Welcome, President Circle Chair

Woman smiling beside a brown dog on a trail with a San Diego nature backdrop.


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Stephanie Wilde inspires everyone she knows and meets to love nature even more and to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.

We welcome Stephanie Wilde as our new President Circle Chair. President Circle members share the distinction of being Nature Collective’s most generous annual contributors, giving $1,000 or more each year to strengthen the impact of our vision of a world where everyone has a passion to connect with, experience, and protect nature. 

Last year we introduced Stephanie to our supporters (see Lagoon Views online story). And after years of her continuing stewardship with us, Stephanie answered the call to assist us in leadership for the President Circle.

“I want to be a part of sharing this gift for future generations,” shares Stephanie. “This is where I am in life. It’s a sense of wanting to give back, to community purpose.”

Above: If you are on the San Elijo Lagoon trails, you might see Stephanie and furry family member, Churro. He’s a rescue Akita and bulldog mix and is more vocal when he first lands his paws on the trailhead. “He thinks the lagoon is part of his backyard,” Stephanie describes, as Churro barks with excited greetings until he settles into the scents of the lagoon ecosystem.

She has always felt freer outdoors. Stephanie’s first childhood memory of the feeling of nature’s freedoms originates on a trail in the San Bernardino Mountains. “Wow, look at this place!” Stephanie remembers feeling. “It was like the biggest playground.” So her father had to run after her as she describes her free-range run down the path.

Stephanie is retired from an impressive career in healthcare. Pediatric nursing was her first love. She later became a nurse practitioner in family practice. She has served in critical areas, including neonatal intensive care, flight nursing and pediatric oncology. Immunology fascinates her as she later worked with adults in this area.

As the President Circle chair, Stephanie finds this role refreshingly different from her career in healthcare, mostly because it brings her outdoors more, and offers experiences to explore nature with family and friends.

“The very best thing is being part of an organization whose goals and mission I hugely value. I like to see things get done, and things get done with this organization,” adds Stephanie.

The list of active and ongoing initiatives impresses Stephanie: the restoration of the lagoon, ongoing habitat restoration here and beyond; the native nursery that sources many diverse seeds for propagating plants indigenous to Southern California; field trips that inspire children to love nature.   

“Nature is a true refuge and brings wonder, peace and contentment,” adds Stephanie.

Above: Stephanie and family with Churro at San Elijo Lagoon, photographed in February 2020

If travel permits, she and her husband Tom will be in Croatia for a visit this summer with their three daughters and six grandchildren. Until then, spring will bring new blooms, new life, and a renewal for Stephanie’s vision to expand stewardship in so many ways. She is helping all of us to drive a passion for nature, for all. Nature Collective’s places and events can offer every human an experience and a deep connection with the living world.

We greatly appreciate our former President Circle Chair, Tom Golich, with all our collective hearts for the amazing years of conservation and education initiatives of which Tom has been so central. He continues to feel passionate about the vision of Nature Collective – as the tree rings grow – and we welcome Stephanie Wilde.

Cover Image: President Circle Chair Stephanie Wilde and her daily walking partner, Churro, at San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve

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