Meet The Team
Founder and Executive Director; DIRT was built on the idea that every person can positively impact their surroundings and everyone has something of value to offer, we all are important. We strive to connect our community to the planet and each other, building a supportive *human ecosystem that is regenerative. We specialize in activating underutilized space by creating multi generational experiences free of charge that allow all of us to shine and give back to our community. When my son was very young I heard a wise women give guidance to a group of toddlers, “play nice, and kind, and gentle.” I think that applies to us all.
Programs Leader; I grew up in the Rogue Valley and am very lucky I was able to spend much of my free time wandering the natural spaces here. This time spent getting to know the plants and animals sparked a love of learning about the environment. Off and on, since 2014, I worked with Oregon Stewardship, a local nonprofit that emphasizes environmental science, teamwork, and hands-on education with high school students to tend to miles of Bear Creek in Medford. Working with young people on these projects led me to realize I wanted to pursue education as a career. I taught middle school science in Eureka, CA for two years and am now back in the area for the time being. I’m very excited to be a part of this new program and to build a learning community with you all.
Program Leadership Assistance; Born and raised in Portland, Tatijanna participated with Portland Public Schools Outdoor School Program for three years in highschool, worked at YMCA Camp Collins, and was an outdoor educator at Willow-Witt farm this past summer. Tatijanna is a 4th year Southern Oregon University student, studying Sustainability with a minor in Outdoor Adventure Leadership, aiming to fulfill a goal of working in outdoor education. Moving forward with the DIRT program will help Tatijanna get a more diverse experience in outdoor careers and helping expand the Jr. High After School program for future students. Tatijanna is looking forward to exploring new spaces with the students and creating an overall friendly community/safe space.
The Board of Directors
Christie Mackison is co-owner with her husband Scott, of Shooting Star Nursery, a 10 acre plant nursery in Central Point specializing in locally grown plants suited for their southern Oregon climate. Landscape design, plants of all sorts, and getting kids outside in the dirt are her passions. She has designed and implemented many local school gardens- from edible, to pollinator and native plants. As well as keeping her kids happy by growing as many edible plants as she can for foraging. Christie is proud to be a board member for D.I.R.T Park to further implement 'dirty' activities and spaces for kids.
Allen Smith, born in Guam while his father was serving in the Air Force, found himself living a full life here in Southern Oregon. He spends his time year-round in the outdoors- from hiking and kayaking, to snowmobiling and hunting- just as long as he can capture some of these moments in nature on camera. His love for the photography of wildlife and waterfalls ensures both his equipment and memory cards are abundant with shots from all his adventures. Well traveled from Hawaii to Alaska, flying a rented plane to the coast or to Bend, Allen finds his home and work right here, acting as the Operations Manager at Rogue Compost. Joining the board of directors at DIRT, Allen gets to help the community fall in love with the outdoors in the way he loves it himself.
Rock Rawstern - Son of Judith and Bernard Rawstern. Fortunate husband of Janel Fredericks Rawstern. 6th-gen southern Oregonian & great-great-great grandson of Joseph and Elizabeth Stewart, the folks that brought pears (and watermelon!) to the Rogue Valley in the late 1800’s. Board member DIRT, Air Force Veteran, Jackson County Master Recycler, gardener, Crater High grad, winner of the 2005 Foresight Prize in Communication, photographer and artist. Digital Media Manager, Southern Oregon Subaru and Airport Chevy Buick GMC Cadillac.
Liz Fairbrain- I've been on the DIRT board for many years and enjoy attending DIRT events with my husband and 3 boys. We love DIRT and everything that DIRT does. In my "spare" time I come up with different ways to create fun things and play with my kiddos at the same time following DIRTs motto of education and creativity go hand in hand.
Jennifer Horton lives in Eagle Point with her husband and three dogs. She grew up on a ranch in northern Wyoming and spent her youth exploring and playing outside, doing just the things DIRT embraces and teaches! These days she works for the Department of Environmental Quality and still enjoys spending time in nature. Jennifer is excited to be a part of DIRT’s continued growth and the opportunities it provides children to connect with the natural world. She hopes DIRT will inspire more children to pursue a career in STEM.
Atlas may be well-traveled, but she finds her home here in Southern Oregon. With a history in guiding curious backpackers through the Grand Canyon, teaching experiential education to youth on high ropes courses, and connecting the dots in all the work she does, Atlas is committed to embracing the journey we are all on. She offers incubation services to small businesses, artists, non-profits, and everything else on the spectrum of passions in action. Offering everything from visionary consultations, bringing individuals into the very passions that build their business, to the hard skills that put those visions in ink- Atlas helps each business become a truly representative success in their community. For DIRT, she runs the social media accounts, manages community outreach online, updates the website, and captures our images when she is on site.
The DIRT Vision...
To empower all people to recognize their ability to change the environment they live in and bring good to the world through action, personal development, and involvement in their community. The power of learning through doing and playing becomes unbridled enthusiasm for life.