Kelsey Johnson, Program Director/Founder: 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 14-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, Program Assistant: 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.
Carole Holmson, Program Assistant: Carole has been with In My Backyard since February 2019 when she started as Klondike’s Community Volunteer Ambassador. During that year, she assisted with IMBY recruitment, program development, social media, field trips and community events around the Seattle Area. Some of her favorite memories of 2019 include cheering on National Park Service staff and volunteers in the Seattle Pride parade, working alongside youth and NPS staff at outdoor events like the Beacon Hill Fest and Big Day of Play, taking a ferry ride with the IMBYs to visit Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial and traveling to Washington, DC with Kelsey to attend the Hartzog Volunteer Awards Ceremony. Carole is passionate about sharing youth voices and connecting communities to our shared public lands. She assisted with the launch of an IMBY Advisory Committee and monthly e-newsletter for IMBY alumni to stay connected. Currently, she serves as the Seattle Every Kid Outdoors Education Coordinator – providing in-class experiences, online activities/resources and scheduling field trips to Klondike for fourth grade students to discover the Every Kid Outdoors Program. She also enjoys assisting the Youth Artist-in-Residence Program, community engagement and social media initiatives at Klondike. Carole graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science in 2014. During an internship at the Scottish Seabird Centre that summer, she discovered her interest in environmental education – leading to an internship and seasonal park ranger work for the Bureau of Land Management at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area for the next four years. The opportunity to work with a youth program dedicated to stewardship and leadership in Seattle prompted her move north in 2019. In her free time, Carole enjoys hiking, running, burning through her Kindle battery, wildlife watching and baking.
Madeline Vinh, Volunteer Center Interpretation Intern: 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.