Contact the Nature Centers

Bear Creek Nature Center

245 Bear Creek Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
Open Tuesday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
719-520-6387

Fountain Creek Nature Center

320 Pepper Grass Lane
Fountain, CO 80817
Open Tuesday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
719-520-6745

Nature Center Staff

Recreation / Cultural Services Manager
Theresa Odello

Theresa Odello joined El Paso County Community Services in February 2018 as a Recreation Coordinator, working on special events throughout the County Parks before moving into the role of Recreation and Cultural Services Manager in 2021. She earned her B.S. in Recreation and Leisure Services from California State University Long Beach, M.S. Ed. In Recreation and Tourism from Old Dominion University in Norfolk Virginia, and is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional. Theresa’s experience in recreation is varied; supervising an Olympic-sized pool and competitive gymnastics center in Virginia, park ranger in Colorado, senior center coordinator in Malibu, director of an adult day program in Parker, to running a business teaching wilderness first aid. 719-520-6977, theresaodello@elpasoco.com.

Recreation Planner
Ryan Dorough

Ryan Dorough joined El Paso County Community Services in March 2022. He earned his B.A. in Recreation Administration from California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt (Formerly Humboldt State University) in Northern California. After his undergraduate work, he worked in the outdoor education industry as an outdoor educator and has been involved with various types of programs including residential summer camps, day camps, outdoor trip leading and guiding services, naturalist programs, and conference and retreat programs. His career has taken him across the United States and has worked in four different states including California, Illinois, Texas, and finally here in Colorado. After working in the recreation industry for more than twelve years, he received his M.S. degree in Recreation and Leisure Services from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. 719-520-6977, ryandorough@elpasoco.com

Mary Jo Lewis

Bear Creek Nature Center Supervisor
Mary Jo Lewis

Mary Jo Lewis joined El Paso County Parks in 2016 as the Bear Creek Nature Center Supervisor. Prior to working for El Paso County, she filled the roles of Volunteer Coordinator, Assistant Director of Environmental Education, and Director of Environmental Education for Peace Valley Nature Center in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Anthropology from Pennsylvania State University, a Graduate-level Teaching Certification from Rider University, and is certified through the National Association for Interpretation as a Certified Interpretive Guide. 719-520-6388, maryjolewis@elpasoco.com.

Bear Creek Nature Center Interpretive Program Coordinator
Kylee Meyer

Kylee Meyer joined El Paso County Parks in 2022 as the Bear Creek Interpretive Programs Coordinator. She earned her B.S. in Recreation Management from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Following graduation, she completed a term of service with Montana State Parks AmeriCorps where she became certified through the National Association for Interpretation as a Certified Interpretive Guide. 719-499-6972, kyleemeyer2@elpasoco.com

Bear Creek Nature Center Interpreter
Brenda McCreight

Brenda is enjoying her position at Bear Creek Nature Center as the permanent part-time interpreter. Prior to Bear Creek, Brenda was a seasonal interpreter at Fountain Creek Nature Center from May 2020-October 2021. Brenda also volunteered at the nature centers, assisting with education programs and camps before joining the staff. Previous to working at the nature centers, Brenda spent 34 years as an elementary teacher and coach in School District #11. brendamccreight@elpasoco.com

Fountain Creek Nature Center Supervisor
Jessica Miller

Jessica Miller joined El Paso County in 2019 as the Fountain Creek Nature Center Interpretive Program Coordinator and stepped into the Nature Center Supervisor role in 2021. She earned her B.S. in Biology from Augusta University in Georgia and is a Certified Interpretive Guide through the National Association for Interpretation. Prior to working with El Paso County, Jessica worked as the Head Naturalist and Recreation Director for Fripp Island Golf and Beach Resort in South Carolina and was a counselor for Columbia County Community Connections in Georgia. She also has interpretive experience through internships at Big Cat Rescue in Florida and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina.719-520-6765, jessicamiller@elpasoco.com.

Image of Fountain Creek Nature Center's Interpretive Program Coordinator Victoria Dinkel standing in an outdoor setting

Fountain Creek Nature Center Interpretive Program Coordinator
Victoria Dinkel

Victoria Dinkel started her career with El Paso County Parks as a Seasonal Interpreter at Bear Creek Nature Center in 2021. Shortly after her season ended at Bear Creek, she stepped into the role of Interpretive Program Coordinator at Fountain Creek Nature Center. Her passion for facilitating connections to the natural world and inspiring a sense of stewardship led her to pursue a degree in Recreation and Outdoor Education from Western Colorado University. As a native, she has lived and worked all around Colorado in positions including: Lift Operator at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Interpretive Cave Guide at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, and Day Camp Instructor with Avid4 Adventure along the Front Range. 719-520-6767, victoriadinkel2@elpasoco.com

Fountain Creek Nature Center Interpreter
Andy Talley

Andy Talley is a recent transplant to Colorado Springs from Illinois, where his career in education has included the role of high school science teacher and positions at The Chicago Academy of Sciences, The Forest Preserve District of Will County, and the McHenry County Conservation District where Andy served as the Education Program Coordinator for 20+ years. In June of 2019, Andy “retired” from his career in Illinois and accepted a summer seasonal position at Bear Creek Nature Center. He has now moved up to Nature Center Interpreter at Fountain Creek Nature Center and hopes to continue his new career with El Paso County. 719-520-6745, Andytalley@elpasoco.com