The Park People
Saturday, March 2, 2024

Our Staff & Board

 

The Park People's work is a team effort of residents, volunteers, supporters, and community partners. Leading the charge, our staff works tirelessly every day to support and improve our parks, city trees, and neighborhoods, and a dedicated Board of Trustees guides our organization's strategy and development.

Kim Yuan-Farrell, Executive Director (she/her/hers)

Kim has been a “Park Person” for 14 years. Kim oversees and guides all aspects of The Park People’s operations and activities. She works with our board on strategic organizational development, shapes programmatic goals, and develops partnerships in the community. Prior to becoming Executive Director, Kim served as Program Manager for four years, directing The Park People's urban forestry programs. She has a master's degree in Environmental Management (Yale University's School of the Environment) and a bachelor's in Anthropology and Environmental Studies (Santa Clara University).  She was Colorado-raised and has more than 19 years of nonprofit experience with organizations in Colorado, California, and Connecticut.  Kim sits on Denver's Urban Forestry Strategic Plan Steering Committee and on the Steering Committee of the national Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition, is an alum of the Denver Community Leadership Forum, and has served on Community Shares' Board of Directors, the national Arbor Day Foundation’s Alliance for Community Trees Advisory Committee, the Trust for Public Land's Climate Smart Cities Denver Technical Advisory Team, and the City of Denver’s Emerald Ash Borer Steering Committee.  Kim is passionate about the power of urban forestry, parks, and community-driven efforts to cultivate resilient, sustainable communities.

Lindsay Cutler, Program Director (she/her/hers)

Photo of Lindsay Cutler, Program ManagerLindsay joined The Park People in 2019, bringing with her 20 years experience in ecology and landscape design for private and government clients. Lindsay works hand-in-hand with the Programs Team, Urban Forestry Committee, and Executive Director to strategically guide and direct our core urban forestry programs, including Denver Digs Trees, Community Forester, and Treeforce. She earned her Masters in Landscape Architecture from UC Denver (2008) and a Bachelor’s in Geography and Environmental Studies from UCLA (2001). A life-long hiker, backpacker and self-described ‘plant nerd’, Lindsay is committed to advancing tree equity and working with communities to beautify, shade, and plant for our future. Contact Lindsay.

Mackenzie Sanders, Development Manager (she/her/hers)

Mackenzie Sanders was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona and received her undergraduate degree in English with a double minor in Spanish and Law from the University of Arizona. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, where her thesis focused on loss and landscape. She is honored to be a part of a dedicated organization that promotes tree equity, urban forestry, community, and conservation. As Development Manager, Mackenzie uses her experience in writing and fundraising to work with partners, funders, and Denver residents to support The Park People’s mission and the needs of the greater Denver community. Contact Mackenzie.

 

Morgan Wolfe, Program Manager (she/her/hers)

Photo of Morgan Wolfe, Program AssociateMorgan grew up in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains where she began to cultivate a lifelong love for exploring nature, tending gardens, and promoting conservation. She holds a BAS in Sociology & Anthropology from Shippensburg University and after graduation taught early-childhood special education. She moved to Denver in 2011 and began volunteering with The Park People in 2016. Participating in Community Forester and Denver Digs Trees inspired her to make a career change and earn an AAS in Horticulture & Landscape Technologies from FRCC. During an internship with the Denver Dept. of Parks and Recreation, Morgan participated in sustainability panels, helped implement a ‘Parklet’ for the 2019 Greater, Greener Parks Conference, and assisted in park planting projects across the city.  Morgan now leads Mile High Tree Champions, the corporate partnership arm of The Park People while supporting all other programs seasonally. She enjoys collaborating with The Park People staff, volunteers, community participants and partners, and is thrilled to be doing the important work of supporting strong, resilient communities and diversifying our urban forest. Contact Morgan.

