“Let man heal the hurt places and revere whatever is still miraculously pristine.“
– David Brower
STEWARDS OF FOX HAVEN
Fox Haven is a living growing community – from all the diverse lifeforms that reside on this land, to the people who visit, contribute, and learn, to our neighbors and friends, near and far. We invite you to visit Fox Haven and get to know our community.
Dick Bittner: Farm Manager
Dick has spent most of his life close to farming and the farm community here in Frederick County. Born, raised, and educated in Frederick County, Dick’s degrees in engineering from Johns Hopkins University led him to work for 17 years assisting doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he designed, built, and tested medical instruments. A second career selling farms and land led Dick to help in the formation of the tract of land that is now named Fox Haven Organic Farm (FHOF). Now, in his third career as farm manager at FHOF, Dick draws upon this life experience to restore the land and build innovative systems at FHOF, demonstrating sustainable models to produce food, restore the land, natural systems and wildlife.
JoAnn Coates-Hunter: Director
JoAnn holds a BS from University of Pittsburgh, MA from Earlham College/School of Religion and a teaching certificate from Brown University. JoAnn empowers and supports our stellar team, oversees operations, directs our educational programs, teaches, and brings her knowledge and excitement about the wonders of nature to visitors of all ages. Her work on the boards and steering committees of Community F.A.R.E., the Frederick County Food Council, and Frederick Farm to School serves to weave Fox Haven’s mission into the lives of farmers, students, and families struggling with food security and the food economy of Frederick County and the region. JoAnn’s hope is that everyone leaves Fox Haven with a new understanding of self, nature, and our inter-dependency with an action to take, be it a new gardening or farming technique, an energy-saving act, a letter or phone call to a business or governmental body, a plan for a community project or better nutrition.
Lacey Walker: Learning Center Herb Farm, CSA & Herb Internship Manager
Lacey is an educator whose passion for herbs led to becoming Fox Haven’s herb farmer, herbalist, forager, and plant educator. While teaching English to non-native speakers in DC, Lacey began facilitating peer to peer learning, a style of group learning. As Director of the Learning Center Farm, she created the Fresh Herbal CSA in 2017 and established Fox Haven’s Herbal Internship Program in 2018. A lifelong learner, Lacey studies with noted experts and has completed two years of apprenticeship at the Wild Ginger Herbal Center (formerly Centro Ashe), as well as two study trips to Costa Rica and training on the body, with Tammi Sweet of Heartstone Herbal School. In 2017, she completed coursework on fermentation with Sandor Katz in Tennessee, and in 2019, completed an apprenticeship with Susquehanna Apothecary, where she honed medicine making skills.
Taylor Roman: Orchardist, Beekeeper, Teacher, Caretaker
Taylor grew up in Frederick, where his years exploring the woodlands around Lake Linganore established a lifelong passion for understanding nature and its complex systems. He studied environmental education and ecology in college, while working with community organizations in Baltimore to create and sustain gardens and green spaces in the city. He has worked throughout Maryland as a farmer, gardener, master naturalist, and environmental educator for the last 8 years, gaining diverse skills, from mechanical repair to beekeeping. Taylor’s passion for nature education is centered around experiential learning and he is passionate about Fox Haven as a place where people can connect to the natural world through direct, intimate experiences.
Alecks Ferguson: Program Coordinator, Marketing & Events Director
Alecks is a professional event planner and marketer, who publicizes Fox Haven’s offerings through traditional and social media channels. Alecks uses her B.A. in marketing and business administration in the creation of dynamic marketing, branding, and event design. She loves bringing together Fox Haven’s growing vibrant community of local-vores, nature lovers, medicine-makers, storytellers, movers, shakers, learners and makers, infusing a magical spark to every event she plans. An herb enthusiast at heart, she brings her passion for nature, mindfulness, and folk medicine to Fox Haven.
Ashley Hoffman: Graphic Designer & Outreach Specialist
Ashley is another Frederick County native, who brings her passion for this land, to her work at Fox Haven. She is an artist focused in photography, mixed media, and fiber. Within her work, she creates a dialogue for important feminist and environmental issues. Ashley enjoys being part of the Fox Haven team, expressing her creativity in the artwork in Fox Haven’s posters and promotional materials for classes and events. Ashley is also an aspiring herbalist and Fox Haven has served as a community and environment for her to cultivate her interest in herbalism.
