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 lives near Haugen where she resides with her husband Dan, son Joe and dog Pepperoni Spongebob (aka Pepper). 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:

Marissa Ginger, Program Coordinator, has been working in the field of interpretation since 2019. She is originally from Washington, Missouri and has recently moved to Rice Lake. Marissa graduated from the University of Central Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in Biology with an emphasis in Wildlife & Natural Resource Conservation. Some of her past experiences include working as a Naturalist for the Missouri Department of Conservation in the St. Louis Region, as a seasonal Interpreter for Farmington Hills Nature Center in MI, Maramec Spring Park in St. James, MO; and Missouri State Parks. On her days off, you might find her exploring Wisconsin, hiking, painting, or reading.

What does it mean to be the Program Coordinator of a nature center and sanctuary? As the Program Coordinator, my main responsibilities are to plan, promote, and coordinate all public events and programs for Hunt Hill, such as Birds & Beer, Soup Lunch, Adult Spanish Camp, and more! I also manage seasonal summer staff and summer day camps for children.

What I am most looking forward to at Hunt Hill: I am especially looking forward to making memories with an incredible community. I also look forward to hiking around Hunt Hill, and listening to what people love most about the area and the memories they have here. I cannot wait to connect audiences with the natural resources Hunt Hill has to offer!

Contact Marissa:

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.

2023 Summer Environmental Educators/WisCorps Placements

Hello! My name is Erica and I am from Boone, North Carolina. I am a Biology major at Appalachian State University. When I am not in classes, most of my time here is spent exploring the mountains. I love hiking, camping, and really anything involving the outdoors. I am looking forward to sharing my love for nature with the younger generation!

Hi I’m Teagan! I am a student at the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point and I am working on my Wildlife Ecology and Management degree. I am looking forward to working at Hunt Hill this summer because I want to get people excited about the outdoors!! Some of my favorite ways to enjoy nature are hiking, fishing and kayaking. I also started rock climbing this year which is quickly becoming a part of my lifestyle. I can’t wait to be part of the crew, we are going to have a great summer!!

My name is Jordan Rambo. I live in New Caney, Texas but I go to school in East Tennessee. I go to college at Carson Newman University, which is only 30 mins from the Great Smoky Mountains. I am majoring in Wildlife Biology with hopes to work for the park service or conservation organization. I love to draw what I see out in nature. I love reading books about cool things that are happening in the biology community. I also enjoy any hike or outdoor activity you can think of. I am most looking forward to this summer to expand my own knowledge on biology while also helping expand the kids’ interest everyday. I want to show the importance of loving nature and the world around you.

My name is Elias Ritzke. I am from Poynette, WI but am currently going to school at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. I am majoring in biology with an environmental science emphasis and am also on the cross country and track teams at UWL. I also really enjoy fishing and spending time outside whenever I can. I chose to work at Hunt Hill because I like working with kids and it reminded me of a camp I attended as a kid and I loved it there.

Past Summer Staff