Jane Smith, Workforce Development Manager (she/her/hers)

Jane joined The Park People with an M.A. in Secondary Education from Arizona State University and over ten years of experience in public education. She brings with her a passion for partnering with people in the Denver community to build empowerment, create resources, and connect historically underserved populations with meaningful career paths. Jane oversees The Park People's TreeForce pre-apprenticeship program which provides participants with education and on-the-job, field-based experience in urban forestry. Outside of work, Jane enjoys hiking, paddle boarding, traveling, reading, playing music, gardening, meeting friends for brunch, and spending quality time with her family. Contact Jane. 

Laura Prickett, Field Crew Supervisor (she/her/hers)

Laura began her time with The Park People as a dedicated volunteer for nearly a year before first becoming Office Manager and then moving into her current position, TreeForce Field Crew Supervisor (while additionally managing the Park Legacy program). Laura earned her Master of Science degree in Global Technology & Development from Arizona State University where her focus was the impact that nonprofit organizations have on the global conservation movement, especially through community-based initiatives and empowerment. Laura additionally earned a Graduate Certificate through ASU in Nonprofit Operations & Program Impact and has previous experience working with local environmental improvement and renewable energy organizations. As a nature lover and avid hiker, backpacker, and snowboarder (as well as animal lover…especially her three cats!), she is excited to continue down a path of conservation, tree planting, and doing her part to help biodiversity thrive in the outdoor spaces she enjoys so much! Contact Laura.

Loriee Evans, Community Engagement Manager (she/her/hers)

Loriee joined The Park People in 2022, moving to Denver from the South, where she organized Arkansans to self-advocate for better healthcare and access to voting. A writer by trade, she once published on topics like climate change and recycling, and was thrilled to get paid to hike and backpack into the woods. At The Park People, Loriee has found the perfect home to combine her decade of experience in community and volunteer organizing with a passion for moving our communities toward climate resilience. She holds a Master's in Public Policy from the University of Michigan and a BA in Speech Communication and an Environmental Studies minor from Trinity University in San Antonio. Loriee loves meeting new people, listening to their stories, and integrating their ideas and energy into our community solutions. Contact Loriee.

Amanda Westendorf, Arborist (she/her/hers)

Amanda is originally from rural Illinois and spent much of her youth wandering around fields, forests, and creeks before moving to Indianapolis to obtain a BA in English Creative Writing from Indiana University. Then, after an extensive backpacking trip among the dogwoods, redbuds, and rhododendrons of the southern Appalachian Mountains in 2017, her love of and connection to nature was rekindled, and thus began her dive into horticulture, volunteering with the University of Illinois’ Master Gardener program, working in the green industry, and pursuing her BS in Horticulture from Oregon State. Amanda moved to Colorado in 2021 and focused on landscaping and cultivation before eventually finding a place as Field Crew Supervisor for TreeForce with The Park People. When not out digging holes with her crew, you can find Amanda tending to her many plants, traveling, hiking, camping, and telling her friends and family (and anyone else within earshot) about trees! Contact Amanda. 

Brenda N., Program Associate (she/her/ella)

Brenda joined The Park People in 2023 with a BA in Political Science and a Minor in Chicano/a Studies from the Metropolitan State University of Denver. Originally from Los Angeles, California, Brenda moved to Denver at a young age and has been inspired by her Denver community to involve herself in work that reflects her strong commitment towards dismantling oppressive systems and building a more equitable and inclusive future for all Denver communities. On her free time she loves to go on long walks in her local parks, and to spend time with friends and family.

Mae Sarah, Office Assistant (she/her/hers)

Mae grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and spent summers in the Sierra Nevada Foothills where she developed a passion for environmental protection and outdoor education. She obtained her BA in Environmental Studies from the University of California Santa Cruz before moving to Denver in the summer of 2023. She looks forward to connecting with volunteers, community members, and friends of The Park People! Contact Mae.

