Our Team

Our Instructors

Co-Director and Instructor (Oak class)

Hannah O’Malley is a FL native and has lived in Gainesville for 15 years. Her love of nature (specifically wildlife) began at a very young age and developed into a passion to share that love of nature with children. She received her degree from UF in Wildlife Ecology & Conservation, with a minor in Education.  She had a career working as a wildlife biologist and in the natural resource field for over 15 years.  She also gained experience working with children as a summer camp counselor at an outdoor recreation camp in CO, teaching environmental education to children in grades K-12 in the Bahamas, leading kids’ classes and activities at a nature center in IL, working as a park ranger at Sweetwater Wetlands Park, and hiking over 1500 miles with her young daughter.  Hannah is certified as a Forest School Instructor through the Forest School Teacher Institute (FSTI).

Co-Director, Curriculum Coordinator and Instructor (Acorn class)

Christy Penman has been a Florida resident her whole life and has lived in Gainesville for 14 years. Her love of nature (specifically plants!) started at a young age and continued into adulthood as she completed her undergraduate degree in Horticulture and her graduate degree in Horticultural Therapy. After completing the Master Naturalist course at UF, she realized her desire to work in outdoor education with kids, especially the youngest explorers of all. Before collaborating on the creation of Prairie’s Edge Forest School, Christy created and coordinated the environmental education program at Little Orange Creek Nature Park in Hawthorne, FL. She is married to Smitty and they have two explorers of their own, Ransom and Robin.  Christy is certified as a Forest School Instructor through FSTI.

Assistant Instructor (Acorn class)
Autumn LeGuerre is a central Florida native who was raised with a tribe of kids who wandered the woods and found adventure in the outdoors. They never let the elements limit their fun nor keep them inside.  She moved back to Gainesville 7 years ago to reconnect with her roots, start a family, and build a house.  She is a mom of 2 free-spirited girls and an auntie to 5 nieces and nephews who all love to get lost in the imaginary while roaming the FL woods and swimming in the FL waters.  She is so excited to be a part of facilitating a safe space for kids to roam and play in all that our local outdoors have to offer.  Having an opportunity to reconnect with her childhood adventures is an added bonus.  Autumn spent many summers working at sleep-away camps and day camps within central FL and learned some priceless tools for working with children.  She is also a licensed Massage Therapist who has worked within the realm of athletic performance and pain management since 2003.
Assistant Instructor (Acorn class)
Catie Wood 
Assistant Instructor (Acorn class)
Gaby Blohm  is a native Venezuelan. She grew up in a family of conservation biologists, scientists, and nature lovers. She moved to South Florida as a high school freshman. She has always loved being outside in nature, which is why she pursued her undergraduate degree in Wildlife Ecology and her Masters degree in Biology. She also loves learning how young children come to understand and appreciate nature. As a graduate student, she worked as a National Science Foundation GK-12 Fellow to bring environmental education and scientific inquiry to middle school students in Alachua County. She has designed lessons and taught science to a wide range of ages, and she really enjoys working with young children. She is the mother of a 3 year-old budding biologist who enjoys birdwatching with his dad and paddling the beautiful Florida Springs.
Assistant Instructor (Oak class)
Holli Best  grew up in the Ozark forests.  Much of her childhood was outdoors in the Midwest woods reading and building forts.  She has lived in FL for 17 years with her husband and 3 children.  Holli has a background in child development and family education from the University of Missouri.  She has been teaching early childhood education for 20 years and is also a certified doula and parent educator.  Her experience in teaching ranges from outdoor education at summer camps, art and music programs, Montessori and Waldorf preschool models, and developing her own art-based curriculum for the early years.  Her family is also very involved with the Florida Wildlife Corridor, being a part of Florida conservation and exploring wild Florida.  
Prairie Babies Facilitator
Jordan Evans was born and raised in Gainesville.  She is now attending UF and completing the Horticultural Therapy Program with a Major in Religion and Minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies.  Jordan is a 200 hour registered Yoga instructor in Vinyasa Yoga with additional trauma and anxiety certificates.  She enjoys spending time with her daughter at local nature parks, creating art, and gardening.  Her daughter’s connection to the natural environment from a young age was very important to Jordan, so she attended PEFS Prairie Babies sessions with her daughter as a way to help create that connection and is now leading Prairie Babies sessions.  Jordan has a profound love for bringing people into alignment with nature – utilizing its potent healing capacity to bring positive change in people, communities, and environments.