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"Riley is the Youth Program Coordinator for Groundwork New Orleans. Growing up as a "military brat," she spent most of her childhood living in major cities. Like most inner-city kids, she was unable to spend much time in nature. After graduating from high school in D.C., she packed her things and moved to Flagstaff, Arizona, a hiker's dreamscape, to begin her undergraduate degree. She soon discovered the brilliance of the world beyond a concrete jungle and realized her deep connection to nature.
She changed her major from Pre-Veterinary to Natural Resource Ecology and Management with a concentration in Conservation Biology. She was determined to learn how she could help protect and preserve the incredible ecosystems that sustain us and how to bring the healing power of nature back into the cities. She spent a semester in Hilo, Hawaii studying ethnobotany and believes cultural connections to the environment are of the utmost importance. She established a composting service for residents in Baton Rouge, worked with locals to plant hundreds of native trees, and educated youth in plant and wildlife identification. She is passionate about teaching people of all backgrounds the wonders of nature and it's incredible ability to repair itself and provide immense benefits to humans when it's treated with love and respect.
She graduated in 2017 with a Bachelors of Science from LSU and the will to educate the community with the information it needs to make more environmentally sustainable advancements. After graduating, she spent 5 months abroad in Taiwan teaching Science and English classes and has since worked with organic farms to build green infrastructure and incorporate sustainable farming practices. She is also a yoga instructor and nutrition coach.
Riley feels we must take responsibility for the state of our environment and realize our every action has a reaction. She believes healing our environment in turn heals us and inspiring the youth is key to building a more healthy, sustainable city."