on the magic and play of making, using questions and conversation as a way to encourage connection and imagination.
Shelby Lynn is, fundamentally, a nerd. A big fan of all the living things, Shelby has been teaching about the unique ecology of the Pacific Northwest since 2005. Shelby’s practice combines foraging for food, textiles, basketry, and herbalism with habitat restoration, permaculture principles, and collective liberation.
Ben Murphy is relatively new to Rewild Portland. Hailing originally from Southern California, he has lived in Portland for the last ten years. For most of that time, Ben has practiced in the healing arts as a massage therapist and mindfulness facilitator. He received a degree in music composition from Portland State University. During his studies he began an exploration of the role of mythology and storytelling in culture, in particular in the process of initiation. These various interests come together in Ben’s work as a storyteller and mythosomatic guide online at the School of Mythopoetics. Ben looks forward to bringing music, story, mindfulness, rites of passage work, and, of course, play, to Rewild Portland’s Sun & Stars program.
Born and raised in Portland, the Pacific Northwest has always been home to Johnny Spathas. From a young age, Johnny has had a close affinity for wild spaces. He is drawn to deepen his understanding and connect with our environment, and share curiosity and exploration with others. Spending lots of time in nature, camping, crafting, and at play, Johnny has developed a passion for weaving together the dynamics of our social landscape, stories, and environment in which we are all inextricably connected. Sharing his experiences and knowledge around creative expression, communication, movement, and reflective process brings great joy to his life. Johnny has been working with Rewild Portland since 2011 in various capacities. He began as an instructor at our Day of Rewilding program and has helped establish and run the kitchen at Echoes in Time for four years. He has also been a core instructor at our Homeschool Immersion Program since 2017. Johnny is an intentional learner who seeks out many opportunities to deepen his knowledge and understanding. Some of his favorite connections center around social forestry, tracking, skillsharing, creativity, community, and animals. Johnny is known for his goofy smile, willingness to play, building with natural materials, and baking chocolate crinkle cookies.
Guest Instructors, Past and Present
In addition to our core staff, we work with a large group of educators. Here are some of the instructors we currently work with or have worked with in the past:
Jesse Ambrose is an arborist and artist in pursuit of rekindling lifeways collected around land-tending and place-based subsistence. Jesse apprentices to the oak and pine forest-steppe and snowpack-fed tributaries of the Northwest. As a longtime collaborator with Rewild Portland, they have led workshops on the function of cultural landscapes as well as processing and cooking acorns.
Porsha Beed is an activist, mentor, and co-founder, along with her cousin Aaron Johnson, of Holistic Resistance, an intersectional organization hosting events along the West Coast. Holistic Resistance programs aim to resist and dismantle oppression by building and deepening community relationships. They run the gamut from large group workshops to one-on-ones and deep dives, including among other things, Disrupting Our Whiteness, Grief to Action Camp for POC, a parenting program, and facilitator trainings. Porsha is passionate about teaching both youth and adults about the importance of deep human connection, self-love, and resilience. As an earth builder and integrator of race, she strives to build a lifelong community to end racism. Her love for the earth and for intentional community is the nest in which she has chosen to fight systems of oppression.
Eric Bernando, yaka tilixam shawash-iliʔi pi watɬlala chinuk tilixam. wəx̣t ukuk limolo luʔlu miɬayt kʰapa ɬaska iliʔi. yaka t’uʔan ixt tayi tulu-pipa kʰapa ukuk Olegon tayi skul. yaka dret ɬush kəmtəks qʰata pus wawa yaka shawash lalang.
Dale Coleman, also known as Blond Bear, is an ancestral skills enthusiast and a co-founder of Echoes in Time, Oregon’s oldest ancestral skills gathering, which meets annually for a week of workshops on hide tanning, basketry, herbal medicine, and more in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Though still an active part of Echoes, Dale recently retired from his management role in the event, which is now a program of Rewild Portland. He is co-owner of Belgian Underground Beers in Silverton, Oregon.
Guided by the wisdom of the natural world and ancestral knowledge, Kate Coulton has forged an inspired career as a medicine maker, plant cultivator, educator, and artisan. The founder of Pinion Botanicals, Kate is driven by a reverence for the creative and therapeutic potential of all living organisms. Through collaborative projects that involve natural fiber dyeing, herbal remedy crafting, and personal empowerment, she encourages thoughtful interaction with the abundant flora of the Pacific Northwest. Her background in cultural anthropology instilled a deep respect for medical pluralism and influenced her current journey of becoming a certified nursing assistant. Gratitude and accessibility are at the core of her practice.