Mardelle Poffenberger: Business Manager, Living History Teacher
Mardelle grew up on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay and spent her youth in the outdoors, camping, swimming, fishing, exploring the Bay area, and Frederick County farmland when visiting relatives. She loves history and is known for her living history activities in Frederick and Washington Counties. Mardelle subscribes to the sustainable, use-everything-throw-nothing-away lifestyle which existed for thousands of years, and she works to incorporate this into her daily routines. Professionally, Mardelle is a bookkeeper, administrator-trained in business management, and is part owner of Bravura Arts & Framing, an art gallery and custom picture framing shop in downtown Frederick. Mardelle’s work at Fox Haven allows her to combine much of what she loves in life.
Harriett Crosby, Founder
Harriett was trained at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland as a Jungian psychoanalyst and set up practice in Washington DC. In 1982, she co-founded the Institute for Soviet American Relations (ISAR) with support of the then-US ambassador to the USSR. ISAR worked to improve Soviet American relations during the Cold War with people to people exchanges, pioneering citizen diplomacy, the early space bridges, and joint mountain climbs. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, ISAR provided support for environmental activists and NGOs, building civil society in the republics of the former Soviet Union. During the Clinton administration, Harriett worked in the White House Office of Environmental Policy and the President’s Council on Sustainable Development. She invited innovative thinkers, including Father Thomas Berry, David Brower, Joanna Macy, Fritjof Capra to speak at brown bag lunches. She was a speech writer for Vice President Al Gore on Native American Indian issues. Harriett was a Sundancer on Pine Ridge Reservation in S.D. for four consecutive years. While fasting on a four-day vision quest in the Black Hills, she watched the approach of a thunderstorm, was drenched in rain and felt bolts of lightning striking all around her. She had a vision of the earth being alive, intelligent, expressive and Mother Earth became her teacher. She has been guided by this vision and it is foundational to Fox Haven’s mission. She currently serves actively on the boards of Friends of the Earth, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, as well as Fox Haven.
Robin Aura Kanegis
Aura grew up next to Fox Haven and has been a voice in its conception, growth and maturity. She currently serves as Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in Washington, DC, where she lives with her family. Prior to joining AFSC she served as Director of Campaigns and Iraq Peace Campaign Director for the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), and with the National Congress of American Indians, on behalf of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments and individuals. Aura holds a B.A. in Third World Studies and Women’s Studies from Oberlin College and an I.B. from the Armand Hammer United World College. She is the lead vocalist of Brûlée, a jazz-blues band performing in the Washington area.
Larry is a former NASA engineer, an international environmental advocate, and a food safety entrepreneur. He helped repair the Hubble Telescope, led efforts that saved farms and forests, and discovered an illegal variety of genetically engineered corn in the American food supply. Now he is developing novel methods to detect food contaminants through NaturalCheck, a triple-bottom-line company that he founded. Previously, he held positions at the American Lung Association, the Sierra Club, and at Friends of the Earth, where he directed the Health and Environment Program to prevent pollution of air, water and food.
Sophia grew up on an organic seed saving farm in Montgomery County, MD. After attending the farm school for organic vegetable production and animal husbandry, she co-founded Brickyard Educational Farm and received her M.A. in Education, focusing on land-based communities. She currently works at Potomac Vegetable Farms in Virginia, as a farm-based educator and educational garden manager. Sophia is committed to multi-generational social and ecological healing through connection to land, nature, and our collective histories.
Throughout her life and career, Lotte has been involved in sustainability initiatives including conservation, clean energy, social welfare, and waste reduction. She has more than 15 years of experience in nonprofit management and governance and has been instrumental in growing multiple organizations. She enjoys outdoor adventures and can often be found gardening, biking, or exploring with her family. Lotte has an M.B.A from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and a B.A. in biological sciences from Wellesley College.
