top of page

Our Passionate Team

At Outdoor Nurture Inc., we believe in the importance of building a resilient, thriving community that works and exists in sync with nature.

 

Our talented team of staff and volunteers consists of devoted individuals who are committed to creating a better environment for all.  They have wealth of skills and talents that they share to cultivate understanding of, appreciation of, and stewardship of the earth we all share. Learn more about them below! 🌎

Eva3.jpeg

Eva Schwartz

Executive Director

Farm Advisory Committee Chair

Director of Education

Eva Schwartz is the executive director of 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Outdoor Nurture Inc.  She is both the Director of Education and the Farm Advisory Committee Chair at Hickory Heart Meadow Farm. Previously, she served as a Nassau Land Trust board member for several years and worked as a field manager, educator, and Farm Advisory Committee chair for Crossroads Farm. Crossroads Farm is a 5-acre organic produce farm in Nassau County, Long Island.

 

Eva holds a BA in Creative Writing and Literature with a minor in Education from Fairfield University, and an MA in Early Childhood Education from Loyola University. She worked for Metropolitan Montessori School in Manhattan, New York for 12 years as a primary directress and elementary science teacher. More recently, Eva has completed a year-long course in Biodynamic Agriculture at the Pfeiffer center in Chestnut Ridge, New York and mentored for The Organic Seed Alliance seed education program.

 

Eva’s heartfelt connection to the land of Pike County (Rowland and Greeley, PA) along the Lackawaxen River traces back to her childhood. Growing up amidst a family of naturalists and land stewards, Eva's appreciation for the environment was instilled in her from a young age.Through this exposure, Eva has developed a profound connection to the flora, fauna, and people of the region.

 

Eva’s heart blooms with a passion for flowers, as shown by her completion of the Floret Flower Farmer course. Her fascination with seed farming arose from a natural inclination towards gathering seeds throughout her life, and was further cultivated through a workshop with Ken Greene from Hudson Valley Seed Company.

 

Eva loves making botanical bouquets and fabulous floral arrangements that capture the essence of the seasons. She is also the ultimate party planner, always brainstorming ideas for socializing with family, neighbors, and furry friends too! She also takes great pleasure in developing environments that foster relaxation, inspiration and community connection. Her motto is: Upvibe!  Eva loves to ski in the mountains with her husband, family, and friends.

Keila_edited.jpg

Keila Radziszewski

Director of Logistics

Whole Foods Educator

Keila Radziszewski first got involved with Outdoor Nurture in 2023, assisting with floral arrangements and event organization. Keila’s professional experience in stage production has been a useful backdrop in event planning and logistics for various occasions. She has ample experience in education, having worked through all grade levels in various teaching and coordinating roles. She started a costume design rental business, with hair styling and artistic makeup services for school plays. Keila also co-founded a community organization in the outskirts of Buenos Aires, coordinating public events, assisting in neighborhood-based education programs, and leading regular activities for children and teens.

 

Her formal studies are in theater education and she has an MA in Theater Direction. Her specific area of research was the nexus between pedagogy and direction in theatrical performances within schools. She has taught and directed theater in Primary and Secondary Education for 13 years. She has also worked as an assistant director for various professional stage productions in downtown Buenos Aires. She also enjoys cooking, craft-making, photography and traveling with her husband David and son, Oliver.

karenbio.jpg

Karen Havens Olsen

Farm Educator

Karen Havens Olsen is one of the Farm Educators at Outdoor Nurture Inc. Having obtained a degree in biology from Aquinas College in 2014, Karen embarked on her journey in outdoor education, commencing her career at the Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center in Yellow Springs, OH.

With a diverse background that includes roles as a k-3 literacy tutor, nanny, and farm educator, Karen brings a varied skill set to Outdoor Nurture. In her teaching endeavors, she consistently promotes inquiry, exploration, and collaboration. Karen first connected with Outdoor Nurture in 2021 while working at a local store and subsequently joined as a volunteer in June 2022.

Outside the farm, Karen can be found indulging in activities such as hiking, painting, practicing herbalism, and exploring thrift shop treasures. Her passion lies in making outdoor education an engaging experience for everyone at Outdoor Nurture, fostering a celebration of the joy of learning together."

sherrikempsterbio.jpeg

Sherri Kempster

Administrator

Sherri brings 25 years of an office manager and bookkeeper to the team, and now helps out at Outdoor Nurture Inc. wherever she is needed! In addition to managing invoices and "keeping the ship tight," Sherri harvests the freshly grown produce and is always willing to lend a helping hand. In her spare time, she loves to read, spend time with friends, and make dishes with all the freshly grown produce that she helps harvest.