Rain Crowe belongs to the Croatian, Polish, and Ukrainian people through blood ancestry and to the descendants of life through vows. She belongs to her home on the ancestral lands of the Tualatin Kalapuya people, and to the lifelong commitment of unsettling. She belongs to the shadow-working witches who service justice and liberation in this time of great unraveling of empire and the return to the holy wyld. She belongs to vision-keeping the Village Mystery School and Dream Temple in service of a beyond our lifetime vision. And she belongs to her years of creaturehood, to queer-femmedom, to white-bodied anti-racists, and to working class folx and the ethos of mutual aid in which she was raised up.
Kara Daniel (she/her) was born and raised in Michigan where she spent much of her childhood exploring wooded trails and rock hunting on beaches of the Great Lakes with her family. In her late teens she began thinking critically about Western culture as she became involved in social justice and environmental activism. She changed college majors several times as her two passions (art and science) pulled her in different directions. Her connection with plants and love of the outdoors finally led her to pursue a BS in Natural Resource Management. After college, she began teaching at outdoor education camps and loved the energy and enthusiasm involved in working with kids. She taught and explored with children as young as four years old as well as teenagers and young adults at camps and nature centers in North Carolina, New York, California, and Wisconsin before landing in Oregon, where she discovered the diverse ecosystems and amazing rewilding community she had been searching for. Kara has since found a way to combine her interests of art and nature by crafting from natural materials and finding inspiration in the natural world. She loves fiber crafts of all sorts—felting, dyeing, spinning, knitting—and has more recently begun to explore basket weaving. She continues to learn about plants and the natural world while studying permaculture design and herbal medicine.
Deana Dartt, PhD, a member of the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation, is the founder of Live Oak Museum Consulting in Eugene, Oregon, an organization committed to reshaping museum narratives and assisting institutions in their efforts to be more accountable and responsive to Native communities. She recently served as the Anne Ray Fellow at the School for Advanced Research, where she revised her dissertation manuscript, “Subverting the Master Narrative,” which examines distorted representations of Native people, cultures, and histories in the Franciscan Missions and other public history sites in California. She served as Curator of Native American Ethnology at the Burke Museum and American Indian Studies faculty at the University of Washington from 2008 to 2011, and as Curator of Native American Art at the Portland Art Museum from 2011 to 2016.
Tony Deland teaches bow-making, ceramics, and other ancestral skills. He has a Masters in Art Education and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya from 2005 to 2007. While in Kenya he began to learn many ancestral skills in real-world practice and participated in building a mud brick and cob home as well as learning the traditional way of making ceramic cooking pots. Since that experience, Tony has been extremely passionate about traditional and ancestral skills. He has been an instructor at Echoes in Time, Buckeye Gathering in California, and The Sharpening Stone in southern Oregon. He has also taught at Trackers Northwest as their lead instructor for adult and teen programs. His experience as an art teacher helps him to simplify these skills and make them accessible to people who may not have any experience with them. Tony currently teaches visual arts at Jefferson High School in NE Portland.
Pat Courtney Gold is a Wasco Chinook Native who was born and raised on the Warm Springs reservation. She is a teacher, lecturer, consultant, and artist who creates replicas and modern pieces for museums. She is known for her efforts to revive the Wasco “full-turn twine” weaving technique that the weaver uses to create the classic Chinookan geometric images. Pat keeps this tradition alive by teaching classes throughout the Northwest and on the reservation where she grew up.
Chloë Hight was raised by the flow of the Columbia River and twisting white oak trees in the small town of Hood River, Oregon (ancestral lands of the Wasco and Wishram Chinookan peoples). Her first memories grew from spending time immersed in the local landscape and have blossomed into a lifelong thread of creative inspiration. She studied pottery, printmaking, and weaving at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, BC, Canada and botanical dyeing and loom weaving in Oaxaca, México. Chloë’s creative practice is rooted in place-based material exploration, process, and community collaboration. She is a Teaching Artist who collaborates with nonprofit organizations in the Pacific Northwest to create opportunities for children and adults to deepen their relationships with place and the natural world through traditional hand crafts, visual art, and storytelling.
