Forest keeps busy on a wide range of projects involving grassroots networking and cross-organizational coordination, research and education, public speaking and community organizing, and more.Forest was born in a barn and grew up on Dancing Waters Permaculture Co-op at the headwaters of the West Fork of Knapps Creek, tromping around in the hills and bluffs of the Driftless. After graduating from North Crawford High School, right here in Crawford Co, he went on to Eckerd College in Florida where he graduated with a degree in Communications, minoring in International Studies and Global Affairs, and Spanish. He has traveled through 26 countries on three continents, rounding out his education and helping him appreciate our special region for what it is. Forest has a passion for the beauty of this area, and is dedicated to helping folks engage to protect the values and rights of our communities and ecosystems.
Omarú Heras Ornelas
Water Quality Monitoring Program Coordinator
Omarú studied Biology/Biochemistry in Life and Earth Sciences, earning a bachelor of sciences at the University of Reunion Island (France). She is experienced in water catchment, management, and monitoring, as well as being a certified acupuncturist. She has been passionately working for many years with several environmental organizations, rural-indigenous communities and schools in Mexico, in order to raise the awareness, justice, care and love for nature, water and soil. She enjoys clean water, organic food, clean air, a clear sky, the sunny days, a beautiful rain, to walk in the forest, to be surrounded by wild nature, a conscious mind and living in a sustainable intentional community.
Joe is a lifelong Crawford County resident and was born into and raised by a farming family. Growing up on a dairy farm in rural Ferryville, he has also raised beef cattle, pigs, chickens, and sheep throughout his life. After graduating from North Crawford High School, he attended University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse and received a bachelors degree in Business Management with an emphasis in contract law and negotiation in 2018. He spent a few years in retail management and business to business sales before coming home to the farming community in 2020. Joe operates a custom grazing business here in Southwest Wisconsin and looks to partner with farmers, land owners, and individuals in the community to build a lasting, positive relationship between the business and natural world in which both parties can thrive.
Shary grew up in an unincorporated portion of DuPage County, Illinois, in a far-reaching western suburb of Chicago. Her playground was an expansive, undeveloped, wooded acreage at the end of a dead-end road. Throughout the years she witnessed the rural countrysides near her home drastically change due to industry and residential development. She raised five children and ran a successful home business as a medical transcriptionist typing chart notes for orthopaedic surgeons, and in 2015 she moved to Soldiers Grove. Her passions include family, nature and community. Shary’s goals include staying educated and involved with regard to various issues that confront our communities and that often bring unwanted changes. She is committed to engaging with residents and landowners in this area who seek to be active in upholding the driftless region as a beautiful, safe and healthy place to live.