Friendly Staff

Amanda Bio Pic 2 2018
Joe Bio 1

Mike Maher, Director

Why I Love my Job
Springbrook Nature Center is the perfect place to explore and appreciate the beauty, wonder and science of nature.  As a City of Fridley park, we serve the residents of Fridley through a wide variety of education and recreation opportunities.  Our location also connects us with visitors from throughout Minnesota and across the globe as our park is recognized as a critical habitat and watershed in the Twin Cities metro area.  I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to dedicate my career to the goal of connecting our many visitors and program participants with the natural world. 

Tara Rogness, Interpretive Program Supervisor

Why I love my job:  What could be better than being able to spend time outside with kids?  I feel very lucky to be on staff at Springbrook, it is a warm community of people, and I am very proud of the work that is accomplished here.  

Favorite Nature Quote:
"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."  Ralph Waldo Emerson 
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Mary Morris, Interpretive Specialist

Why I love my job:
What could be better than getting kids and adults excited about nature!?! There are so many cool things happening in nature, and we all feel better when we get out and breath in some fresh air.  As a naturalist, I love that each day brings a new adventure - anything from putting on a puppet show to getting out in canoes to finding mystery animal scat on the trail.

Favorite Nature Quote:
Ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær! (Norwegian)
"There no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes!"
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Catrina Mujwid-Cole, Administrative Assistant

Why I love my job:
I’ve always thought that there was great value in spending time in nature whether it be for relaxation, exercise or learning. I am happy that I get to help people who come to visit Springbrook Nature Center enjoy their time in the park and I enjoy listening to their stories, sightings and other observations. 

Favorite Quote: 
“It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.” —David Attenborough

Amanda Bixler, Administrative Assistant 

Why I love my job:
Something new and exciting happens at Springbrook every day! From letting our brand-new visitors know what’s fun to explore, to meeting our dedicated volunteers, Springbrook hosts a variety of people who are excited about nature! I love that that nature center holds so many activities, reaching visitors all ages. 

Favorite Quote:
“Unless some like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s Not.”  -The Lorax   

Joe Gavin-Ballanger, Maintenance

Why I love my job:
I love to be able to provide a safe and clean environment for everybody to learn. I also am given a chance to [work] in a beautiful gem that has lots of memories. 

Favorite Jokes:
I just love the wind, it blows me away. 
If the ocean had a personality, it would be salty. 
What do you call a pig that does karate?  Pork Chop