Alexbio.jpg

Alex Arenas

Field Intern

As a former employee for the Parks Department, Alex has experience working outdoors in all types of weather and handling various landscaping machinery (weed whackers, leaf blowers, pruners, vehicular & push mowers) to maintain the cleanliness and landscape of multiple parks on Staten Island. Currently, Alex is an educator at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Gardens. Through her experience giving informational tours of Snug Harbor's vegetable farm, she has gathered a plethora of information regarding a variety of components of agriculture and horticulture. She has also gained hands-on experience by assisting volunteer groups with farm maintenance (compost mixing & soil distribution).  In her spare time, Alex loves read, paint, and go on hikes.

Donnabiopic.jpg

Donna Jaroslawski

Professional Organizer

Productivity Coach

Donna is a Professional Organizer and Life Coach specializing in productivity. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Hofstra University in Business and Computer Information Systems. Donna managed IT departments and oversaw many large projects for Fortune 500 companies for 20 years. What she liked best about that work is what led her to become a Professional Organizer and Coach:  helping people accomplish their goals through her organizing abilities.   

 

Donna has been organizing and coaching since 2003 and is dedicated to helping people keep their paper, time and stuff in order so they may be most productive and achieve maximum results to accomplish what it is they have come here to do.  

 

Donna worked with Eva at Crossroads Farm helping to implement processes, procedures and administrative best practices.  She brought this experience and her more than 20 years of systems implementations to assist in the work and vision of Outdoor Nurture.  


She is a member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals and has earned several certifications in that field including certificates in Project Management.  She is a perpetual student of system implementation and productivity.   

But … her greatest organizing challenge is her own family.  Being a wife and mother of three sons keeps her busy with the best stuff of life.     

David_edited.jpg

David McKeithen

Director of Operations;

Education and Community Engagement Coordinator;

Director of Environmental Stewardship

David McKeithen first got involved with Outdoor Nature in the season of 2023, assisting in the floral production, experimenting with various composting systems, and registering wildlife at Hickory Heart Meadow. Prior to this, David worked as a high school teacher in Argentina, creating interdisciplinary curriculum that brought together history, sociology, literature, biology and environmental management to examine contemporary issues such as migration, climate change, environmental degradation, and social change. Together with his wife Keila, they founded a community organization in the outskirts of Buenos Aires, coordinating neighborhood-based activities for ten years.

 

His formal studies include a BA in Sociology and Spanish, and an MA in Social Anthropology. His academic interests have led him to study agrarian systems and the geopolitics of conservation. In addition, he has studied Permaculture (with the Discover Permaculture Institute) and soil microbiology (with the Soil Food Web School). His environmental work focuses on taking notice of and nurturing rich ecological relationships, and implementing permaculture design and additional restorative practices to enhance soil biology and agro-ecological systems. David also enjoys reading, kayaking and wildlife photography.

Jocelyn1.jpeg

Jocelyn Wolffe

Farm Educator & Seed Intern

Zine Content Creator

Education Committee Member

Jocelyn Wolffe furthered her passion for nurturing the outdoors in 2022 when she became a seed intern for Outdoor Nurture Inc. through the Organic Seed Alliance. However, her journey started earlier during her tenure at Crossroads Farm in Nassau County, Long Island where she intermittently worked from
2012 to 2020. It was here that she met Eva Schwartz, whose presence and influence has motivated her deeply. The experience acquired at Crossroads Farm ignited her entrepreneurial spirit, inspiring her to establish her own seed-to-product herbal business. From sowing seeds to nurturing plants until harvest, she gained comprehensive expertise, supplemented by her sales acumen and meticulous harvest logging.


In 2020, Jocelyn founded Plantas For the People LLC, cultivating plants in her grandfather's garden plot and crafting products from her harvest. It reawakened her childhood where she had spent summers in her
mother’s garden and watched her prepare food from what they grew. Her children actively participated, fostering their connection to outdoor sensory healing and providing a unique family bonding experience.
This inspired her to initiate the development of a youth seed program in collaboration with her husband through Fitrah Foundation LLC.

Equipped with an herbalist certificate and a full-spectrum doula certification, Jocelyn combines herbal studies, plant therapy, and maternal support. Her deep-rooted connection to plants led her to collaborate with Eva Schwartz as a Seed Farmer Intern in 2022, contributing to seed processing and early childhood
education outreach programs.

