Kelsey Johnson, Program Director/Founder (she/her): As the founder and director of In My Backyard, Kelsey brings her experience as a current youth and volunteer coordinator with the National Park Service and passion for sharing the outdoors to supporting and strengthening the program. She is an 17-year veteran of the NPS, with experience in interpretation, education, and cultural and natural resource management. Kelsey has worked in seven different national parks, including the National Park of American Samoa, Olympic National Park, San Juan Island National Historical Park and Oregon Caves National Monument. She is passionate about youth engagement with public lands and making change within the NPS to be a more inclusive and equitable place to work and experience. Kelsey has a Master of Science degree in Resource Management from Central Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism/International Studies from Western Washington University. She loves her rescue dog and kittens and can found most weekends exploring the outdoors and playing with the pets. Learn more about Kelsey and how she became a park ranger!
Megan Young, Community Engagement Coordinator (she/her): Megan began at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park as a volunteer intern with the In My Backyard Program in the spring of 2017. Her cohort began developing curriculum for high school students with the guidance of Klondike’s HBCUI Intern, Chanara, to create a sense of belonging in national parks. Since then, Megan has worked on various projects from social media, field trips, partnerships, community events and has continually been involved with In My Backyard. Currently, Megan serves as the Community Engagement Coordinator, connecting communities in the Puget Sound to resources and national parks. Developing and sustaining partnerships through meaningful and authentic relationships is an aspect of her job that Megan really enjoys. In My Backyard also means a lot to her; it’s where her journey began with the National Park Service. Here, you can read more about how Megan took the leap to apply to the In My Backyard Program. Megan graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree with a minor in Urban Design and Planning in June 2018. Collaborating with a team, graphic design, dogs, and General Porpoise are a few of her favorite things. You may find Megan on a soccer field, taking photographs, or watching her go-to show: Parks and Recreation.
Madeline Vinh, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park – Seattle Park Guide (she/her): Madeline is rejoining IMBY this summer after an incredible internship experience last summer at Klondike and the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial. Her first formal experience with the Park Service was three years ago, when she interned at Manzanar National Historic Site. Madeline graduated in Spring 2020 from Colby College, where she led the pottery program and studied Ecology, ‘Science, Technology, and Society,’ and East Asian Studies. Through the Park Service, she has realized the importance of staying actively engaged in America’s story as a way to better contextualize current events, and is deeply invested in reexamining historical events through new lenses. After work, you’ll find her jumping into cold bodies of water, learning how to reupholster vintage furniture, or exploring Seattle’s many parks.
Rebecca Lawler, 4Culture Intern (she/they): Rebecca is the 4Culture Intern for Klondike Gold Rush National Park this summer. They are currently a graduate student in the University of Washington Master of Arts in Museology Program. Their favorite places to visit outdoors are any campsite in Oregon and exploring parks in Seattle! When they’re not working on graduate school or other professional endeavors, Rebecca spends their time knitting, practicing photography, and perfecting their mother’s Cajun recipes. Some other fast facts about Rebecca: their undergraduate degree is in history from Louisiana State University, they speak French, and their favorite animal is a raccoon. Rebecca can’t wait to work with IMBY interns this summer!