Sarah Milligan-Toffler, Executive Director
Sarah Milligan-Toffler is Executive Director of C&NN. Sarah is a creative, energetic, and mission-driven leader who brings more than 20 years of experience in developing, funding, and implementing outdoor education and adventure programs that provide a deep connection to nature for people of all backgrounds and abilities. Sarah formerly served as Associate Executive Director of Wilderness Inquiry, a national leader in providing wilderness trips and environmental education activities that include people with disabilities, low-income families, and disadvantaged urban youth. While at Wilderness Inquiry, Sarah helped to develop the Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventures program, which has been recognized by President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative as a national model for engaging urban youth and families in the outdoors. She also helped develop Wilderness Inquiry’s Families Integrating Together and Gateway to Adventure programs, facilitating participation in the outdoors by families and individuals with intellectual disabilities. Sarah has extensive experience in strategic planning, program development and evaluation, board relations, fundraising and resource development, communications management, and volunteer management. Sarah is an avid runner, hiker, and backpacker and enjoys camping with her husband Jeff, son Jacob, and Golden Doodle Honey.
Juan Martinez, Director of Leadership Development
A proud product of south central Los Angeles, Juan D. Martinez is C&NN’s Director of Leadership Development and the Natural Leaders Network. His passion to empower individuals and youth led him to direct Sierra Club’s first environmental justice youth leadership academy in Los Angeles. In 2009, Juan introduced Department of Interior’s Ken Salazar at Powershift in Washington, DC, and he was invited by the White House to attend the National Forum on Clean Energy Economy. In 2006, Juan was a delegate to the Latino Congreso, and he is included in “Hispanics Living Green.” A recent graduate of the California State University Los Angeles, he is a recipient of Congresswoman Hilda Solis’ Environmental Youth Leadership Award and “Looking to the Future” award from the Breaking the Color Barriers conference. Juan received a “Green for All” 2009 fellowship and is on the national executive committee for the Sierra Student Coalition. Juan is a spokesperson for the Sierra Club’s Building Bridges to the Outdoors initiative. He dedicates his energy and free time on grassroots campaigns that vary from health care and housing discrimination to creating garden space in the city of L.A.
Amy Pertschuk, Director of Network Communications
Amy Pertschuk is an award winning designer and internet entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in information design and technology. In 1991 she co-founded Communication Wave (C-Wave) a multi-media design studio with a focus on natural history museums and aquariums. C-Wave’s client list includes the American Museum of Natural History, the California Academy of Sciences, SFMOMA, Scholastic, Apple, Adobe, and Hasboro. In 1998, she co-founded eNature.com , the Web’s premier online nature-discovery resource. Pertschuk designed and developed C&NN’s online strategy and continues to manage the ever-expanding Web site and social media resources to serve the needs of the growing children and nature movement. She is currently serving as C&NN’s managing director and is part of the strategic planning and implementation team. She also serves as a member of the board of directors for Hooked on Nature and is chair of the garden committee at Willow Creek Academy, the local public charter school.
Martin LeBlanc is a leading voice in the movement to reconnect children and nature. As a teenager, Martin’s own life was turned around through an outdoor experience. Since then, he has gained experience in government and the non-profit sector to unite diverse partners toward the goal of giving each child an outdoor experience.
A founding Board Member and Vice-President Emeritus of the Children & Nature Network, Martin is inspired by the vision of Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle. For 10 years Martin was with the Sierra Club, the oldest and largest conservation organization in the United States. Most recently he was the National Youth Director. In this role, he introduced over 200,000 children to the outdoors. Martin has established non-traditional alliances with the military, educational groups and health organizations. He was instrumental in establishing the Outdoor Alliance for Kids, a national partnership of organizations from diverse sectors with the common interest of expanding opportunities to get kids and families outside. Martin has built relationships with the Obama White House Administration, including the Department of Interior’s Office of Youth, and the First Lady’s Let’s Move Initiative. Martin helped organize President Obama’s June 2009 kickoff event for the United We Serveinitiative in Washington, DC.
Martin earned his BA in Political Science from American University of Washington, DC, and an MA in Environment, Culture, and Society from Lancaster University in England. He was recently appointed Senior Vice-President at IslandWood. Martin lives with his wife and young daughter in Seattle. At every available opportunity, the family spends time at the parks throughout the Pacific NorthWest.
Janice Swaisgood, National Coordinator, Natural Families Network
Hanna Pinneo grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and was introduced to the natural world through her love of animals. She spent much of her childhood and youth at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, connecting children to nature through the animals they loved to learn about. In 2009, after the encouragement of a mentor, Hanna attended the first Natural Leaders Network Summit in San Francisco and joined the National Team. As a part of the Natural Leaders Network, Hanna has dedicated herself to serving those who serve us, the Armed Forces, by encouraging military families to explore nature wherever they are. Hanna also works with the Arbor Day Farm to introduce Nebraska children to nature in their own backyards.
Robyn Bjornsson, Executive Assistant
Robyn Bjornsson is the executive assistant for C&NN. She provides support and administrative services for the network and responds to information requests. Prior to joining C&NN, Robyn worked with low income families in various non-profit organizations, primarily as a program director of a childcare subsidy program. Robyn received her bachelor’s degree from UC Davis and master’s degree in East-West Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. She spends her free time enjoying the outdoors with her husband and two daughters and in San Diego.
Jacqueline Green, Special Consultant, Public Affairs
Jacqueline Green founded her Los Angeles-based public relations company, JGPR Inc., in 1979 and has represented clients in the arts, entertainment, publishing and literary fields, including Walter Cronkite, Al Gore, Alan Shepard, and Letitia Baldrige. She has worked with Richard Louv on several of his books. Jackie’s love of the outdoors stems from a British upbringing, during which her co-ed boarding school education included gardening and walks in the forest. Though she now lives in sunny Southern California, Jackie remembers the long, damp, cold winters with a certain fondness.
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[+] What is Nature-Deficit Disorder?
— USA Today, Nov. 2006
– Cheryl Charles
— Orion magazine
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C&NN PublicationsAs part of our ongoing efforts to build the movement, the Children & Nature Network has published these resources for leaders, organizers, and participants at the local, national, and international levels:
2010 C&NN Report
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Children and Nature 2009: A Report on the Movement to Reconnect Children to the Natural World
[>] Download PDF [1.1MB]
C&NN Community Action Guide: Building the Children & Nature Movement from the Ground Up
[>] Download PDF [1.4MB]