Emily hails from the mouth of the Fraser River on Coast Salish land. She is a certified teacher with 15 years experience working with young people of all ages. Aside from growing up by the salt and sea of coastal BC, her ancestral roots go back to the Celtic-Anglo isles and Scandanavia.
Emily has a background working as an international youth leadership trip facilitator outtrip director, motivational tour speaker, native plant researcher, curriculum designer and classroom teacher. She holds a BEd in Indigenous Perspectives from SFU, and a BA Biogeography from UBC. She co-founded Rivers to Ridges out of her belief that building curiosity for the natural world at a young age is an integral part of a healthy life.
A big passion of hers is working with plants, which she pursues through basket-weaving, harvesting wild plants and making medicinal salves. These days, Emily spends time gardening, playing music, and falling in love with her new baby boy, Llewyn.
Wren was raised between the Niagara Escarpment and the shores of Lake Ontario on the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ, Attiwonderonk, Mississauga, and Mississauga of the New Credit.
Wren has always felt called to work outdoors with young people, and is a certified teacher, with her BEd in Outdoor, Experiential Education. Rivers to Ridges was born out of a desire to create space for young people to feel curious about and connected to the land around them, and Wren uses their experiences to mentor young people and support those in the fields of education and child and youth work.
Wren feels most alive when working in relationship with youth as they develop their sense of self in connection to place/land; being welcomed into children's explorations of the natural world; creating accessibility for children to take part in programs that connect them to the land; learning from local land stewards; exploring and supporting risky play; and celebrating bird language and song as a doorway to deeper awareness.
An early fall multi-day backpacking trip in with a Yukon experiential high school program is where Emily found Wren in 2014. At the time, Wren was fresh to the territory and woefully unprepared for her first backcountry hiking trip. With the help of a shared tent, warm tea and lots of duct tape, Emily supported Wren on the adventure.
A couple months later, Wren had the chance to repay the love by heading out with a friend to support Emily who was stuck in Watson Lake with a broken down vehicle. A surprise snowstorm closed the roads, and they were forced to stay the night at the Cozy Nest. Conversation eventually turned to life passions, and it turned out that Wren and Emily both had the same (not-so) secret dream of building a program that guides young people towards a meaningful connection with the land.
Rooted in mutual support for one another and a deep love of mentoring children on the land, Rivers to Ridges was born! Now, in 2021, Rivers to Ridges celebrates over five years in operation.