Stories from the Field

Board Spotlight: Anne Baxter

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Anne Baxter’s connection to NatureBridge spans over 30 years, though her connection to nature extends well beyond that. Anne came to California from the east coast and fell in love with the majestic Sierra Nevada, where she could be found backpacking, birding and fly fishing. That love for the mountains led her to take her 5th and 6th grade students to Yosemite each year. Those trips to Yosemite often created a connection with the natural world for these students that would last a lifetime.

Anne’s passion for nature manifested itself both in her personal and professional life. While a public school teacher at Hoover Elementary School in Redwood City, Anne ran the school district’s outdoor education program. The joy she found in seeing the awe and wonder of the outdoors in students’ expressions eventually led her to lead Outward Bound courses as a way to continue to nurture young outdoor enthusiasts and leaders.

In 1994, Anne’s nephew Matthew Baxter joined NatureBridge (then the Yosemite Institute) as an educator. After a tragic rock climbing accident that resulted in Matthew’s death, the Baxter family created the Baxter Award in Matthew’s honor as a way to support NatureBridge staff in their adventures and deepen their connection to nature. Anne’s passion for the Baxter Award can still be felt today in her frequent visits to our Golden Gate campus, where she regularly connects with staff and encourages them to pursue adventure and apply for the award.

Anne Baxter with her 5-6 grade students in Yosemite in 1980
Anne Baxter with her 5-6 grade students in Yosemite in 1980
Every year, I am so moved by Student of the Year speeches and Baxter Award recipients. I still remember the first Baxter Award recipients, who took their very young children biking and camping through New Zealand! Those stories will always stay with me.
Anne Baxter, NatureBridge Board Member

Today, Anne lives in Point Reyes, CA and has had a private practice as a clinical psychologist for the past 35 years. She has watched NatureBridge go through many transitions and sees an opportunity for a transformative moment today. Anne’s addition to the NatureBridge Board of Directors—along with her experience and work in the field—gives her a unique opportunity to connect with staff and develop their enthusiasm for outdoor education.

I want to do whatever I can to nurture the future stewards of our planet. NatureBridge lets young people experience the natural world, and that awakens something so important in them.
Anne Baxter, NatureBridge Board Member

Anne is regularly inspired by the expressions of people getting to connect with the world around them, whether it's going on a biking adventure in New Zealand or interacting with aquatic life in our Marine Lab. The look of wonder and enthusiasm in students keeps her going and inspires us all.

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