Portland Parks & Recreation's Stewardship Coordinators are eager to help you connect with your local natural areas. Contact us today to find out how you can get involved!
Susan Hawes - Johnson Creek Watershed
Parks and natural areas in inner SE and outer SE Portland
Susan works with Partner Organizations and Volunteers in the Johnson Creek Watershed in southeast Portland. She has a degree in Cultural Ecology from Linfield College, performed botany surveys in the Pacific Northwest for more than ten field seasons, and has managed volunteer programs for land management-oriented non-profits and government entities since 2000. As an AmeriCorps service member for two years in Portland-Vancouver, she became familiar with many of Portland's natural areas. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest cultivated her love of everything outdoors--even the rain!--and inspires her to connect fellow Portlanders with local natural areas and parks in ways that are meaningful to them. In her free time she likes to garden, fiddle, hike (which to her means walking while checking out plants), give massages as a state-licensed massage therapist, and play with her cat, Middie.
Mary Verrilli - Westside watersheds
Parks and natural areas in SW and NW Portland
Mary works in parks on the west side of the Willamette River. She has a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from Keene State College and has been engaging youth in environmental education and restoration projects in Oregon with non-profits since 2007. She has been working closely with the PP&R No Ivy League program since 2008 and currently manages this program. Mary enjoys connecting and educating youth and volunteers of all ages to Portland's natural areas while seeing ecological transformations occur in our parks. In her free time, Mary enjoys gardening, backpacking, canoeing, cooking, and listening to live music.
Yoko Silk - Columbia Slough Watershed
Parks and natural areas in N and NE Portland
Yoko leads stewardship events in parks and natural areas in the Columbia Slough watershed in North and Northeast Portland. She joined the Parks family as the lead instructor for the Jr Greenspaces Restoration and Urban Naturalist Team (now known as the Teen Naturalist Team) in 2010, and has been in her role as Stewardship Coordinator since 2015. Yoko is passionate about connecting people to nature. Recognizing the intersections of environmental, social, and racial justice, Yoko is deeply committed to serving historically marginalized communities and dedicated to creating opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to have access to and engage in nature in meaningful ways. She has been in the field of youth work and outdoor education since 1999 and has experience as an environmental educator, a backpacking instructor and raft guide, a caseworker at a crisis shelter for homeless and runaway teens, a facilitator at high ropes challenge courses, and a lead instructor for a youth empowerment arts camp. Yoko has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon. In her free time, Yoko enjoys going on outdoor adventures like rafting and backpacking, playing cello, juggling, listening to podcasts, and rock-climbing.