Allie Runne, Field Crew Supervisor (she/her/hers)

Allie joined The Park People in 2023 as a Field Crew Supervisor in the TreeForce program. Allie worked for
several years as a hydroponic greenhouse manager in the non-profit urban agriculture sector, as well as some time with Denver Parks and Recreation as a Park Horticulturist. With an Interdisciplinary Studies degree from Appalachian State University focusing in Sociology and Sustainable Development, as well as her past work experience, the intersection of meaningful environmental work, engaging community, and getting your hands dirty is where Allie thrives. She is eager to put her knowledge and experience to work learning about urban forestry, tree care, and connecting people in the community with employment opportunities in the industry. 

Sandra Kohl, Operations Manager (she/her/hers)

Sandra joined The Park People in 2024, bringing over twenty years of experience in nonprofit management and support. Raised in Washington state, I journeyed to Colorado in 2001 and began teaching science classes all over the state of Colorado. Organizing overnight teaching trips and keeping our team safe began my passion for operations, to-do lists, and people support. When I’m not busy writing a policy or reading contracts, I can be found happily walking our many urban parks, reading, dancing, or practicing yoga. Contact Sandra.

Danielle Helm, Community Connector

My name is Danielle Helm, and I have lived in the Barnum neighborhood for the last 10 years. It’s very important to me to work to preserve Barnum’s history and to protect the culture of the people and the community we have. Our neighborhood has been under-resourced, and the effects of climate change are growing disproportionately here. I’m grateful to work with The Park People to help grow our Urban Forest.


Besides working with The Park People, I practice as an Acupuncturist and Herbalist specializing in Reproductive medicine. I am also a tattooer, and a mom of two little kids. 


I love gardening, cooking, hanging with friends, playing cozy video games and making art! 

Evon Lopez, Community Connector (she/her/hers)

My name is Evon Lopez, and I am a native of Colorado, my family has 200 years of rich culture and history in Denver. I have been married for 42 years to my awesome spouse, and we have 3 well accomplished daughters who all hold numerous degrees. I have three amazing grandchildren, one of which I am fortunate to help raise. I recently retired from HR as a Human Resource Specialist after 25 plus years, I was known as the “go to person,” due to my vast institutional knowledge. I have always loved helping people, solving problems, and building lasting relationships.

Currently, I am a volunteer involved with the neighborhood I grew up in Valverde & raised my family, and now my daughter purchased my mom’s house after she passed, which is 60 years in the community. The community and I were able to name a park named after my mom and my dad, as they were community activist and always helping those in harm’s way. My dream is to continue the work my parents started by building up this neighborhood which has been widely marginalized and suffered unfair redlining and disinvestment during the 1960s and 70s. In my spare time I like to read, sew making masks, do puzzles, and I like to garden, and make scrap books.

I identify as Mestiza, which is Spanish, Mexican, and Native American. My identity is deeply rooted in my beloved community Valverde. My mom taught me and all that her parents taught her, and the backbone is our deep faith in God, and prayer is miracle of community. We also love our land and exist in the Valverde community for over 60 years, as we care deeply for the land and nature.

Amanda Morian, Community Connector

Amanda began with The Park People as a volunteer community forester as a way to balance the chaos of life in the busy indoor healthcare system with some outdoor grounding. This work lead to a meaningful connection within the neighborhood of Globeville, where she resides. Her work as a community forester evolved into a community coordinator role, with shared goals of The Park People and the neighborhood. She is really looking forward to how this role will help collectively transform the neighborhood for the better.

Board of Trustees

Executive Committee
Lynne Brown, Co-Vice President & Urban Forestry Committee Chair
Laurie Chahbandour, Past President
Laurie Choi-Brochu, Co-Vice President
Laurel Davies, Secretary
Susan Eslick
Chris Fisher, Gates Tennis Center Committee Chair
Sue Fry
Bonnie Gross, Development, PR, & Marketing Committee Chair
David Hammond, President
Mark Lauriha, Past President
Hank Saipe, Treasurer
 
Teddy Douglass
Lauren Grass
Jolon Clark, Ex Officio
Melissa Crowley
Michael Naes
Caroline Rassenfoss
Andy Shopneck
John L. (Larry) Wiberg, MD
 

 

 

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