Christy Lee Downs
Christy is a native of California’s Bay Area and an Alum of Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, California, where she earned her BS in Animal Science and double minor in Geography and Art & Design. She began her career in conservation education at Savannas Preserve State Park in Florida through the AmeriCorps program. She served as Environmental Educator and Volunteer Coordinator and discovered her passions for conservation outreach and working with volunteers. In 2011 she traveled to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains to the small town of Piedmont, Alabama where she worked for the Georgia-Alabama Land Trust, specializing in outreach and protection of an impaired waterway and surrounding watershed. Through her work at the Land Trust, Christy served as Coordinator for the Choccolocco Creek Watershed Alliance, a volunteer-based watershed organization implementing education, outreach, and recreational programs. Through her work at the Land Trust, Christy also assisted in the closings of Conservation Easement projects throughout Alabama, focusing on protecting property along the impaired Choccolocco Creek, which now boasts a permanently protected wildlife habitat corridor. She began her work with the Conservancy as Program Coordinator and is excited to be serving in the capacity of Executive Director where she is continuing her passion for bolstering the work of the Conservancy in the community and promoting conservation through education and the value of public green space.
Christy enjoys exploring local history, hiking with her two dogs Brewster and Jake, walking the neighborhood with her cat, gardening and building furniture. In her free time, Christy is an avid painter, jeweler and craftswoman and loves spending any and all time in the out-of-doors.
Shannon’s background is in science, education, and art. She is new to Santa Fe and is excited to put down roots in her partner’s home-state. She received a BS from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington where her studies focused on environmental analysis and instrumentation. Her inter-disciplinary education gave her experience in the field, the lab, and the office as she examined environmental samples through the lenses of multiple disciplines. She maintains a passion for Long Term Ecological Research and brings her skills collecting and analyzing datasets to educational programming and the horticultural care in the Railyard Park. Shannon has designed and built two greywater systems and appreciates the simplicity of passive water collection seen throughout Santa Fe. Shannon’s love for education came out of a joy for tutoring chemistry and geology in college. She has since taught art at summer camp and tutored math and science subjects to high school students. Shannon also performed with an all-girl bicycle dance team for the better part of a decade. She plays the piano, plays drums, and often enjoys “getting crafty”. She received a grant for her project The Voyage of Hurlothrumbo where, alongside other collaborators, she built a barge out of empty 55-gallon barrels to float a ferris-wheel down a river! Shannon finds that art and science often overlap as both are a matter of observation. For Shannon, they are inextricable influences. She is beyond excited to contribute to the important work of the Railyard Park Conservancy.