Our Mission

The Children’s Nature Retreat Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children and their families. The focus at our animal sanctuary in Alpine, California is rooted in nurturing a deep connection with the natural world; while in Burkina Faso, West Africa, we provide support to families and access to education from pre-school age through high school.

  • Send a deserving child or entire classroom on a full-day field trip to the Retreat.
  • We rely on you to help us fund our foundation projects. Please help!

Meet the Children’s Nature Retreat Foundation Team

Board of Directors

Agnès Barrelet
Agnès BarreletExecutive Director
Agnès Barrelet has recruited top-notch people to oversee the organization, and under her leadership as President, Children’s Nature Retreat Foundation has begun to make a meaningful difference in Africa and right here in San Diego.
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Eileen Logue
Eileen LogueBoard Treasurer
Ms. Logue has in-depth knowledge of charter schools, and non-profits, having worked with California charter schools since 1993.
Ms. Logue has been a founding charter school board member and a business manager to several charter schools.
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Derek Footer
Derek FooterSecretary
Derek brings to the organization technical knowledge as well as the planning and leadership skills honed from years of executive management experience. Additionally, Derek is an attorney admitted to the bar in New York and California.
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Advisory Board

Jamie Nelson
Jamie NelsonAdvisory Board Member
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Corinne Brion
Corinne BrionAdvisory Board Member
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Mary Rynearson
Mary RynearsonAdvisory Board Member
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Martha A. Ostrom, PhD
Martha A. Ostrom, PhDAdvisory Board Member
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Management Team

Agnès Barrelet
Agnès BarreletExecutive Director
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Tim Fitzgerald
Tim FitzgeraldOperations Manager
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Sean Shannon
Sean ShannonGrounds Manager
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Animal Keepers and Grounds Crew

Tiffany McDowell
Tiffany McDowellAnimal Lead Keeper
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Valerie Vergara
Valerie VergaraAnimal Keeper
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Kenneth Miller
Kenneth MillerGrounds Grew
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Vanessa Barrelet
Vanessa BarreletMuse and Junior Volunteer Coordinator
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“My family and I loved it! Our favorite was Burkina. She was so sweet and followed us around from her enclosure. Also, we met the owner Agnes. She was super nice and chatted with us about the animals.”
Cindy U., El Cajon, CA
“The children’s nature retreat-is not just for children. it is a magical place where one is reminded how powerful nature is-the animals and the park like setting restore a sense of awe and wonder to all of its visitors-including the grown ups.”
Eileen L., San Diego, CA
“This was a very fun getaway! Close to home yet far enough you feel out of the city. The grounds are maintained very well and all of the staff are very friendly l. I can’t wait to go back.”
Amber N., Tucson, AZ

Sponsors and Partners

Children’s Nature Retreat Foundation would like to thank our sponsors and partners!

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