Leigh Westerlund
Vice President of Operations

"The work that we do at NatureBridge is essential not just because of the educational inspiration that takes place, but because of the mental and physical health that results from immersion in the mountain experience. We are in the business of supporting the long-term sustainability and beauty of the planet through the inspiration, education, and overall well-being of its future stewards - today's youth."

Leigh Westerlund is Vice President of Operations and oversees the workings of all NatureBridge campuses. She unofficially holds the record for most positions filled while in Yosemite, including bus driver, site coordinator, field educator, campus cleaner, program director, operations director, and interim NatureBridge president.

Born and raised in Kansas City, Leigh enjoyed car camping with her family and stayed close to nature as an outing club member at Washington University in St. Louis. After a brief post-graduate stint in the retail industry, Leigh gave in to her explorer's spirit and found work as the valley site coordinator with NatureBridge's Yosemite campus.

She would later take a temporary break from this position and use the time to round out her environmental pedigree, traveling 1,000 miles on a sailboat from New Zealand to Tonga; backpacking through Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Thailand, and Cambodia; and earning a Master's degree in environmental education. In 1997, Leigh returned to NatureBridge as the Yosemite campus program director.

Leigh exemplifies environmental stewardship every day with husband Erik, a Yosemite National Park interpreter, and children Beck and Madia in their solar-paneled, straw bale house with compost and garden projects underway.

Contact Leigh at lwesterlund@naturebridge.org or 209-617-1865.

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