Nikki Janisin, Executive Director since October 2014. Before stepping into the Executive Director position, she served as the Program Director since 2008 and before that had been a summer environmental educator for two summers. Nikki is a graduate of UW-Eau Claire with a degree in Biology Education. She recently moved to Haugen where she resides with her husband Dan, son Joe and dog Ruger. When she is not hanging out at Hunt Hill, she spends her time taking her son on adventures, curling and crafting.

What does it mean to be the Executive Director of a nature center and sanctuary? Major responsibilities include: Guiding the short and long-term plans for Hunt Hill to fulfill the wishes of Frances Andrews, working with the volunteer Board of Directors, managing the financial and legal responsibilities of the organization, managing the staff, being the chief public relations person welcoming visitors, and speaking to groups.

What I enjoy the most about Hunt Hill:  Hunt Hill holds such a special place in my heart. I have especially enjoyed hearing the stories of others who have been positively impacted by their experience here.  I am inspired and motivated by our donor, Frances Andrews, who showed early insight to protection and education of the environment.  Hunt Hill is a beautiful place with wonderful staff, volunteers, members and visitors and I feel so lucky to be a part of it.

Contact Nikki:

Sage Dunham, Group Coordinator, has been working full-time at Hunt Hill since 2019 and has been part of the Hunt Hill community since childhood. She was the Day Camp Director for two summers, an Environmental Educator for three summers, and a Junior Counselor for one summer. Sage graduated from St. Catherine University with a Masters in Elementary Education. On her days off, you may spot her playing guitar, needle felting, hiking the trails, or canoeing.

What does it mean to be the Group Coordinator of a nature center and sanctuary? As the Group Coordinator, my primary responsibilities are to schedule and coordinate with external groups that would like to come to Hunt Hill. I lead school field trips and coordinate the environmental educators at the field trips. I also manage facility rentals of the camp for a variety of different groups including Upward Bound camps, 4-H group outings, youth group retreats, college field experiences, wedding receptions, and family reunions.

What I enjoy the most about Hunt Hill: My favorite thing about Hunt Hill is that it provides many experiences for learning about the natural world. I have fond memories from my childhood of seeing butterflies come out of their chrysalises, catching frogs, and watching fireflies at Hunt Hill. It has been so fulfilling to come back and inspire the next generation of naturalists, especially those who would otherwise be tentative about interacting with the natural world. It is wonderful to see a person handle a spider, bug, or snake for the first time! Hunt Hill provides the community with a place to explore and connect with nature in lasting and memorable ways.

Contact Sage:

Sally Bartz, Office Manager since March 2014: has 3 kids, 4 grandchildren and a Westie named Jojo. She lives in Shell Lake where she enjoys quilting, being with family and friends, reading mysteries, and snowshoeing.

What does it mean to be Office Manager of a nature center and sanctuary? Major responsibilities include: Bookkeeping, office paperwork, greeting visitors, registration, maintaining email lists, tracking membership and much more.

What I enjoy the most about Hunt Hill: It’s such a beautiful setting for a job.  I enjoy meeting the Hunt Hill’s members and campers, and listening to the kids having fun outside.  I think it’s important for kids to learn to appreciate the outdoors.  I know I feel a sense of peace come over me when I’m out in the woods.  Its also a great bunch of people to work with.

Contact Sally:

Head of Maintenance: Mark Sauer since March 2019, is a Sarona native who lives just up the road from Hunt Hill with his wife Julie. He has 3 children and 5 grandchildren. He enjoys many outdoor activities and volunteering with area groups and organizations. His grandmother and her siblings were actively involved with Frances Andrews during her Sarona days. 

What does it mean to be the maintenance crew of a nature center and sanctuary? Major responsibilities include: All maintenance work, general cleaning, landscaping, and facilities improvements at Hunt Hill as assigned by the Executive Director and Board of Directors.

What I enjoy the most about Hunt Hill: Being able to work in the beautiful preserved setting of Hunt Hill and to contribute to the history and heritage of the center and sanctuary at a time when facility and grounds improvements are being made possible by the many contributors and volunteers.

Assistant Maintenance: Larry Piskie has been keeping Hunt Hill looking great since the spring of 2000. Native to Illinois, he fell in love with the area and now lives in Spooner with his wife Colette 9 months out of the year and then they ‘fly south’ for some much needed rest before he returns for the busy season.

What does it mean to be the maintenance crew of a nature center and sanctuary? Major responsibilities include: All maintenance work, general cleaning, landscaping, and facilities improvements at Hunt Hill as assigned by the Executive Director and Board of Directors.

What I enjoy the most about Hunt Hill: I welcome the opportunity to work in the outdoors with nature. I enjoy talking with visitors about the special resources available at Hunt Hill, and I am continually learning about wildlife and experiencing it firsthand. Being employed at Hunt Hill provides me with an opportunity to grow personally while having a hand in local land and wildlife preservation. I am an advocate for the Hunt Hill buildings, lands, flora and fauna. There is great enjoyment in the participation of a dedicated young organization as it continues to grow and reach out to more people right in our neighborhood.

Cabin Coordinator: Debbie Bouma has been prepping cabins, coordinating rentals, and offering great customer service to our cabin visitors since 2018.

What does it mean to be the cabin coordinator of two historic cabins? Major responsibilities include: managing listings on AirBnb, stocking the cabins with supplies, cleaning cabins, coordinating and accepting rental requests, and answering renter questions.

2021 Summer Environmental Educators

Elijah is from Selma, North Carolina and is a rising senior at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He is currently double majoring in Environmental Science and Geography. Elijah loves kayaking, fishing, and tent camping. He enjoys practicing brazilian jiu jitsu and his favorite animal is turtles. 

Josie is from Raleigh, North Carolina. She is going into her last year at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and she is studying environmental science with a minor in recreation. Josie enjoys kayaking, hiking, and taking care of her house plants. Her favorite animals are frogs and she loves to try new things. 

Katy is from North Carolina. She goes to school at UNC Wilmington and is a rising senior where she studies Environmental Science and Biology. Her favorite color is green, and she also has a grey and white cat named Pema. She loves the outdoors, kayaking, hiking, and running. She can’t wait to do so many fun activities this summer while in Wisconsin! 

Willow is a local to the area, she grew up just outside of Spooner Wisconsin. She is currently a Junior at North Eastern Illinois University and is pursuing an undergraduate degree in environmental studies. Post graduation she hopes to continue working with kids as an environmental educator. In her spare time, Willow likes to read, swim, kayak and soak up the sunshine!

Past Summer Staff