Staff


Lenore Eggleston Herbst
, Executive Director

Sarah Breznen, Director of Education

Jennifer BradshawEarly Childhood Manager/Animal Curator

Tommy McCarthy, Environmental Educator

Jennifer Meikle, Environmental Educator

Jeanne YoungOffice Manager

Allegra JacobsAnimal Care Coordinator

Kelly Donahoe, Events & Community Relations Coordinator

Rachel Rogers, Field Trip Educator

Danielle BottingerBirthday Party Educator

Assistant Educators:
Teddy Corper, Kevin Andros & 
Elijah Crehan 

Board of Directors

Jana Hogan, President
Roberta Barbieri, Vice President
Lindsay Sheehy, Secretary

Ira Noble, Treasurer
Donna Correale
Jaimie Meyer

Matthew Murray
Richard Vail
Steve Wooters
Brooke Wyatt
*contact our Board here



Advisory Board

Michael J. Rubbo, Ph.D.,
Program and Science 
Advisor

Raina Schunk, DVM, Avian Veterinary Advisor

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Lenore Eggleston-Herbst

Executive Director

With more than twenty-five years of experience managing non-for-profit organizations, Lenore is dedicated to utilizing Woodcock’s incredible team to connect the community more deeply to nature. Her passion for creatively inspiring community though wildlife and the environment stems from a childhood spent either in the woods or in the dance studio. These days, she spends her time doing everything from overseeing operations, strategic planning, programming and fundraising, to writing press releases, running major events, and advocating for the great work of the small but mighty Woodcock Nature Center.
 
Lenore’s previous leadership experience includes twelve years as director of marketing and development for the Westchester Philharmonic. She has also worked in fundraising and marketing for The Ballet Tech Foundation (New York City’s only tuition-free public school for dance) and the Kaufman Center, also in New York City which operates a community arts school, a K-12 public school for gifted music students, and the renowned Merkin Concert Hall. Lenore has been a guest speaker at Pace University, Manhattanville College and at NYU on the subject of marketing and public relations in the arts sector. She holds a B.A. in Dance and Psychology from Connecticut College and an M.A. in Performing Arts Administration from NYU.
 
A resident of Wilton, Lenore served on the board of directors at Woodcock before becoming its executive director in 2018. When she’s not sitting in the outfield or shivering at the ice hockey rink with her husband and two sports-loving sons, she can be found snuggling her two rescue cats, playing with her guinea pigs or walking the neighborhood with her noisy coonhound, Darwin.

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Sarah Breznen

Director of Education

Sarah enjoys sharing her love of animals, art, and nature through exploration and play! She teaches field trips, afterschool classes, and family programs throughout the year. During the summer she is camp director for Woodcock’s wildly popular summer camp. She works closely with the educator team at the nature center, researching and developing new programs to inspire connection through nature.

 

Sarah holds a BA from SUNY Purchase where she majored in Environmental Studies with a minor in Fine Art. She has always been interested in the influence of art in environmental awareness and reconnecting to nature. Before she began her journey at Woodcock in 2009, Sarah volunteered in Croatia helping to reintroduce the endangered Eurasian Griffon vulture along the Adriatic Sea, and on the northern coast of Scotland researching bottlenose dolphins.

 

She serves locally as a board member of the Norwalk River Watershed Association and participates as a member of the Hudson to Housatonic Regional Conservation Partnership on behalf of Woodcock. She lives in Norwalk with her rescue cat Melvin. In her spare time, she enjoys painting and volunteering to remove invasive plants and restore native habitats. 

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Jennifer Bradshaw

Early Childhood Manager & Animal Curator

Jennifer has been visiting the nature center since she was five years old. She would come to the center with her father to hike and look for snakes and frogs. Many years later she began helping at Woodcock as an animal care volunteer. In October of 2013 she was offered a position on the staff and could not have been happier. Jennifer wears many hats at Woodcock including teaching our wildly popular Little Forest Folk program which she created along with all the incredible preschool programming. In addition, she oversees all the resident animals and works closely with Woodcock’s birds of prey. During the summer months she serves as assistant camp director.

 

Jennifer is very involved with several advocacy groups including serving on the Wilton Youth Council's "Free Play Task Force", and acting as President of the CT Chapter of the Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools. In 2018, she became a certified Play-Maker whose job it is to spread the power of optimism to children who need it. Jennifer was awarded the 2019 Excellence in Environmental Stewardship Award given by the Connecticut Outdoor and Environmental Education Association. This award is a testament to her hard-work and dedication to environmental education. Jennifer lives in Ridgefield with her husband and their children Jase and Nicky.