Aaron Johnson is a teacher, mentor, earth builder, artist, and advocate for dismantling racism through human connection—primarily through the various projects of Holistic Resistance, an organization he co-founded with his cousin Porsha Beed. Holistic Resistance events take place in various locations along the West Coast, all aimed at resisting and dismantling oppression by building and deepening community relationships. Aaron graduated from the California Institute of the Arts in 2007 with a BFA and has made a lifelong commitment to use the skills he possesses to end racism. In 2017 he and Porsha attended Echoes for the first time, where they both taught earth-building skills. Aaron also led discussions that summer with our planning team about how to make Echoes more welcoming and diverse. In 2018 he gave a keynote at our Spring Benefit titled “Getting Close to Blackness: Diversifying the Rewilding Community” and later co-facilitated an intensive workshop for us called “Breaking Down Barriers.” In addition to his many other projects, Aaron leads a support group called Chronically Undertouched, which builds conversation and strategies to support young Black people in understanding how they’ve been hurt through chronic deprivation of the basic human need for touch.
Diana Larsen facilitates the Open Space portion of our Annual North American Rewilding Conference. A visionary pragmatist, Diana is Chief Connector and co-founder at the Agile Fluency Project LLC. She is author of Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great and Liftoff: Start and Sustain Successful Agile Teams, and coauthor of The Five Rules of Accelerated Learning. With James Shore, she coauthored “The Agile Fluency Model: A Brief Guide to Success with Agile.” In her spare time, Diana delivers inspiring conference keynote talks, facilitates productive Open Space Technology events, and enjoys time rewilding with her grandchildren, friends, and family.
Willem Larsen has been tracking and telling stories for twenty five years in the cities and wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. He is coauthor of The Five Rules of Accelerated Learning; founder of Language Hunters, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to heritage language revitalization; founder and host of the Thermodynamics of Emotion Symposium, which takes place every October in Portland; and creator of the College of Mythic Cartography.
Joshua Hood Marvin teaches archery and leads bow-making workshops for organizations and individuals. He is a certified level 2 archery coach through USA Archery. Josh is employed through the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) in Portland as a youth advocate to support and encourage indigenous students to graduate from school. He connects the young people he works with to culture through traditional skills, native gatherings, and healthy life choices. He created Modoc Bows in order to teach bow-making from an indigenous perspective.
Mulysa Melco (she/her) is a landscape designer and horticulturist in Portland. Through Resilience Design, her sustainable landscape design and consultation studio, she facilitates urban and rural site design and ecological restoration projects. These “homesteads and habitats” are multifunctional spaces that aim to foster reconnection between people and ecosystems. She teaches workshops on botany, permaculture, and ecological living skills. Mulysa has a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and a Master of Agriculture in Horticulture degree (focusing on landscape design and garden history) from the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. She interned at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in England. In 2014 Mulysa spoke at the National Pesticide Forum about her neighborhood’s campaign to become a pesticide-free zone.
Tao Orion is the author of Beyond the War on Invasive Species: A Permaculture Approach to Ecosystem Restoration. She teaches permaculture design at Oregon State University and at Aprovecho, a forty-acre nonprofit sustainable-living educational organization. Tao consults on holistic farm, forest, and restoration planning through Resilience Permaculture Design, LLC. She holds a degree in Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture from UC Santa Cruz, and grows organic fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and animals on her southern Willamette Valley homestead, Viriditas Farm.
Lara Pacheco (she/they) is a clinical herbalist who founded Seed and Thistle Apothecary, which offers a monthly herbal subscription of seasonally based herbal preparations from plants she grows and ethically wildcrafts. Within this model, she also offers consultations and customized options where individuals are matched with specific plant medicine to help support their health. Lara is a Latina community organizer and teaches classes, builds gardens, and advocacy around women’s health and access to alternative medicine for the underserved. Lara learned from the plants originally in the farm and field, then pursued further studies in the Pacific Northwest with the School of Traditional Western Herbalism, and worked with Scott Kloos for his one-time offering of the Cascadia Folk Medicine Herbal Apprenticeship.
