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Donna Griffen

Donna Griffen

Director of Early Childhood Education and Water Quality

Donna has an education background with a focus in science and recreation. She has worked with pre-school and school-aged children since she was 15. Summer camp has been part of her life for the last 30 years, stretching from southern Michigan to southern Ohio.  She loves being outdoors with children enjoying the changing of the seasons and exploring the mysteries of nature.





Joe PhelpsJoe Phelps


Joe grew up in Cincinnati and is trained as a wildlife research biologist. He has worked for universities, a high school, a timber company and also spent several years as a stay-home dad. Joe is passionate about opening up connections between children and the natural world. He always hopes that a little spark of interest will lead to a lifelong love of nature.




Jim VilesJim Viles


Jim grew up in the wilds of Toledo, OH. He studied Elementary and Art Education at BGSU before falling in love with Outdoor Education in 1992. Teaching and camp education adventures have taken him to Michigan, Alabama, New Mexico, and California. Jim says “Exploring and working within the amazing ecology of southwest Ohio and being able to share with children such a pristine setting as Greenacres has settled me down –mostly.” He has been loving his job at Greenacres since 2004 and lives in Newport, KY.



Chris WalkerChris bio pic


Volunteering as a high school counselor and then working as a naturalist at YMCA Camp Kern helped Chris to discover his path in life.  After earning his degree in Outdoor Education from Berea College, Chris traveled the country teaching in the environmental education field – from the rural woods of Alabama, up to the northern forests of Michigan (his home state), down to the blackland prairies of Texas, and back to southwest Ohio where it all started for him.  Chris believes the hands on approach to studying science allows children to make personal observations that build stronger connections and helps them to develop a deeper understanding of the natural world.



SaraSarah bio pich Kozel


Sarah studied child development at Berea College.  She originated from Cincinnati where her love for nature began.  She has worked with children from preschool to high school.  She loves sharing her experiences in nature with any child she meets.





Tracy Crotty

Naturalist Tracy bio pic

Tracy was born and raised here in Loveland, OH and grew up exploring around the Little Miami River. She has a background in Biology and Ecology, but realized her passion was in Outdoor Education after working with kids outside during summer camp at the Cincinnati Nature Center. Tracy is elated to be at Greenacres and eager to get children outdoors to help build curiosity and form a connection with nature.