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Our Mission 

The Nature Lodge exists to inspire, encourage and educate environmental stewards of today, for a more sustainable future. 

Our Vision 

With our long-term vision of creating an ecological campus, The Nature Lodge will be a place where Eco-Knowledge resides. For now, we strive to inform our community members in an online capacity.

Board of Directors

Executive Team

Brittany Newton


Executive Director

Before attending Moorpark College’s Exotic Animal Training and Management Program, she was active in the Santa Cruz Junior Fair Board and California 4-H Program as a state ambassador and then adult leader. After graduation, she has worked at America’s Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College promoting wildlife education and environmental conservation. After studying Animal Behavior and Welfare at the University of Chester in England, she discovered a disconnect between people and the natural world around them.  Creating an educational facility that integrates conservation 

into everyday human culture is now her mission. She is currently a Professional Expert at America’s Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College.


Kris Romero



Starting her career in animal care in 1988, Kris graduated with a degree in Exotic Animal Training and Management from Moorpark College in Southern California. After serving as the educational animal show supervisor at Six Flags Magic Mountain she moved onto the Santa Barbara Zoo as the Education Curator. While serving as the curator she took on a teaching position at Moorpark College Exotic Animal Program. She has been teaching at the animal program since 1995. She is thrilled to become part of the Nature Lodge and help to create another generation of wildlife conservation enthusiasts.


Madison Oliphant



After achieving her BS in Environmental Studies from UCSB she dedicated 8 years of experience to bookkeeping, with an emphasis for organizing.  After becoming the Director of Operations for Hanuman Gardens, a personal estate with a mission to feed people, in Ojai, California. She helped run a small permaculture farm where produce was distributed to local food banks to use in our community events that are donation based. In addition she manages an Airbnb onsite and coordinate events we hold including, volunteer farming parties, weddings, kirtan/concerts, & yoga retreats. 


Sagar Desai 


Prior to founding a social media and e-commerce company, Sagar worked in the tech industry in project management and product management roles. Before jumping to the tech industry, Sagar served as a Parks & Rec Commissioner in the City of Duarte where he led efforts to establish the city's Youth and Family Master Plan. During this time, Sagar managed local campaigns for city council and local school board, and established a program to help high school students in underserved communities pursue a college education. He has experience in establishing and working with non-profits, working with local governments, and driving the use of technology to better serve communities. Sagar studied Aerospace Engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.


Dr. Steven Worker


Works for the UC Division of Agriculture and National Resources as a 4-H Youth Development Advisor serving Marin, Sonoma, and Napa.  Worker provides leadership, support, and oversight to 4-H Youth Development clubs, camps, and programs in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties. Worker's academic responsibilities include developing, implementing, and evaluating educational programs and conducting applied research around i) engaging youth in reaching their fullest potential through positive youth development approaches; ii) improving youth scientific and environmental literacy.


Carla Bohnett


Carla Bohnett, a fifth-generation California native, has deep roots in the history and parks in Northern California. As a child, she spent most summers camping in the local redwoods with her Great Grandmother learning about the plants and animals of the Santa Cruz mountains. Carla has taken the love of nature from her Grandmother and shared it with her two children. As the Women's Networking Alliance co-owner, she has served on many boards and been active in local organizations supporting public education and the art community. Carla is excited about her role with The Nature Lodge and bringing the love of nature to many more in the community.

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