Wild Hearts: Celebrating Women in Nature -By Liz
Featuring: Katie Carlisle
Welcome to our Wild Hearts series. In this series we will celebrate inspiring Women who incorporate nature and wellness into their work and lives! We were motivated to start this series by the amazing Women that we have seen intersecting with the natural world as land stewards, botanists, herbalists, artists, and more. Women are strong leaders and are often found at the foundation of communities. It’s important to us at Wandering Association to highlight their abundant contributions.
Wandering Association is excited to include Katie as part of our Wild Hearts series because of her authentic spirit and genuine love of Nature. Her mission is seen in so many aspects of her life and she is an inspiration to other women and those who share a love of nature.
Katie Carlisle is a Land Manager, Park Steward, Nature Guide, Educator, and so much more. She currently lives and works in Southeast Michigan and describes herself as a kind human who enjoys spending time outdoors, cooking, yoga, fire, and loving her family! Her educational background in geology and geophysics has provided a bridge to her current roles which include land management and volunteer coordinating. Her heart mission is to,“Help improve the outdoor world and facilitate connections between humans and nature.”
Elizabeth Keller: Katie, when did you first fall in love with and find great joy in Nature and what details stand out to you from those experiences?
Katie Carlisle: My source of appreciation of Nature first was grown from my time spent in Northern Michigan at my Grandparents cabin during the Summers of my childhood. I was able to disconnect from technology and the hum of everyday life and engage with Nature in deeper ways. My family spent time hiking, sailing, skipping rocks, etc. and the outdoors started feeling like home! My Dad had my sister and I do activities to help us improve our skills in canoeing, knot tying, tree and plant Identification and more. It was a fun way to turn nature into an experience for us! This was also where I was able to start connecting with and appreciating Native Communities as the property was adjacent to Native Lands and Peoples. My family also took trips out West and later in my 20’s I lived in Idaho and Washington State. Those years helped solidify my relationship with Nature as I spent more time camping and hiking with my partner.
EK: In what ways does Nature inspire you in your daily life and work?
KC: I am grateful to have found my way into land management and invasive species management through my work with Washtenaw County Parks and Rec. I get to spend time outside, know forests and prairies like the back of my hand, and will never stop learning how to care for it. I love outdoor education and as a local guide for Fjallraven I’ve been given a platform to take people hiking, build relationships, and inspire others to adventure on their own while doing so in partnership with an environmental/sustainability focused brand. In my daily life I’m inspired by hiking, camping, bonfires and exploring.
EK: What do you hope to see for future generations and their relationship with the outdoors?
KC: We have work to do and it’s so wonderful to see younger generations fiercely advocate for climate change and intersectional environmentality. It takes a team/village and I look forward to seeing how issues evolve and are tackled. There are new ideas and solutions being explored by young people. Providing that connection to nature at a young age is important in order to “Plant the Seed.”
Katies work with land stewardship and leading volunteers is especially important. She creates experiences for people that allow them to see the value of their work immediately! To connect with her for a hike or a stewardship day follow her on Instagram @cj_carlisle. Katie also volunteers with Wandering Association (Wandering Washtenaw) leading hikes, workshops and more. We are so grateful to Katie for her work and for sharing her authentic self with us!
We will be featuring a different Woman each month in the Wild Hearts Series, be sure to come back for more inspiration!