Tom Prang has a passion for lifelong learning with a focus in natural and cultural history. His academic background in education and archaeology has taken him from the Arctic to Arizona over the years. He has been fortunate to live as a subsistence hunter-gatherer, and strives to share these diverse experiences with the hope of working toward a greater understanding of, and harmony with, our society and environment.
Pınar Ateş Sinopoulos-Lloyd (they/them + he/him) is an Indigenous multi-species futurist, mentor, wildlife tracker, and trans eco-philosopher. They along with their spouse are the co-founders of Queer Nature (www.queernature.org), an “organism” stewarding earth-based queer community through ancestral skills, interspecies kinship, and rites of passage. Enchanted by the liminal, Pınar is a future transcestor of Quechua (Wanka), Turkish, and Chinese lineages. A central prayer that guides them is envisioning decolonially informed queer ancestral-futurism through interspecies accountability and the remediation of human supremacy in the Chthulucene. They are in a lifelong apprenticeship to the ecotone of riparian systems. Their relationship with transness, hybridity, neurodivergence, Indigeneity, and belonging guided their work in developing Queer Ecopsychology through a decolonial lens. As a survival skills mentor, one of their core missions is to uplift and amplify the brilliant “survival skills” that BIPOC, 2SLGBTQ+, and other systematically targeted populations already have in their resilient bodies and stories of survivance. They were the 2020 recipient of Audubon National Society’s National Environmental Champion as well as R.I.S.E. Indigenous Art & Poetry Fellowship. Pınar is the founder of @indigequeers, founding Council Member of Intersectional Environmentalist, trans ambassador of Native Womens Wilderness, and a founding member of Diversify Outdoors coalition. They also are adjunct faculty at the WE Immersion at Weaving Earth, and facilitate and design multi-day programs at Colorado College and the University of Colorado Boulder with their other half/co-visionary partner/co-founder of Queer Nature, So Sinopoulos-Lloyd. Follow their work on IG via @queerquechua + @queernature.
Sophia “So” Sinopoulos-Lloyd is a queer Greek-American who grew up in the northern hardwood forests of central Vermont. So’s initiation to the wisdom of earth-based lifeways began when they worked as a seasonal shepherd and cheese-making assistant throughout college, and sheep began to teach them new things about belonging, awareness, and community. Inspired by the resilience and hardiness of these beings, So went on to do immersive studies in ancestral earth-based skills and natural science, and also completed an MA that focused on relationships between religion and ecology in the Eastern Mediterranean—their matrilineal lands. Much of So’s work is animated by a study of how personhood and a sense of belonging are interwoven with geography and can be further informed by intimate knowledge of place through naturalist study. So stewards Queer Nature with their spouse, Pınar, which is devoted to creating empowering and accessible spaces where LGBTQ2+ and non-binary folks can learn various ancestral earth-based skills. Some things that So is most passionate about teaching and learning are so-called survival skills, wildlife tracking, and wilderness emergency medicine. So still hopes to one day be as cool and skilled as sheep are.
Leslie Andrew Walters is a prolific and talented maker (woodworker, folk artist, builder), horticulturalist, naturalist, and outdoorsperson who frequently camps, hikes, forages, fishes, hunts, and wanders the mountains, woods, rivers, caves, and deserts of Oregon and Washington. Having moved around a lot in his youth, Leslie never felt very connected to a place. It was only after moving to the Portland area about thirteen years ago that he began forming a deeper relationship with the natural world, particularly the moist temperate coniferous forests of the region. Leslie is Landscape Supervisor at Portland State University, the largest property in downtown Portland—roughly 50 acres, 54 individual properties, and 3,000 trees, all tended without pesticides or nonorganic fertilizers. He is proud of the work he’s able to do at PSU, including prioritizing native plants, biologically diverse landscapes, weather-based irrigation, and storm water management. Leslie studies and teaches traditional hand tool skills and is especially passionate about woodworking, with a focus on greenwood spoon carving. Many of you will have met him at Portland Spoon Club, which he runs out of our space at Green Anchors.
Michelle Week (she/her) is of Sinixt heritage, aka Arrow Lakes People. She is the owner of x̌ast sq̓it farm, which translates to Good Rain in Michelle’s traditional Salish language. Her farming focuses on being good stewards of the land and culture, focusing on mixed produce offerings with an emphasis on supporting food sovereignty through the availability of Pacific Northwest First Foods as well as raising Champagne d’Argent, a heritage breed meat rabbit.