Kelsi Jonsson-Martens

Comox red cedar
Early Years PRogram
nature educator

I was raised in the countryside of the Alberni Valley where I spent my childhood playing outside, exploring the forests, fields, lakes and rivers on horseback and foot. The freedom I had to explore my environment through unstructured play shaped who I am. Whether I was roaming by myself, with my brother or the other farm kids in the area, the outdoors was our playground. Nature still brings me as much peace and wonderment as it did when I was a child and now, I find joy playing in nature with my own children and family.

I am so happy to be a Nature Educator with Hand-In-Hand where my passion for the outdoors and purpose through my work with children merge. I have certificates both as a Human Service Worker and Early Childhood Educator and have worked with children, youth, and families as an education assistant, manager, and facilitator of a young parent program for teen mothers and as a navigator at the Alberni Valley Early Years Center. In my work with children, I am inspired by Reggio Emilia philosophy which views children as competent, capable, creative, co-creators of their learning experience through play. Through this lens, the environment we play in is also our teacher where children can explore, problem solve and make meaningful connections with others and nature.

I currently live next to the woods in Cumberland with my husband, two children, two dogs and a kitty. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, skiing, reading, gardening, knitting, and am a proud, lifelong bird nerd who loves going anywhere with my binoculars to spy on birds!