Jeriel Byron-Dixon

Jeriel loves the outdoors and has attended workshops with the Urban Forest Initiative through the TreeCATs (Community Arboriculture Training) program and has developed core skills in urban and community forestry by participating in lectures, hands-on activities, and independent projects. She has also expanded her knowledge on the urban and community forestry efforts and infrastructure across Kentucky—and has shared what she’s learned. In Spring of 2023, Jeriel cohosted an after-school program for middle school students where she developed a lesson plan and led educational activities. This is not her only experience of community outreach though! Jeriel also hosted a painting in the forest event for students to allow them to relax and express themselves creatively in nature. Currently, Jeriel is collaborating to plan and design an educational native plant landscape area on campus. She is also taking the training courses to become certified to assist in prescribed burns. Her love for nature does not end at our forests though, and she also checks on the centers bee hives and provides them food before winter.

Citlaly Cruz Garcia

Citlaly shows her passion for the forest through a variety of outreach activities, from captivating outdoor exploration and leading hikes to educational nature materials and hands-on projects. Citlaly has arranged a diverse scope of kids’ and family activities for the community. She leads many nature based learning activities for the children of Berea. Along with the children activities that she assists with every Sunday, recently she has begun collaborating with the Girl Scouts, contributing to the girls’ pursuit of earning their badges.


Zeke William

Zeke has created a page on local geology for the FOC website, a video explaining the different rock layers you can find at the pinnacles, mapped different archaeological sites within the Berea College forest, and is working on a permanent geology exhibit for the outreach center. Zeke also plans on reaching out to the community through teaching; he has made pottery from clay right in Berea and is planning a free public class on harvesting and processing your own clay and creating ceramics. He also hikes with Berea College students every Saturday and is taking lessons to participate in the controlled burns that occur in that very forest!

Abigail Kingston


Abigail spends her days as a student of the forest, slowly absorbing what the plants have to teach in their time and space. Her detail-oriented approach to learning drives her to seek a deep understanding of individual species and the role they play. Most of all, she seeks to understand the role of humans as a keystone species and caretakers of their non-human family, and to learn to participate as a symbiotic partner in this relationship. She has initiated a restoration project for Arundinaria gigantea (giant river cane), a keystone species in the Southeast that has declined to less than 2% of its former range, and "rescues" baby trees from gravel paths and parking lots to give them a chance to thrive. In addition to this, she also experiments with fibercraft and basketry using foraged plant materials, as part of the quest to uncover a more sustainable way of life.


Kya Norman


Kya is in charge of our web page for the Forestry Outreach Center. She edits pages, fixes menus and has even made, edited, and published this project page! She designed the now-famous stickers we give away here at the center. She has also designed bat and lizard coloring pages for the center. Along with this she has done an internship at the Berea College's Dye Garden and has done projects pertaining to ethically harvesting plants and using those plants to make things like paint and dye. She started with harvesting and extracting dye from Lichen. Finally, she has worked with the children at the Child Development Lab, Berea Independent Schools, and on Sundays, she teaches about things like hibernation, pollination, and in general, spreading the Forestry Outreach Center's mission for placed-based learning about and in nature.

Edie Jo J. Wakin



The goal of Edie Jo's project is to investigate further into the land snail populations present in the Berea College forest through surveying, specimen collecting, and documentation. She plans to survey for snails along the East Pinnacle trail, as the geology of the Pinnacles knobs may lend to interesting distribution of our land snails. Calcium is a crucial resource for land snails, with there being a positive correlation between soil calcium levels and land snail density. The three distinct layers present in the knobs (shale, limestone, then sandstone) may affect our land snail distribution, with more snails being present on the limestone layer than the others. she hopes to record more entries of otherwise overlooked species and maybe see hints of skewed distribution. Edie also plans to collect specimen shells for a shadow box display representing different land snail genera found in the forest, ordered by genus from largest to smallest. It is common for people to not realize how tiny our snails can be, or how many different shell shapes we have! she hopes her display can educate people on how interesting and varied our snails can be, and that her survey along the East Pinnacle trail can inspire hikers to be on the look out for neat snails!