Amanda has been a small farmer and gardener since she graduated with a degree in history and science from Harvard University. She lives with her family in Poolesville and loves to run, read, and raise sheep, bees, and vegetables. Plow and Stars Farm is a small-scale family-run vegetable and animal farm. They raise about 30 head of sheep, goats, laying hens, pigs and turkeys for the holidays. She is the Project Director for the Million Acre Challenge, which will put one million acres into regenerative agriculture across the Chesapeake region.
Kai is the Director of Envision Frederick County and serves as an at-large member of the Frederick County Council. He was a member of the Frederick County Board of County Commissioners from 2006 – 2010. After growing up in Washington DC, Kai went to St. Olaf College in Minnesota, returning east after a dozen years there and eight more in California, where he worked with a number of environmental organizations. Kai and his family moved to Frederick County in 1995, and he has been highly engaged in the community since then, volunteering with local organizations, serving on many boards and commissions, coaching soccer and basketball, writing columns for the Frederick News-Post and Gazette, hosting a community-focused radio show, and more.
In addition to Fox Haven staff who teach programs and classes, the Learning Center features these instructors in our classes and events throughout the year.
Tracy is a certified kundalini yoga instructor, who is passionate about her role in facilitating experiences of personal, social, and environmental healing. Tracy is committed to awakening this healing in others by holding space for direct experiences of inner joy and peace and by sharing the knowledge she has accumulated through her training and life experiences. She is the mother of two young children, a farm assistant manager at Honey’s Harvest Farm, a student of permaculture and primitive/traditional skills, a musician, and a community organizer. She deeply loves the Earth and believes that yoga offers powerful tools that help us rise above inner and outer conflicts to create a healthy, harmonious future for all.
Samantha owns The Mushroomworks, a mushroom growing and foraging business in Baltimore. Her fascination with mycology began when her backyard sprouted a garden of colorful mushrooms from the decaying roots of an old maple tree. After learning that they were a cousin to the powerfully medicinal Reishi mushroom, Sam began her research into the complicated, and often misunderstood, world of mycology. Sam is an avid forager and gardener, interested in the medicinal properties of mushrooms and plants. She has taught mushroom focused foraging, cultivation, dyeing, and illustration classes in the Mid-Atlantic area. When not out in nature, she can be found puttering around her row house homestead or teaching art in Baltimore City schools.
For more than 40 years, Caryl’s work has involved creative collaboration with multigenerational, multicultural, and interfaith communities to conceive, design and implement public art projects in diverse settings. She uses traditional and experimental media, often incorporating recycled or found objects and natural plant materials, with painting, mixed media printmaking, paper making, textiles, installations and sculpture. When working in community, she combines visual arts, teaching, curating, research, lecture, and social activism, so project participants can engage and turn their ideas into action.
Chris’ interest in nature developed into knowledge and skills through boyhood, to become an Eagle Scout in 2001. An active Boy Scout leader for 17 years now, Chris teaches and guides youth to develop themselves through experiences of community and nature. He is an expert in wilderness survival and a firekeeper, an experienced hiker and camper, and lover of knots. He is co-creator of the Fox Walkers forest learning community, a wild food forager and herb gardener, who studies Maryland tree and plant identification. He is a man on a simple mission, to plant seeds and sing songs.
Holly Poole Kavana
Holly is a botanist and herbalist practicing in Washington, DC. She is a lifelong plant enthusiast and has a bachelor’s degree in botany. In 2005, she shifted her focus to herbal medicine and studied with a series of experienced herbalists in the classroom, clinic, and outdoors. Since 2010, she has operated Little Red Bird Botanicals, a small business that provides individual herbal consultations, an herbal CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), locally-grown herbal products, and education. Holly also works as a birth assistant and labor doula.
Jared lends a hand in teaching the Foraging series at Fox Haven. He holds expertise in mycology and mushroom identification. This year, he is helping to lead a mycoremediation project on Fox Haven’s land. Jared is the owner of Boulder High Country Mushrooms, a purveyor of fine, gourmet fungal food and medicine. Beginning his fungal studies through a basic permaculture course, he furthered his studies with Paul Stamets’ mushroom cultivation and mycoremediation courses. With a mushroom laboratory and cultivation space, he travels the land searching for the most delicious, most medicinal mushrooms to culture and propagate.
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