The Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter is a 1,200 acre nature Preserve and a 10,000 square foot LEED Platinum building with interactive exhibits about the surrounding environment. We offer weekly nature tours, wildlife viewing opportunities, summer camps, environmental education for children and adults, evening lecture series, a gift shop with local and ecofriendly art. Visit the EcoCenter to learn more about our wetland ecosystem and the 10 miles of trails to explore!
EcoCenter Public Open Hours
Wednesday - Sunday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Monday & Tuesday Closed
Administrative Staff Hours
Swaner staff can be found in their offices on the second floor of the EcoCenter Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Please use the white phone box to the left of our front doors to call up to our offices so we know you are there!
$5 suggested donation per person is appreciated.
1258 Center Drive
Park City, Utah 84098
Take the Kimball Junction exit off I-80. Turn right. At the 2nd traffic light, (this will be Newpark Blvd), turn left. Follow the road all the way down and go under the Newpark sign that goes across the road. Park anywhere in front of the fenced off construction site. If you can’t find parking there, you can park in the garage behind the Lunchbox Wax Salon.
Nell Larson Executive Director
Nell became the Executive Director in December 2013. She works closely with Swaner staff, Advisory and Advancement Board members, and Utah State University administration to develop Swaner's strategic direction and the financial and material resources needed to operate the organization. Prior to her role as director, Nell acted as Conservation Director, where she focused on the restoration and management of the 1,200 acre nature preserve, implementing projects geared toward stream restoration, water quality, wildlife habitat, and trails. Nell grew up in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. She completed her undergraduate degree at Yale as well as her Master of Environmental Management with a focus in ecology at the Yale School of Forestry. Outside of work, Nell loves to ski - both nordic and alpine, sail, hike, travel, play kickball, and generally take advantage of Utah's great outdoors!
Katherine Veeder Director of Education
Katherine joined the Swaner team in January 2012 as an Education intern during her last semester at the University of Utah. After earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and Political Science, and a brief break to gain valuable experience at other nonprofits, she rejoined the Swaner staff in 2013 and assumed her role as Education Director in May 2014. Katherine said “my job is always an adventure, but my very favorite part is working with youth one-on-one in the field to guide them to make their own scientific discoveries and connections with the natural world. There’s nothing better than seeing a child leave the Preserve with a new passion to explore our planet,” when asked about her favorite experiences with the organization. When she’s not at work, Katherine can typically be found hiking, climbing, playing ultimate frisbee, and taking advantage of all Utah has to offer.
Brianna Cencak Youth Programs Coordinator
Brianna joined the Swaner team as Youth Programs Coordinator in June of 2019. After completing her BS in Environmental Studies at Westminster College in 2014, she dove right into the nonprofit world. With five years of school programs experience, Brianna loves to ignite curiosity of the natural landscape in students of all ages. Recently, she has completed a Master Recyclers program and enjoys sharing her passion for sustainability with others. As a Southern Utah native, Brianna spends her time in the sunny weather hiking, searching for bugs with her nephews, and cruising mountain roads on her Dad’s Harley.
Leslie Roberts Staff Assistant
Leslie joined the Swaner team in 2016. A Utah native, her love for the outdoors brought her to Park City where she discovered the Swaner Preserve and began volunteering. She brings with her decades of experience in project management, print production and customer service. She is responsible for parts of marketing, accounting, building rentals, facilities, and keeping things running smoothly. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking, skiing and fly fishing.
Rhea Cone Interim Conservation Coordinator
Rhea joined the Swaner EcoCenter team in 2017. A native Parkite, Rhea loves being involved in conservation projects and environmental education in her home town and meeting locals and visitors alike. Rhea finished her BS in ecology with a minor in chemistry at the University of Utah in the Spring of 2016. You can find her on the Preserve working on restoration projects, leading volunteer groups, and watching for native bees. Outside of work, Rhea enjoys skiing, mountain biking, and locally roasted coffee.
Hunter Klingensmith Visitor Experience Coordinator and Gift Shop
Hunter joined the Swaner team in Fall 2014 as a Conservation Intern during her junior year at the University of Utah. After her internship she joined the Swaner staff as an EcoHost, while also completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and Business. You can find her leading nature walks on the Preserve, greeting guests at the EcoCenter, assisting with the Swaner EcoClub, and working on the Geocaching course. She loves the variety and continuous influx of new knowledge that comes with being part of the Swaner team. Prior to coming to Utah, Hunter grew up in Pennsylvania and attended the University of Cincinnati for Architecture. In her free time she enjoys hiking, mountain biking, skiing, snowshoeing, and adventuring whenever possible.
Katie Ercanbrack EcoHost
Katie joined the Swaner EcoCenter team in June 2019 as an Ecohost. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Media Arts & Communication from Brigham Young University in December 2012. Since graduating, she has had opportunities to live, work, and explore the outdoors as far North as Alaska and South as New Zealand. A Utah native, Katie will always have a special passion for the conservation of natural lands in her home state. You can find her behind the front desk, leading nature walks, and helping with Swaner events. In her free time Katie enjoys hiking, mountain biking, skiing, camping, and spending as much time as possible in the presence of dogs.
