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Meet Our Metro to Mountain Native Plant Master Team

The Meet Our Metro to Mountain Native Plant Master Team

Deryn Davidson

Deryn DavidsonDeryn Davidson is the Horticulture Agent for Boulder County. Her passion for native plants grew during her time as a horticulturist at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. She enjoys combining her training in design and horticulture with ecological function and helping people discover new ways to incorporate native plants into their home landscapes.



Barbara FaheyBarbara Fahey

Barbara has a passion for connecting plants and people. She founded the Native Plant Master Program® in 1997 and has served as team leader for the award-winning program since that time. She is the former director of CSU Extension in Jefferson County and former administrator of the Lookout Mountain Nature Center.


Amy FlanaganAmy Flanagan

Amy retired after a career in aerospace to pursue a lifetime hobby of gardening. She has been a Master Gardener for 5 years and a Native Plant Master volunteer for 3 years.  She spent several gardening seasons teaching gardening to children and adults with special needs.


Celia GreenmanCelia Greenman

Celia has been a Master Gardener since 2004 and a Native Plant Master since 2008. She gardens with native plants and starts plants (flower and vegetables) from seed. This is her 4th year teaching a Native Plant Master course at Green Mountain as a Jefferson County Native Plant Master trainer.



Mariska HamstraMariska Hamstra

Mariska has a background in chemistry, but has grown a passion for Colorado’s native flora ever since she moved here from the Netherlands in 1998. She’s taken many plant-related classes at RRCC and MSCD, including field botany and vasular plant taxonomy.  After her first NPM classes in 2010, she became a Native Plant Master that same year.  Now she likes to share her enthusiasm for Colorado’s native flora with just about everyone.

Beth Hanson

Beth Hanson

After graduating from CSU in Horticulture/Landscape Design, Beth spent decades as a professional horticulturist, including several years at Hudson Gardens. She’s been a Master Gardener in both Jefferson and Arapahoe counties, and has worked at South Platte Park in varying capacities since 2005. She has been a full-time Park Interpreter since early 2012, working primarily with groups of elementary school students. She is also a licensed secondary math teacher. Beth’s experience as an educator and interpreter has helped her develop her style as an approachable and inclusive instructor.  Beth is passionate about helping home owners choose appropriate plant material to create their own best landscape while using water responsibly. In her own colorful landscape, the backyard is comprised of regional natives, and the front yard is predominantly xeric.


Shaun HowardShaun Howard and James

Shaun Howard is a Ranger Lead for the 50,000+ acre Jefferson County Open Space System. She is a certified Native Plant Master and a graduate of the first series of NPM courses held in 1997. She said, ”As a park ranger and environmental educator, I have used information from the Native Plant Master courses I took in 1997 to help literally thousands of people make personal connections to the plants of Colorado.”


Skot Latona

Skot Latona

Skot has been a Native Plant Master since 2001, with several seasons as an instructor.  He is a Certified Interpretive Guide and Trainer, and has worked in the riparian areas of South Platte Park since 1998.



Phil LyonPhil Lyon

Phil graduated from Western State College in Gunnison.  While attending college, he began photographing the wildflowers of the Colorado high country, and has been studying wildflowers ever since. He recently retired after teaching elementary school aged children for 40 years in the Jefferson County Public Schools system.  He completed the requirements for the Native Plant Master certification in 2012.  He looks forward to sharing his curiosity for the close-up world of wildflowers with others in the Native Plant Master courses in the years to come.


Lenore MitchellLenore Mitchell

Lenore is a Colorado native and lifelong gardener who was a Jeffco Master Gardener for 10 years and also a Mt. Goliath Alpine guide for Denver Botanic Gardens. She’s currently a volunteer naturalist at Roxborough State Park, leads hikes for the Colorado Native Plant Society and has taught Native Plant Master classes since 2007.


Jean NelsonJean Nelson

Jean is a Native of Colorado. Camping, fishing and hiking in the West since she was a child had created an appreciation for the fauna and flora of our region. A Banker by profession she enjoys volunteering and sharing her knowledge and observations with others. Jean has been teaching Native Plant Master courses since 2009.


Patti O'NealPatti O’Neal

Patti is a Horticulturist with CSU Extension and coordinates the Jefferson County Master Gardener Program. She also teaches horticulture-related topics at the Denver Botanic Gardens and Front Range Community College. As a NPM Trainer, she teaches NPM field courses and Basic Botany to prepare students for these courses. She loves watching for the “ah-ha” moments when it all connects. Patti has been a NPM Trainer since 2007.


William 'Milt' Robinson

William “Milt” Robinson

Milt is a certified Native Plant Master and volunteer naturalist for CO Parks and Wildlife. He retired from the U.S. Forest Service after serving in Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C. Most recently, he was a Professor and Director of the Environmental Policy and Management department at University of Denver.



Terri SageTerri Sage

Terri retired from the Natural Resources Conservation Service in December of 2012 after 33 years working as a Soil Conservationist and Wildlife Biologist. She holds a Master of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Terri has been a Native Plant Master since 2002, has taught NPM classes, led Colorado Mountain Club wildflower hikes, and has blogged the wildflower bloom season for the past several years. Her special interests are in native plant uses in wildlife habitat restoration and pollinator plantings, ethnobotany, and in using native plants in Front Range gardens.


Irene ShonleIrene Shonle

Irene is the Extension Director for Gilpin County.  She has a passion for native plants, and has been teaching about native plants in classes around the state since 2003.  She maintains a demonstration garden filled with many native plants outside the Gilpin Extension Office, and uses them extensively in her own garden.


Heidi SkibaHeidi Skiba

Heidi has worked as a naturalist at the Lookout Mountain Nature Center with Jefferson County Open Space since 2005 and has been a Native Plant Master since 2008. She earned a bachelor’s degree in natural resource management with an emphasis in environmental education and interpretation from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Heidi grew up Wisconsin and spent her childhood summers exploring forests and wetlands, but could also be found holed up in her bedroom for endless hours with her markers and watercolors. Those early experiences led to a love of nature and art—two passions Heidi loves to share with others.

Alicia VermilyeAlicia Vermilye

Alicia is an Education Specialist at Jefferson County Open Space since 2006. She enjoys teaching and loves walking gently off trail to look for flowers with others.



Jannette WesleyJannette Wesley

Jannette is a Colorado native.  Her love for native plants began as a gardener after the droughts in the 1970’s and 1980’s and the Denver Water Boards promotion of xeric plants.  After a trip to American Basin in the San Juan Mountains, she rediscovered the immense diversity of native plants and the Colorado Native Plant Society.  She joined the following year by attending their annual meeting in Denver.  Friends recommended the Native Plant Master Program to her and she began taking classes every summer.  Three years ago she retired from the National Park Service as a Project Manager and Technical Information.  For the past 5 years, she has been President and Co-President of the Metro Denver Chapter of the Colorado Native Plant Society, scheduling meetings and field trips for its members.

Keeping ahead of COVID-19

This rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) has imposed an unsettling, fluid situation upon our community and its businesses. While the team here still aims to maintain a “business as usual” approach, we are making a number of significant changes to our operations to account for a situation that is far from normal.