Friendly Staff


Mike Maher, Director

Why I Love my Job
Springbrook Nature Center is the perfect place to explore and appreciate the beauty, wonder and science of nature.  As a City of Fridley park, we serve the residents of Fridley through a wide variety of education and recreation opportunities.  Our location also connects us with visitors from throughout Minnesota and across the globe as our park is recognized as a critical habitat and watershed in the Twin Cities metro area.  I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to dedicate my career to the goal of connecting our many visitors and program participants with the natural world. 

Jan Swanson, Administrative Program Assistant

Why I love my job
I have had the pleasure of being Springbrook's Admin.Program Asst. for more than 20 years.  During these years I have had the privilege of sharing this "special place" with so many people.  Working with countless volunteers, parents of excited children, nature enthusiasts and a warm caring staff makes each and everyday worthwhile.

Deep Thoughts
A healthy ecosystem working together reveals its beauty in nature.  Families and friends sharing time together at Springbrook reveals its worth.

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Tara Rogness, Interpretive Program Supervisor

Why I love my job:  What could be better than being able to spend time outside with kids?  I feel very lucky to be on staff at Springbrook, it is a warm community of people, and I am very proud of the work that is accomplished here.  

Favorite Nature Quote:
"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."  Ralph Waldo Emerson 
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Mary Morris, Interpretive Specialist

Why I love my job:
What could be better than getting kids and adults excited about nature!?! There are so many cool things happening in nature, and we all feel better when we get out and breath in some fresh air.  As a naturalist, I love that each day brings a new adventure - anything from putting on a puppet show to getting out in canoes to finding mystery animal scat on the trail.

Favorite Nature Quote:
Ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær! (Norwegian)
"There no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes!"
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Curtis Pribula, Maintenance

Why I love my job:
I see myself as contributing to the team that maintains this jewel in our metropolitan area.  It is a privilege to be so close to nature and the quiet.

Favorite Quote:
"Listen to the earth and it will teach you."

Sara Swenson, Seasonal Interpretive Naturalist

Why I love my job:


I grew up playing outside.  I eventually realized my own interest in environmental issues and the natural sciences come from my childhood experiences being outdoors and learning about the world around me, and working as a naturalist allows me to play a part in providing that foundation for others.  I love helping to spark that connection to our (not just “the”!) environment in people, a connection that leads to questions, curiosity, and lifelong discoveries about the amazing world all around us.  I especially love working with kids, in no small part because I have always remained a kid at heart.

Favorite Joke: 
Q:  What do you get from sitting on a frozen lake for too long? 
A:  Polaroids!

Sammi Christensen, Seasonal Interpretive Naturalist

Why I love my job:
I get the opportunity to interact with kids and help them explore the natural world around them while inspiring them to care for the environment.

Favorite Quote:
"Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of the wolf."  Aldo Leopold

Dina Cyrus, Seasonal Interpretive Naturalist

Why I love my job:
I love the fact that I can use my borderline nerd-like love of nature to engage people of all ages as well as encourage people to look at their environment in new ways.

Favorite Nature Joke: 
Q: What do fungi need to grow?
A: As mushroom as possible!

Amy Tweet, Seasonal Interpretive Naturalist

Why I love my job:
Nothing is more enjoyable then seeing a child's eye light up when they make a connection to the natural world. Being able to teach people about trees, animals, weather, flowers, insects, and everything else nature shares with us is what I am passionate about.

Favorite Nature Joke: 
Q: Would you like a brief explanation of an acorn?
A: In a nutshell, it's an oak tree.