Heidi Verheul, Wild Child Program Coordinator


“Creating a bond with a special animal, plant, or a natural place, I believe is the key to understanding how we impact our world and how our world impacts us and ultimately this connection should help guide our decisions throughout our lives.”

Hailing from the deep dark woods of Belmont, NS, Heidi came to Halifax to complete a Bachelor of Science (Biology) from Saint Mary`s University and a Bachelor of Education from Mount Saint Vincent University. Through environmental education she has been able to combine her love of nature with her passion for working with children.

She been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to develop and share her skills with Sierra Club Canada – Atlantic Chapter, Brigadoon Village Children’s Camp Society, NS Department of Natural Resources, and Clean Nova Scotia. She is also completely smitten with Monarch Butterflies. Heidi is currently working on obtaining her Forest and Nature School Practitioner’s Certificate.

Jacqui Reeves, Wild Child Educator

“Outdoor play time has been a vital component of my work with children, supporting their natural curiosity, regardless of their physical and/or mental limitations.”

Jacqui received her Early Childhood Education degree in England and continued to study and work in the field for more than 40 years!  Her work has included programs for children with a variety of developmental disabilities in Canada, Portugal and Belize. She also volunteered in Thailand for 8 years, providing teacher training in Early Intervention and Inclusive Education for children with special needs, spending 4 of those years working in refugee camps on the Thai/Burma border.

During the past 2 years she has been studying permaculture with a view to incorporating some of the principles into her urban life! Many of these include a deep respect of the natural world and an interest in sharing this with the children who will inherit it! 

Karyn MacPherson, Wild Child Educator


“Children playing, exploring and being educated while outside is an “environmentally friendly” learning experience, helping them make decisions to become the best versions of themselves!”

Karyn comes from the small rural town of McAdam, New Brunswick, where her love for nature took root. Karyn has her Bachelor of Arts from St. Thomas University in Environment & Society and Anthropology. During her studies Karyn volunteered with Students for Sustainability, Best Buddies Canada, Anthropology Society and worked at the Nature Trust of NB helping stewardship and education initiatives.

After graduating Karyn began working at the Conservation Council of New Brunswick where she was able to work alongside the project coordinator of the “Learning Outside Project”, a project developed to help teachers teach curriculum outside. If not outside exploring somewhere new Karyn can be found in the public library browsing the racks.

Sydnie Smith, Wild Child Assistant Educator

“What can educators do to foster real intelligence? We can attempt to teach the things that one might imagine the earth would teach us: silence, humility, holiness, connectedness, courtesy, beauty, celebration, giving, restoration, obligation, and wildness.” – David Orr

Sydnie is from Fall River, Nova Scotia, just outside of Halifax. Sydnie graduated with her Bachelor of Arts from Mount Allison University, majoring in Environmental Studies. During her time at Mt.A, she explored and studied the idea of environmental education and experiential learning. Her interest in environmental education sparked after her job with Ducks Unlimited as Nature Interpreter at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park, where she educated elementary students on environmental conservation and stewardship.

Sydnie plans on continuing her education by receiving her Bachelor of Education so she can further her experience with environmental education and continue to teach and share her passion for the environment with children and youth. Sydnie enjoys being outside at every opportunity she can get whether it be hiking, exploring, or gardening. When not in the outdoors, Sydnie can be found caring for her many house plants or reading a book.

Justin Deveau, Wild Child Assistant Educator

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

Originally from Truro, NS, Justin now lives in the HRM where he is a student at Mount Saint Vincent University studying Education. Justin has a Bachelor of Science degree from Dalhousie University where he studied Biology. He is passionate about youth and science and is excited to be spending his summer in the forest. When he’s not working Justin likes to enjoy nature by going on hikes, biking, and swimming.