Kyle Macdonald, Executive Director and Founder
Mr. Macdonald is most known for his work as founder of Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT). His experience in the outdoors began as a youth, on family camping and ski trips in the Northeastern United States. This experience brought him to work in 1993 with the Appalachian Mountain Club where he worked for five seasons, maintaining backcountry facilities and leading groups of youth and adults in Maine and New Hampshire. He has worked in education as a classroom teacher in New Orleans and with urban youth in Boston, Detroit, San Francisco and Oakland.
While at BAWT, he was recognized by Stanford University’s School of Education for valuable contributions and outstanding service to the education of low-income children and youth. Additionally, BAWT was recognized by the West Region Association for Experiential Education (AEE) for exemplary program work within the field and nominated by the Outdoor Retail Industry for an industry award in the non-profit category. Mr. Macdonald was nominated in 2013 as a White House Champion of Change- The Next Generations of Conservation Leaders.
Mr. Macdonald works regionally, with the Bay Area Children and Nature Collaborative, nationally, supporting the The Children and Nature Network, and internationally, as an advisor to Global Trails Alliance. He lives in San Francisco’s Portola neighborhood with his wife and two children, where he particularly loves exploring San Francisco’s McLaren Park.
Hannah shapiro, program associate
Hannah is a Chicago native who returned to the city from North Carolina in 2017 after completing her Master of Environmental Management at Duke University. Her passion for interacting with and protecting the outdoors stems from her experiences in nature as a child, both with family and on school trips, where she learned how to hike, camp, canoe and sail. At 13, she convinced her dad to join her as she became certified in scuba diving and eventually earned her Scientific Diver and Divemaster certifications. From her first experience in the ocean, she knew she wanted to spend her life helping others understand, experience and care for our natural world. In experiencing that natural world from a young age, Hannah realized the importance of giving children access to nature and is excited to work with the Outdoors Empowered Network and the member organizations.
As a student, Hannah had the opportunity to work with a variety of organizations through internships and volunteer positions, including the Field Museum, Chicago Wilderness, and the Triangle Land Conservancy as well as Wild South in North Carolina. At the Outdoors Empowered Network, she works with the members on gear needs and program outreach as well as the National Summit. Hannah lives in Chicago’s North Mayfair neighborhood where she is lucky enough to walk her dog, Atticus, to Cook County’s LaBagh Woods Forest Preserve everyday.