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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Our Team Grows: Meet Brenda, Allie, Sandra, and Mae

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Mackenzie Sanders
/ Categories: Our Community


Just a few years ago, The Park People had a two person staff. Today, we are a robust dozen, and all good things come in 12s! Eggs, roses, donuts, days of Christmas, months in a year, and most importantly, your favorite nonprofit team! 

Since our last newsletter, we’ve added four incredible women to our staff who are ready to accomplish some good, green work in 2024. Let’s meet our newest Park People:

Brenda Negrete

Brenda joined our team at the end of 2023 as our Program Assistant. In this role, Brenda provides much needed support to our programs: Community Forester, Denver Digs Trees, and Mile High Tree Champions. Brenda has significant experience in community support and outreach, having worked as a Bilingual Legal Advocate in Brighton, supporting survivors of domestic violence in navigating the legal system. Brenda says she was inspired to join The Park People because “environmental justice is something important to me…you cannot identify inequities within our systems and society without identifying all of the intersections within those inequities. Earth is asking for help, and it is our job to ensure she is taken care of.” When she’s not assisting our program applicants or communicating with Denver residents, you can find her at Denver’s local skate parks. “Catch me there dropping into bowls and carving the concrete waves.”

Allie Runne

Allie also joined our team at the end of 2023 as our second Field Crew Supervisor for our workforce development program, TreeForce. As part of our TreeForce staff, Allie supports our Workforce Development Manager in planning TreeForce’s curriculum, conducting program partner outreach, and supervising TreeForce participants out in the field. Allie previously worked for our partners, Groundwork Denver and Denver Parks and Recreation, and has a long history of supporting our urban forest. “I really respect the urban forestry programs The Park People offers and I think that planting trees is a simple and straightforward way to address the climate crisis and bring nature back to Denver…we're planting for a healthier tomorrow. I think there is a lot of significance in providing something for the future when we so often hear of what is being taken away from younger generations.” 

Sandra Kohl

Sandra joined our team at the beginning of 2024 as our Operations Manager, adding much needed support to our “back of house” staff. Her position supports our Executive Director, Development Manager, Office Assistant, and serves as a management liaison for the entire team. “As an ops-minded team member, I am eager to provide support where it might be needed, and develop processes to help our team continue their great work,” says Sandra. Before joining The Park People, Sandra supported other local nonprofits with behind-the-scenes operational and business management. Outside of work, Sandra enjoys dancing, reading, practicing yoga, and going on walks throughout our urban parks system. “I’ve enjoyed countless hours of time walking the vast park system, and thoroughly enjoy being able to find green and shady spaces in Denver!”


Mae Sarah

Mae joined our team at the end of 2023 as our Office Assistant. Another “back of house” staffer, Mae is the first person you speak with when you call our offices or email our info line with questions. As Office Assistant, Mae assists the Operations Manager, Development Manager, and Executive Director, and ensures our day-to-day tasks run smoothly. Mae found The Park People through GRIT, an internship by our partner Groundwork Denver, after completing her Environmental Studies degree at UC Santa Cruz. “I love the species diversity in Denver,” says Mae, “I feel like I'm constantly learning new tree species in my neighborhood. I'm also an avid birder and it's amazing to see migratory birds make their temporary homes in Denver's urban forest.” Her favorite bird? The Belted Kingfisher, which she recently spotted for the first time in Washington Park. 


We are so grateful to call these qualified and passionate women Park People! Thank you to our community members, donors, and partners for helping us build the team that will build Denver’s urban forest, one tree at a time. 


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