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Tommy McCarthy

Educator

Tommy loves spending time at local nature preserves and thoroughly enjoys sharing the process of exploration with others! He majored in Environmental Science at Evergreen State College where his focus was freshwater ecology and geology. Since then, he has become an avid birdwatcher, spending much of his free time observing, studying, and photographing our feathered friends here in Connecticut. Leading hikes at Woodcock is one of his favorite ways to connect people with nature, and he strives to give participants of all ages an experience that will inspire them to further investigate topics and continue learning on their own. Tommy strongly believes that nature has the ability to impact peoples’ lives in a profoundly positive way, and he hopes to help others discover the same sense of wonder and appreciation that has been so important in his own life.

 

Before starting as a lead educator at Woodcock, Tommy assisted with after school programs such as Explorers, Earth Artists and Uncharted; and it was here that he realized his passion for teaching and facilitating fun and engaging learning experiences in nature. Tommy has also had a lifelong interest in the arts and enjoys drawing and calligraphy in addition to wildlife photography. He has had his photography shown in the Ridgefield Arts Walk, and often brings his photos on guided hikes to illustrate details of species which may be difficult to glimpse from afar.

Jennifer Meikle

Jennifer Meikle

Educator

Jennifer has had a love for the environment and the animals that live in it for as long as she can remember. She is passionate about sustainability and encourages others to become more connected to and appreciative of nature. Jennifer became involved with her local nature center in high school and dabbled with animal care and has enjoyed gaining knowledge from different people (and animals), places, and experiences.

Jennifer holds a BA from SUNY Stony Brook in Ecosystems and Human Impact. Before starting at the Woodcock Nature Center, she served two AmeriCorps terms partnered with the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference in New York as an Education and Outreach Trail Steward. She believes that the outdoors is for everyone, regardless of age, how much you know, or where you come from.

Along with nature, Jennifer loves her cat, doing art, hiking, and crocheting.

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Jeanne Young

Office Manager

Jeanne’s deep love and reverence for nature started in her own backyard and local nature center growing up. With over 20 years of administrative management experience, Jeanne works to keep operations running as smoothly as possible, including handling registration for all of Woodcock’s programs and events. During summer, she is the Camp Registrar and Director of First Aid. Jeanne serves on the advisory council of the local environmental sustainability organization Wilton Go Green. She grew up in Stamford and Ridgefield, CT and currently lives in Wilton with her husband and their cat Charlie. She can often be found on the trails of Woodcock and other local open spaces. 

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Allegra Jacobs

Animal Care Coordinator

Allegra has been one with animals her entire life and enjoys learning about and working with all corners of the animal kingdom. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a masters in anthrozoology and hopes for a future career in animal assisted therapy, animal communication, and spiritual mediumship. Since 2016, Allegra has worked hard to maintain the daily care and cleaning of Woodcock’s animal collection and loves each one of the animals as if they were her own. When not at Woodcock she fills her time exercising and training dogs, riding horses, or wrangling goats! She shares her home with Augustus, a winter white hamster, Jacoby, a Cuban brown anole, Ollivander, a rested gecko, and Inca, a leopard gecko (also a former Woodcock resident!)  Find her on the grounds one afternoon and tell her hello!

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Kelly Donahoe

Events & Community Relations Coordinator

Kelly developed a love of nature at an early age, growing up exploring the woods of western North Carolina.  This passion led her to pursue a B.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Environmental Studies.  She has worked as a volunteer coordinator for the United Way of Franklin and Hampshire Counties where she enjoyed the excitement of event planning and the interaction with the volunteers and donors.  Her time as a teacher naturalist in Doylestown Pennsylvania allowed her to combine a love of nature, the ability to inspire an appreciation of nature in others, and a role in a successful nature center.  She looks forward to using this experience to plan and execute Woodcock's many exciting events! 

 

In her free time she can be found exploring nature with her two kids, her husband, and three dogs both far and near their home in Redding.  When not transporting kids to a plethora of extracurricular activities, we can be found camping, biking, or kayaking around our new home state of Connecticut! 

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Rachel Rogers

Field Trip Educator

With more than 15 years of experience as an educator and public program coordinator in Hartford museums including The Mark Twain House & Museum and the Connecticut Historical Society, educator Rachel Rogers is comfortable with everything from guiding tour groups and developing programs to planning lectures, fundraisers, and symposia featuring national figures. At Woodcock she plays a key role in running and planning field trip programs for the thousands of local school children who visit each year.  Rachel has lived in Ridgefield since 2009 and discovered Woodcock Nature Center shortly after while visiting with her husband and two children. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, and hiking with her family. With fond memories of digging for worms, searching for salamanders, and exploring for lady slippers, she is delighted to share that her teaching at Woodcock reminds her of many happy childhood days growing up in central Connecticut.

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Danielle Bottinger

Birthday Party Educator

Danielle has been a birthday party educator at Woodcock since March 2021.  Danielle started teaching middle school in 1999, and she currently works full time at Middlebrook School in Wilton as a 7th grade ELA teacher.  Danielle loves animals, and has a dog, cat, guinea pig, and gecko at home. She also has two children. She refuses to pick a favorite among them.