FARMER MIKE BRADLEY
"Woodfield is the echo of my earth walk.”
As a child growing up in Northern Ontario, I was blessed to have many opportunities to be immersed in nature and playfully explore. Before digital arrived on the scene, it was easier to find time to relax and connect with friends and family. Along the way, I have explored healthy ways to nourish mind, body and spirit and have enjoyed and benefitted from meditation and yoga.
Twelve years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer, these earlier pathways of nature connection, face to face time with family & friends, play and mind/body/spirit practices became even more important and precious on my journey to health, wholeness and joy.
Having the good fortune to explore has made all the difference in my life. Woodfield True Nature Campus is my wish to offer families, facing any serious chronic illness (dis-ease), with the opportunity to explore and uniquely apply their own pathways for their health, wholeness and joy.
TARA ZUPANCIC, MPH
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & RESIDENT SCIENTIST
“The ability of nature to shift a child’s mood and mental focus isn’t simply a romantic notion. Scientific investigation reveals that nature serves as a seedbed of restoration that can buffer the gravity of stress, anxiety, depression and other health challenges braved by a ballooning number of children.”
Tara is a public health scientist dedicated to the wellbeing of people and our planet, with a special focus on children and vulnerable populations. With an emphasis on healthy child development, she is a recognized expert and international speaker on the impact of nature on human health. Tara is the lead author of numerous studies on the topic, including reports for the David Suzuki Foundation, Toronto Public Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control.
Tara has helped lead national and international strategies to improve children's health. She is the co-founder and former Associate Director of the Centre for Environmental Health Equity, currently based at Queen's University, where she directed a national training program on child health, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Tara earned her Master of Public Health from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine, specializing in health promotion and environmental health with a focus on maternal and child health. Tara’s program development combines scientific evidence with the leadership and lived experiences of families and communities. She brings over 20 years of research, knowledge translation, capacity building and program development experience to Woodfield True Nature Campus.
KIRSTEN HARGREAVES, M.A, RCC, EFW,
CAMPUS DIRECTOR & FAMILY COACH
Kirsten is a Registered Clinical Counsellor who has worked in the human services field for over 20 years including camp directorships across Canada. Kirsten is a contracted trauma therapist with the Ministry of Child and Family Development in play therapy, nature based therapy and equine/canine therapy.
Kirsten is sessional faculty at the University of the Fraser Valley’s Child Youth and Family Studies Department and Vancouver Island Universities Social Work Department , where she teaches many courses including Animal Assisted Therapy and Equine Facilitated Wellness, Nature Based Therapy, Learning, and Grief and Loss and Reflective Practice. A strong passion for animals, nature and children come together in Kirsten's practice where she focuses on building Post Traumatic Growth in agencies and people, developing curriculum in nature based and animal assisted therapeutic settings and developing/facilitating self-compassion workshops and retreats for families and helping professionals.
ANIMAL ASSISTED FACILITATOR
Born and raised in Southern Ontario in the mid 70's, on a small rural farm, Angee would often seek solace in her families barn with the animals that lived there. This was her sanctuary, and it is here that she developed her ability to make deep connections with animals. These four-legged creatures became her first friends, confidantes and protectors. Angee earned her H.Ba in Child and Family Studies from Nipissing University in 2013, and is also a graduate of the FEEL (Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning) Certification Program and the Advanced FEEL Certification Program. Angee's path of personal development and learning led her to create Sky River Meadows, a place where both people and animals can come to learn, connect and heal together.
CHERYL ELLIS, CAMPUS ADMINISTRATOR
RON ELLIS, FACILITIES MANAGER
Cheryl and Ron Ellis, “ Team Ellis” is the backbone of Woodfield True Nature Campus. They work behind the scenes to keep Woodfield beautiful, organized and running smoothly. Ron and Cheryl ensure that every family experiencing the wonders of Woodfield has everything they need to enjoy a safe and comfortable stay. Their 26 year partnership is built on a life-long love for nature, the outdoors and their family. When not at Woodfield, they are busy with their three children, spending as much time camping, fishing and enjoying the outdoors as possible.
BRAND CREATIVE ADVISOR
As Brand Creative Advisor to Woodfield, Charles guides the strategic and creative development of brand communications and design. Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Charles is an award-winning creative director, brand designer and illustrator who is passionate about nature and engaging in the outdoors. As a world-class sailor, avid mountain climber and tree warrior, his commitment to Woodfield is a natural extension of his lifelong interests.
Currently, Charles is the founder and creative director of Charles Bongers + Co., a boutique brand design studio with an emphasis on eco-tech, enviro-nature, wellness and artisanal “of the earth” products and services. As former co-founder of Ditch + Stone Brand Strategy and Design and co-creative director of Ogilvy-Toronto, Charles has led the development of strategic brand communications and design campaigns for some of the world’s leading consumer goods, environmental, food, financial services and technology companies. Included are Nestle, Quaker, Microsoft, World Wildlife Fund, American Express, National Bank Financial and GlaxoSmithKline. In Toronto and Seattle, Charles has worked, extensively, with leading entrepreneurs and investors to create launch strategy and branding campaigns for industry-changing start-ups Ecobee, Skytap and Smilebox.
Charles's passion for nature has inspired him to write and illustrate, “The Family Forest Field Guide”, for a return to the woods. He is currently working on a children’s book with the intention of creating an early childhood connection with nature.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
JOHN BERKELEY STARK, B. Arch., OAA., AAA, AIBC, F.R.A.I.C.
John Stark owns Stark Architects Inc., an architectural firm that focuses on environmentally sensitive and sustainable residential design. John views his residential designs as simply frameworks to experience the natural beauty of the rocks, trees, wind, water and sunsets – it is not about the building itself. John met Mike Bradley as a residential client and soon became aware of his plans to develop the Woodfield True Nature Campus. The initial tour of the then undeveloped property left a permanent impression; it is a magical place.
With a long history of volunteer service to the community, John joined Woodfield's Board of Directors out of admiration for Mike's ideas, generosity and commitment to the needs of others. Supporting Woodfield is a perfect opportunity for John to continue his focus on the appreciation of nature while helping to achieve Mike’s heartwarming vision.