Join us in Harrisonburg on December 1 at 5:30 at the Lucy F. Simms Continuing Education Center for a conversation about how you use (or want to use) outdoor spaces – everything from neighborhood parks to the over one-million acre George Washington National Forest to our west.
We’re making an evening of it, so bring the whole family! Dinner will be provided and optional childcare will be available during the keynotes and panel discussion. We’re also offering Spanish interpretation of the program for those who would prefer to listen in Spanish.
Attendance is free, but pre-registration for each adult is encouraged so we know what to expect!
Nathan Burrell is a native of Essex County Virginia who moved to Richmond in 1999 to pursue a degree in Parks and Recreation Management from Virginia Commonwealth University. With over 20 years of experience in parks management and land conservation, Nathan was appointed as a Deputy Director of Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation by then Governor Northam in 2021 and is currently the Director of Community Conservation and Government relations for the Virginia Outdoor Foundation. During this time Nathan has been recognized as a leader in the Richmond community with awards ranging from “Top 40 under 40” by Style Weekly in 2011 to GRTC’s “Black History Month: Local History Maker” in 2017 and most recently honored as one of Richmond Times Dispatch’s 2018 “Person of the Year.” In addition, Nathan also sits on several local boards and National Advisory Councils including Groundwork RVA as a founding board member and current board President, an Advisory Board member of the Capital Region Land Conservancy, and a former member of the Virginia Council on Environmental Justice.
Esther M Nizer of Elkton, VA is the youngest of four children born to Thomas and Margaret Nizer. Esther attended the Newtown Elementary School, a Rosenwald school, in Elkton and graduated from Elkton High School. She received a B.S. in Health & Physical Education from Morgan State University (College), and a M.S.Ed. in Adult Education Human Resource Development (AHRD) from James Madison University. An Information Technology Training and Development Manager, Esther retired from James Madison University after 20+ Years in 2020.
As a member of Mt. Paran Baptist Church, Elkton, VA Esther has served as a Sunday School teacher (Adult and Youth), Church Clerk and currently serves as the Treasurer/Financial Clerk. Esther has been a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for over 45 years she served as the advisor to the Iota Alpha Chapter on the campus of James Madison University for over 12 years. Active in the community, Esther has served on the Board of Directors for the Elkton Area United Services (EAUS), Elkton Cemetery Commission and the Elkton Downtown Revitalization Cooperation (EDRC). She has served as the president for four years and the treasurer for two years for the Harrisonburg/Rockingham NAACP. Esther is currently serving on the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Board appointed by Governor Terry McAuliff. She is on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the North Fork Shenandoah River and serves as its Treasurer. She is an active member of the Elkton Progressive Improvement Committee (EPIC) and the Elkton Lions club.
In her spare time, Esther enjoys hiking, kayaking, camping (solo), and participating in 5k races.
Flow of the Evening
Dinner begins and expo opens. Grab a bite to eat and meet some of the local folks who care for and promote our outdoor spaces.
Optional childcare begins. Your little ones are welcome to stay with you throughout the program or join in activities for children in two different age groups in classrooms around the corner.
Speaker program begins. Dinner and the expo close.
Head home inspired to enjoy the great outdoors!
Many thanks to these folks for their partnership in presenting this event!