Our Team

Our Team

We are a hardworking team that values social and ecological wellbeing, and enriching lives by building community, inspiring imaginations, and empowering individuals through lifelong learning. We are dedicated to creating opportunities for all to learn, play, and participate in outdoor recreation to practice and teach environmental responsibility.

Leah Japp

Leah Japp

Executive Director

Whether at work or on the farm, Leah and her family enjoy an active life of camping, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, canoeing, running, climbing snow hills, skating, tobogganing, playgrounds and swimming.

Sigourney Hoytfox

Sigourney Hoytfox

Community Engagement Manager

Sigourney grew up in southern Ontario, spending time hiking, swimming, camping and enjoying the great outdoors. She is passionate about unstructured outdoor play for youth and outdoor enjoyment for all ages. 

Justine Wheeler

Justine Wheeler

Outdoor Play Coordinator

Justine is the principal at Bulyea Elementary School in Horizon School Division. She has taught students from K-6 and has experience in early childhood education. She teaches outdoor ed throughout the school and is passionate about outdoor learning and reconciliation. Justine loves spending time outside with her two sons, husband and dogs. Justine believes that being outside benefits everyone in a holistic manner. 

Chantelle Edwards

Chantelle Edwards

Climate Education program officer

Chantelle loves inspiring people of all ages to connect meaningfully with nature and environmental initiatives.  With an academic background in palaeobiology, she is both an avid naturalist and rock hound. 

 

Kristen Simonson

Kristen Simonson

President

Kristen grew up in the Swift Current area, developing a love of the outdoors while spending time in the garden, fields and exploring the native prairie coulees on horseback. This has led to a career in education where she currently teaches biology, earth science, and environmental science with Chinook School Division.

Desiree Hortness

Desiree Hortness

PAST-President

Desirée was born and raised in Saskatchewan where she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, especially seeing the natural wonder and play of her children in the prairie setting.

Denise Skuce

Denise Skuce

Treasurer

Denise has a passion for getting children outside, connecting them to nature and connecting nature to children. She has been in the field of Early Learning for 25 years, and believes that all learning comes through play.

Aditi Garg

Aditi Garg

Member at large

Aditi is a first-generation settler with stories and memories in Treaty 1 and Treaty 6 territories. She is a former French Immersion & Math teacher, and currently an outdoor education leader. She believes that youth engagement with nature is critical for informing new policies for the environment. 

Derek Hyland

Derek Hyland

Member at large

Growing up in Saskatoon, Derek has been involved in the outdoors since his early years in Beavers, Cubs, and Scouts. This, along with outdoor-ed clubs in elementary and high school spurred a love of camping, canoeing, mountain biking, snowboarding, and all things outdoors.

Mike Prebble

Mike Prebble

Member at large

Mike works as an educator with the Saskatoon Public School Division where he instructs the Off the Grid environmental program out of Tommy Douglas Collegiate. He spends his free time camping, biking the trails of Saskatoon, as well as coaching football and competitive high school Improv.

Sean Brandt

Sean Brandt

Member at large

Sean Brandt is a high school teacher and environmental enthusiast. Sean is a founding member of the premier Outdoor School program in Prairie Spirit School Division, based out of Warman High School. 

Brooklyn Berrns

Brooklyn Berrns

Member at large

Brooklyn quickly became an outdoor and environmental enthusiast at a young age and strives to connect at-risk youth with the out of doors. She has a keen interest in adventure therapy and is currently working as a Probation Officer. 

Carmen Gilmore

Carmen Gilmore

Member at large

Carmen teaches privately in Saskatoon and uses art to explore nature with children. She spends her summers and autumns leading kids foraging for materials, and winter through spring guiding art making. She is an amateur botanist and committed to helping others connect to the land that we share.

Ashley Gagnon-Shaw

Ashley Gagnon-Shaw

Member at large

Ashley is faculty with SUNTEP Saskatoon where she teaches place-based pedagogy, methods in Physical Education, and Michif epistemology. Her passion is connecting teacher candidates to the outdoors and recognizing the opportunities for learning on the land. She was been involved with climate and sustainability action at the University of Saskatchewan. Ashley enjoys hiking, yoga, kayaking, canoeing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and pond hockey.

Samantha Gunn

Samantha Gunn

Member at large

Sam works in Treaty 6 Territory for Saskatoon Public Schools as the Coordinator for the Brightwater Center. She has a deep passion for learning in the outdoors and believes that formal education has a huge role to play in addressing biodiversity loss and the climate crisis.

Heather Maurer

Heather Maurer

Member at large

Heather grew up in Manitoba, but has come to love Saskatchewan as her home. She has expanded her love of the outdoors in her role co-teaching the Outdoor School program and camping and exploring with her family. Heather currently works for Prairie Valley School Division and is pursuing her Masters of Education.