I am a self-proclaimed “Nature Nerd” who loves being outside and sharing my enthusiasm for science and nature with people of all ages, but especially children!

After graduating from Miami University, I began working as a naturalist at the YMCA Willson Outdoor Center in Bellefontaine, Ohio. Eventually, I moved to the suburbs of Cincinnati and took several years off from my career to be a full-time stay-at-home-parent. Some of my favorite memories of staying at home with my children are those we made while playing and learning outside together and it made me realize how much I missed working outdoors. When my children got to be school-aged, I rejoined the workforce as a Classroom Garden Coordinator with Granny’s Garden School in Loveland, Ohio. During this time, the principal at my children’s elementary school approached me about starting a similar program at their school. From that conversation, “Mother Nature’s Classroom, LLC” was born!

I now work as a contractor with the JF Burns Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization, providing in-school science and nature enrichment programs throughout the school year to children in kindergarten through fourth grade. Grade-level teacher representatives and I plan a schedule for the school year to align with the state standards they are teaching in the classroom. Over the course of the year, I get to visit each classroom for four formal lessons as well as a school-wide monarch butterfly program in the fall and another school-wide plant race in the winter and early spring.

I also lead an after-school Ecology Club for third and fourth graders in the spring and fall, and am the staff point person for the JFB PTO Green Team, a group of dedicated parent volunteers and their children.

For more information about the nature-based lessons I teach, please see the “lessons” tab or feel free to contact me directly. Thank you for visiting!


Shannon Russell