Deyanira Bautista is a clinical Master of Social Work (MSW) and educator whose long-standing interest in the environment stems from her upbringing in the mountains of the Dominican Republic, its capitol city of Santo Domingo, and Manhattan, New York.
The visionary leader for NRD, Deianira promotes the connection between people and their landscape, as well as children and nature. She is our vital, behind-the-scenes force who is most passionate about creating outdoor learning environments for children to experience the beauty and joys of the natural world just as she did as a child in the Dominican Republic. Deyanira works in the public school system in child development, where she regularly engages with the communities she knows best in her role as a specialist of children of immigrant backgrounds in urban settings.
Lauren Wheeler is founder and principal designer at Natural Resources Design, Inc. She received her Master’s Degree from Conway School of Landscape Design + Planning. Drawing from her knowledge as an arborist, LEED AP, and Living Building Challenge Ambassador, she has designed award-winning landscapes, from intimate urban gardens to natural play municipal parks. She specializes in developing complex stormwater management solutions for small-scale settings in addition to providing consultations to industry professionals.
An innovative leader in her field, Lauren is applying her 30+ years of experience in her capacity as Program Director and faculty in The George Washington University’s graduate programs in Sustainable Landscapes and Landscape Design. She has been the driving force behind forging a more ecologically robust trajectory for the landscape design program’s curriculum. Lauren loves to work with individuals and communities to unite the region’s ecosystems with their environment.
Barbara Neal provides 25+ years of arboricultural and horticultural experience to site analysis and design strategies around historic and mature trees. As past president of the American Society of Consulting Arborist (ASCA), her leadership of innovative measures to protect trees in development sites influenced a new direction in the arboricultural industry. She teaches about trees and soils preservation at George Washington University specializing in stormwater management engineered soils.