2020 Front Range Chapter Board of Directors

Meet the 2020 Board of dedicated and talented folks. 
If you would like to join us for a Board of Directors meeting, we currently meet online every third Wednesday at 6pm. Upcoming meeting dates are June  17 and July 15, 2020. Please email us at frontrangewildones@gmail.com if you are interested in joining and we will email you the link to join. Thank you!
Lisa Olsen

A Colorado Certified Nursery Professional working at a retail nursery, Lisa is on the “front line” of the movement towards landscaping with native plants, speaking with people daily about the choices they are making for their yards. From an early age, Lisa has had a passion for wildlife and wild places. Growing up in drought-plagued California, she has long been an advocate for water conservation and recognizes that the future of residential and commercial landscaping must include plants native to the region, benefiting the planet and the pocketbook. Living in Colorado since 2007, Lisa has joined the Colorado Native Plant Society, is a certified Native Plant Master, a volunteer native seed collector and crew leader with Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, and a Wildscape Ambassador through Audubon Rockies. Lisa sees potential habitat everywhere, from yards to median strips and parking lots, and knows from experience that “If you plant it, they will come.”

Diane L. Stahl
Diane is the former owner of Urban Roots, a city garden store and landscape company specializing in small space gardening and commercial amenities, and is now designing and installing commercial and residential properties utilizing native and xeric species. Her love and knowledge of gardening have been apparent since her high school days in Chicago, earning a Master Gardener’s certificate from the Denver Botanic Gardens, horticulture certificate from Front Range/Colorado State University, and many hours of home gardening. She possesses a distinct passion for horticulture and applied gardening that is sustainable and aesthetic. In her other professional life, Diane has been a successful fundraiser and business development leader for some of Denver’s high profile non-for-profit organizations, including the Denver Botanic Gardens. Diane is a “native transplant” and resides in Washington Park. 

SECRETARY (through May 2020; POSITION OPEN as of June 2020)
Carla DeMasters
Carla DeMasters came to the Wild Ones Front Range Chapter soon after becoming a member and immediately wanted to get more involved with such a great organization! Her background in plant ecology and extensive field experience conducting vegetation surveys in ecosystems throughout the western U.S. kindled her deep passion for native plants and ecosystems and desire to share their beauty with others through teaching and gardening with native plants. Carla holds a M.A. in Geography with a focus on Biogeography and GIS from CU Boulder and a M.S. in Biology with a focus on Restoration Ecology from CU Denver. She is highly skilled in the identification of native plants of the Great Plains and Southern Rocky Mountains. Carla is a Certified Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS) with the Society of Wetland Scientists and a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (CERP) with the Society for Ecological Restoration. She currently works as a Senior Ecologist for CORVUS Environmental in Denver, CO. 

Peggy Hanson
Peggy is a trained accountant who has embraced the need for environmentally sound residential landscaping practices. In 2000, while volunteering for conservation groups in Lake County, Illinois, she became acquainted with the vital place native plants occupy in preserving and restoring open spaces to have rich biodiversity and consequently, less demand on municipal resources. Since moving to the Front Range in 2012, she has volunteered at the Denver Botanic Gardens and became a docent there in 2016. In 2016, she and her husband began the process of replacing a large portion of their front lawn with native and water-smart/regionally-appropriate plants. They are enjoying the benefits of their labor in the variety of textures, flowers, birds, bees, and butterflies; the lower water bills are awesome too!

MEMBERSHIP & NEWSLETTER CHAIR  Deborah Lebow Aal Deborah was born and raised in New York, but left as soon as she could, raising her children in the Washington DC area, and then moving to Colorado in 1998. Deborah worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an attorney and then as a manager for 32 years, first in Washington, DC and then in Denver, CO. She worked in many different EPA offices and is well versed in issues related to water quality, air quality, and sustainability.  Deborah also worked as program director for the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation for two years in the 1990’s, and was a docent at the Denver Botanic Gardens for four years. Since leaving EPA, Deborah has studied and practiced permaculture and sustainable gardening and has a deep passion for healing the earth one yard at a time. She is an avid hiker, cyclist and yogini.

Jan Midgley

For thirty-four years, Jan was the owner of Wildflower, a nursery selling native plants. She is the author of Nursery Sources of Native Plants of the Southeastern United States published in 1993, Southeastern Wildflowers published in 1999 (also available in 7 state versions) and Native Plant Propagation, 4th ed. She is a Past Director of the Cullowhee Native Plant Conference held annually in Cullowhee, North Carolina. She lectures and writes about the cultivation and propagation of native plants. Jan has been gardening with native plants for forty years, challenged by soils and weather in Missouri, Michigan, Maryland, Alabama and for the last two years, Colorado.

Tom Swihart
Tom spent his professional career in Florida with the state Department of Environmental Protection. He served as Administrator of the Office of Water Policy and as the state Water Conservation Manager. Since moving to Colorado, he has been a Lafayette Open Space volunteer and served as a member of the Town of Erie Tree Board. On the Tree Board, he was the lead individual in persuading the Town Trustees to adopt a resolution formally promoting native landscaping and low-irrigation practices. He and his wife are undertaking a native plant makeover of their yard in Erie. They believe that transforming urban landscapes of grass and non-native ornamental species to native species is one of the best things that Front Range communities can do for natural systems and people.