Olympic Nature Experience Hires New Executive Director

Olympic Nature Experience has weathered the pandemic and entered a new era of leadership: Introducing Merissa Koller as new Executive Director of Olympic Nature Experience. 

For the past 10 years, Merissa has worked in nonprofit management coming most recently from the Sequim Education Foundation. She brings a deep commitment to our values and mission. Merissa has long admired nature schools and understands the value of outdoor education and connection with the environment. Merissa moved to Port Angeles with the intention of starting a nature school but was delighted to find several in operation on the Peninsula. 

Merissa holds a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Minnesota State University. She has worked with children and families in a variety of capacities, including as a Girls Volleyball Coach in both Port Angeles and Kodiak, Alaska where she lived for 8 years. Merissa’s son, Bering, will be turning 3 this summer and joining Olympic Nature Experience’s Early Learning program this Fall. 

Founded in 2012 by Sarah Salazar-Tipton, Olympic Nature Experience is an all-outdoor nature school operated in green spaces across Clallam County. Olympic Nature Experience anticipates serving over 80 children for the 2021-2022 school year, and providing over $10,000 in tuition assistance for low-income and at-risk families. Now in its 8th year, Olympic Nature Experience is focused on delivering high quality nature school programs, with a focus on equity and inclusivity.

We look forward to getting to know Merissa, and to welcoming her into our community! “I am so impressed with the foundation Sarah and the team have built, and am looking forward to continuing to build on Olympic Nature Experience’s mission while sharing our vision with as many families and community members as possible,” Merissa says.