Deyanira Bautista

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 vitalbehind-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

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.


Chris Sonne

Chris has over 31 years of experience in providing engineering consulting services with an emphasis on sustainable and low-impact side design. His philosophy is that site designs should perform their required functions without distracting from the aesthetics of the buildings they serve. Chris has worked on several projects across the DC and Virginia, including the Greening Virginia’s Capitol Project which was awarded the Scenic Virginia Award in 2010. His areas of expertise include: Innovative Urban Stormwater Systems, SITES and LEED Certified Projects, Environmental Permitting and Sampling, Residential Subdivisions, Onsite Wastewater Systems, Stormwater BMP Performance/Failure Analysis, Industrial and Commercial Sites, and Site Layout and Utilities.


Barb Neal

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. 


Sylvan Kaufman

Dr. Sylvan Kaufman provides ecological expertise in plant communities and experience in public gardens land management and curation. She works with two botanical gardens on plant records management and managed Adkins Arboretum’s 400 acres. Sylvan consults, writes, and teaches about ecology and ecological restoration.


Gabriella Falcon

Gabriella Falcon is a landscape designer and assistant project manager with Natural Resources Design. A passionate advocate for sustainability in all aspects, she is dedicated to creating environmentally sensitive designs that are both beautiful and ecologically functional. She has a keen interest in creating educational experiences through design, and practicing permaculture for healthy, sustainable edible gardens. She graduated with her Master’s Degree in Sustainable Landscape Design from The George Washington University.

After graduating with a B.A. in Environmental Science and Global Sustainability from the University of Virginia, Gabriella worked as a horticulturalist in Davis, Ca. She gained broad experience working in a variety of ornamental and edible gardens, including the UC Davis Botanical Conservatory. While receiving her master’s degree, Gabriella continued honing her horticultural expertise in Virginia, working at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and the American Horticultural Society’s River Farm. Today, Gabriella continues to volunteer at Mount Vernon and other local gardens.


Belinda Knight

Belinda Knight is a Clinical Herbalist/Formulator. She received a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Maryland (specializing in Human Resources) and M.S. in Clinical Herbal Medicine from Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH).

Belinda is the former owner of Mortar & Pestle Herbal Apothecary, LLC where she put her love of making herbal medicine into daily practice. She now brings that love to Natural Resource Design, INC. She honed her skills in herbal preparations while working in the Herbal Dispensary at MUIH. While there she compounded herbal formulas for the school’s student clinic. She has conducted several herbal and nutrition workshops and seminars throughout Baltimore including Herbal-Nutrition Education series at the Maryland Chi Center at Penn North, Planned Parenthood of Maryland and Weight Watchers Centers in east and west Baltimore. In addition to her work as an Herbalist, Belinda served as Chair for the Board of Directors for Saving Our Sisters, Inc a former non-profit organization that provided a safe, drug-free residence in East Baltimore and support services for women recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. She has co-authored a review paper on the use of auricular acupuncture and herbs in the treatment of substance dependence.

She has worked as an HIV Outreach Educator, conducting workshops targeted to shelter residents in the Washington DC on HIV/AIDS awareness. She continues to conduct a 12-week mind, body, spirit wellness workshop.

Belinda believes the “journey towards balance begins on the inside.”