A Washington State native, Lisa Therrell harbors a life-long love of the natural world. Growing up in Western Washington, her mother taught her daughters the names of the native plants, birds, and other animals. Lisa grew up with happy memories of car camping, hiking, canoeing, gardening with natives, and playing in the woods surrounding home. “I was a country girl trapped inside suburbia,” she says, always longing for a more rural lifestyle. Lisa started her 34 year career with the Forest Service as a volunteer wilderness ranger as soon as she graduated from high school. She attended Seattle Pacific University, where she double majored in biology and environmental studies, then later earned a teaching certificate. Lisa cobbled together many jobs after graduation, in between working seasonally for the Forest Service, including working as an environmental educator and teaching biology. In 1991 Lisa finally received a permanent appointment with the Forest Service while working in Idaho as a wilderness planner. In 1992 she moved to Leavenworth to be the Wilderness Manager for the Leavenworth Ranger District, a dream job in a dream place. Lisa had grown up going to church camp in Sunitsch Canyon, her favorite place on earth, where she learned to hike the dry ridges of Chelan County. So finding a home on six acres in Merry Canyon was the best possible home-coming.
Lisa is now retired, and enjoys playing in the outdoors and learning more about nature with her husband Rich. Her hobbies include hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, paddling, botanizing, birding, gardening, and quilting. Lisa is also certified as a yoga teacher, and enjoys working with people with physical challenges. Lisa has always strongly valued volunteerism and community involvement. She was on the original steering group that founded Upper Wenatchee Valley Habitat for Humanity. She volunteered for seven years with Leavenworth Empty Bowls, including leading the group for four years. And she is active with the Earth Stewardship Group at Faith Lutheran Church, that brought 96 solar panels to the Icicle River Middle School and recycling bins to downtown Leavenworth. Knowing the value of her own nature-based childhood, Lisa is proud to serve Wenatchee River Institute to help fulfill its mission of providing outdoor-based educational experiences to the youth of our communities.