Meet our Team

Our passion is connecting youth with the outdoors.

We’re a team of diverse outdoor enthusiasts thrilled to nurture the love of nature on the Western Slope of Colorado.

Priscilla Williams

Program Director

priscilla.williams@deltaschools.com

Following multiple winters as a Forest Service educator and Snow Ranger with the Skis for
Kids Program, Priscilla now works as TNC’s Program Director. She grew up in Palisade, Colorado with peaches, mountains and mules. After receiving her B.S. in Environmental Communication from Colorado State University, she has pursued the art of teaching outdoor education in many forms, whether it be to users of public land or as an instructor at CSU’s Environmental Learning Center and Pingree mountain campus. Priscilla gained much of her outdoor skill set and values during her years with the U.S. Forest Service as a wilderness ranger and mule packer. She is happy to be back home on the Western Slope, working with TNC’s coalition to engage our youth and communities in the endless wonders of the outdoors. Snow science is one of her favorite topics to teach in the field as well as leading Girls on the Run backpacking trips. In her free time, she is currently captivated by things she didn’t have the privilege to grow up doing such as rafting, hunting with her partner and pup, and cross-country skiing.

PRISCILLA WILLIAMS

Torreya (Tori) Swift

Program Coordinator

torreya.swift@deltaschools.com

Tori graduated from The Evergreen State College 2011 with a BS in Wildlife Biology and Management and since then has been active in the biological sciences and environmental education. She has worked for both private and non-profit organizations, completing projects funded by The BLM, Conservancies, National Parks Service and the US Forest Service. In this work, she has developed a solid understanding of how different organizations can work together to achieve common goals and use education to enrich community and the quality of life for individuals. Tori grew up in the dense forests of Northern California and has lived and worked in Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Mexico and Malaysia. She has called The North Fork Valley her home five years. An avid adventurer, she can be found spending her spare time with her husband and two dogs, looking for birds in the mountains or rafting one of the West’s stunning rivers. As the Program Coordinator for The Nature Connection team, Tori is overjoyed to be creating recreational opportunities for Delta County’s youth and connecting her community to the outdoors.

TORI SWIFT

Holly Henriksen

Generation Wild Lead

Holly is thrilled to be joining The Nature Connection as the Skis For Kids Program Lead. Born and raised in the snowy flatlands of Wisconsin, she has been enjoying nordic skiing since she was a toddler, among other outdoor pursuits. Holly graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Wildlife Ecology and has spent the years since traveling and working within the broad field of natural resources. She has led wilderness trips and youth conservation crews, served as an agroforestry Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, lived and worked on regenerative farms in Central America, and spent multiple seasons working for the Forest Service in the wilderness of Colorado. Holly is looking forward to engaging students in the lifetime sport of nordic skiing and teaching them about winter ecology on the incredible Grand Mesa!

HOLLY HENRIKSEN

Ben Graves

Development Director

Ben Graves comes to the Nature Connection after teaching high school in Western Colorado for close to a decade. Before that, he was active in environmental education in the SF Bay Area. His undergraduate (BS) and graduate (MS) studies were in the Earth Systems Science Program at Stanford University where he felt drawn to teaching after volunteering as a docent and ranger at the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. As a science teacher, he strives to “make visible the invisible parts of the world” through student-driven inquiry and experimentation. His students collect data on air quality, monitor the local bark beetle epidemic and develop authentic skills in the renewable energy field. Students in his Solar Energy Training Program have installed close to 50 kW of solar in Delta County Schools. He is a Senior Fellow with the Knowles Teachers Initiative (knowlesteachers.org), a national teacher leadership program for science and math teachers and recently traveled to the Arctic as part of a National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship. He lives with his wife and two rambunctious daughters in Paonia, CO. where they can often be found hiking in desert canyons, rafting wilderness rivers or cross country skiing on the largest flat-topped mountain in the world.

BEN GRAVES

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