 

Beyond her professional endeavors, Jocelyn thrives on community involvement. She dedicates her time in collaboration with non profits in offering resources and aid to low-income areas, including donating local
produce, clothing, food pantry supplies, educational support, and essential items for mothers and babies. In her leisure moments, Jocelyn indulges in her love for gardening, creating art, seed collecting,
preserving seasonal produce, cooking nutritious dishes, and cherishing quality time with her husband and children.

JessieStaffPic.jpeg

Jessie Caccavale

Business Development Consultant

Member of Hickory Heart Meadow Farm Advisory Committee

Jessie is Master Gardener for the Penn State Extension Program! During a seed swap workshop, Eva had the pleasure of meeting Jessie, a workshop wizard with a passion for the local flora and fauna of Lackawaxen. Eva connected with Jessie over their shared visions of environmental stewardship, and we look forward toJessie hosting workshops and lending us her farming expertise.

BrinBioPic.jpeg

Brin Burnham

Farm Educator

With a degree in early education from St. Nicholas Montessori College, Brin Burnham was a Primary Directress for Montessori Metropolitan School where she met Eva Schwartz. She has participated in a broad range of continuing education programs, such as the Longwood Gardens Teacher Gardening Program. Additionally, she has launched several seed to table programs in New York and New Jersey Montessori schools and worked with local CSAs to accomplish these programs. She is a farm educator for Outdoor Nurture Inc.

Christa1.jpeg

Christa McDonald

Environmental Education Consultant

Christa McDonald is Eva Schwartz’s sister, and brings decades of experience in environmental education to Outdoor Nurture’s team. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Traditional Chinese Watercolor and Existentialism Philosophy from Fairfield University and the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou, PR China. She also holds a Masters in Aesthetic Education and Curriculum Development from the University of Denver. She is a permanently licensed NYS classroom teacher. Christa  currently volunteers for Outdoor Nurture Inc  as a consultant for our  environmental education curriculum development. Her greatest hobbies are being in the native eastern woodlands of Staten Island and Rowland, PA with her family and dogs, writing children’s books, and creating illustrations.

Ray

Ray Pisacane

Virtual Administrator

Zine Developer

 Ray first became involved with Outdoor Nurture in 2022 by creating the website (hello from Ray themselves!) and assisting Eva with virtual administrative tasks (organizing team information, taking notes for meetings, transcription of farm documents, etc.). They are currently in the process of developing a creative zine by and for the Outdoor Nurture Inc. community.

 

Ray holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies with Honors from Adelphi University. For their honors thesis,  they used ArcGIS (geospatial analysis software) to identify the biggest contributing factors in the creation of food deserts in Nassau County.  Upon graduating, they have worked in various organic farms, outdoor education nonprofits, and legal cannabis operations. They have lived and gone backpacking in Asia twice, once in Thailand in 2020 and again in Japan in 2023.

 

Ray trained and then worked as a farmhand and educator at Crossroads Farm, where they met Eva Schwartz, Executive Director of Outdoor Nurture Inc. They have experience teaching children and adults everything from how to build farm beds, how to compost, and how to seed/transplant/prune/harvest more than 30 crops. They have experience building and teaching nature immersive programs. In their spare time, they love to travel and spend time in nature with their partner Francisco.

Our Board of Directors

A Quick Note: Recognizing Our Dedicated Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is proudly managed, aided, and directed by a team of volunteers. We extend our sincere appreciation and admiration to those who are contributing their time and expertise to support our current board and developing committees.

Eva Schwartz of course wears many hats for Outdoor Nurture Inc., with Chairman of the Board being another one! Eva calls for and attends all regular board meetings, and acts as the spokesperson for the vision of Outdoor Nurture Inc. in the decision-making process of the board.

Annie Sunshine is an artist /art teacher/adventurer who is exploring life through the rhythm of nature. She loves bringing people together through art, gardening, and cooking. As an artist and teacher with over 35 years of experience she has brought people together through the arts, gardening and cooking. Annie’s passion for Fine Art and Art Education began at Elizabeth Seton College, Buffalo State College and Adelphi University and continues, she is a lifelong learner and teacher.

 

After retiring from teaching in 2013 Annie find her way to Crossroads Farm on Long Island where she is an executive volunteer creating programs and events that bring the community together. Annie is excited to be part of Outdoor Nurture’s mission and to continue inspiring children and adults to see the beauty in the natural world around them and find their rhythm.

Tyler Quartz graduated from UCLA School of Film, Theater, and Television. He also earned a Master's degree in Film Production from the Univerisity of Southern California.

Tyler is an avid naturalist, hiker, skier and gardener. He brings a deep care of all living things to his work. He has been a founding member of the board, lending his enthusiasm, strategic advancement and development vision.

bottom of page