Sammie Garcia EcoHost
Sammie joined the Swaner team in November of 2019 as an EcoHost. She currently attends the University of Utah and plans to graduate with her Bachelor's Degree in Environmental & Sustainability Studies and Urban Ecology in the Spring of 2020. As a Utah native, Sammie loves being a part of the Swaner team where she gets to share with others her passion for conservation and protection of natural lands in her beautiful home state. Sammie has experience as both an intern and volunteer at Wasatch Community Gardens and The Green Urban Lunch Box in Salt Lake City where she has had the opportunity to explore the connections between her passion for sustainability and love of good food. In her free time you can find her in a yoga class, thrift shopping, gardening, hiking, backpacking, camping, and exploring.
David Moore, Board Chair
David has served as President of the Alumni Association, Chair of the Foundation Board, member of the National Advisory Board for Aggie Athletics, and member of the Board of Trustees. In addition, the Moores have financially supported a number of scholarships and programs at Utah State and frequently make time interact with students.
David Kizer, Vice Chair
David grew up in Park City along the outskirts of the Swaner Preserve. He is passionate about the outdoors and enjoys helping local organizations as well as larger national level groups. David is also involved in preservation and education efforts with SUWA, Utah Rivers Council, Mountain Trails Foundation and American Whitewater. He currently works in operations and sourcing at Owlet Baby Care. David received a B.S. in Finance from the University of Colorado and an MBA from the University of Utah.
Andy Fletcher, Board Secretary
Andy Fletcher currently leads Backcountry’s Owned Brands apparel business, overseeing design, development, production, and marketing strategy for several brands including Stoic, Basin & Range, and the Backcountry brand. Prior to joining Backcountry, Andy led corporate strategy and business development for VF Corporation’s Sportswear Coalition. His career also spans roles at Nordstrom, in private equity, and in management consulting. Andy holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia.
Stephanie holds a degree from Yale University in Political Science and a Masters of Environmental Science & Management from University of California, Santa Barbara. She has a long history of work in the field of sustainability, serving as the Sustainability Manager for Cushman & Wakefield and the University of Utah. In 2017 and 2018, She dedicated herself to politics once again in her role as Campaign Manager for Shireen Gorbani’s congressional campaign. Stephanie currently lead’s Adobe’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting as their Senior Corporate Social Responsibility Program Manager. She joined the Swaner Advisory Board so that she could continue to encourage a culture of conservation from kids to adults and work alongside employees and Board members who are passionate about this land and environmental education.
Annette has over 25 years experience in the health care sector, ranging from patient care as a respiratory therapist, to executive leadership for both hospital and insurance entities. Annette currently serves as the Managing Director for ThomasArts, an advertising agency. As the former Executive Director of Swaner EcoCenter, Annette returns to the board with new passion for Swaner’s mission and a knowledge of the organization’s history.
Originally from Aspen, Colorado, Julie Hopkins now makes Park City her home. She is a Top 10 Real Estate Agent for the broader Park City area. She spent 25 years of her career as the head of marketing for companies like Mrs. Fields Cookies, The Sharper Image, and Park City Mountain Resort. She currently serves on the Park City Institute Advisory Board and Ballet West Community Leadership Board and was an adjunct professor at the University of Utah MBA program for eight years.
Julie brings a background in both science and business to her service on the board. She held a variety of leadership positions in consulting and sales over her 27-year career with IBM. Much of her work focused on the area of business analytics to help government and education clients leverage their data to support decision-making and drive better outcomes. Julie holds an MBA from the University of Utah and a B.A in Chemistry and Biology from Albion College in Michigan. Julie is a passionate advocate for conservation and animal rights and supports local, national and global organizations dedicated to preserving and protecting habitat and wildlife.
Mike is an environmental attorney based in Portland, Oregon. Mike has a long history of working with nonprofit community organizations that started here at the Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter over ten years ago. Mike loves hiking, biking, fishing, and camping with his wife and his dog. Mike is a graduate of Lewis & Clark School of Law, where he earned a JD with a certificate in Natural Resource Law; and the University of Utah, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning in 2011.
Pauline Sargetakis was born and raised here in Salt Lake City. She grew up enjoying all the beautiful outdoor experiences this state has to offer. She spent 3 years in Los Angeles pursuing a degree in Fashion Marketing. She then spent several years working in Utah’s fashion industry before moving into the wine industry. She now works at Vine Lore as a wine broker for Utah. She loves her job as it marries my passion for wine and spreadsheets! Pauline also loves to hike with her dog and travel as much as possible. Through Vine Lore, she serves on the committee for the Natural History Museum Gala and plans a food and wine festival that benefits 3 local nonprofits every year. The Swaner EcoCenter has been a part of her childhood, and she feels honored to continue to support the Swaner EcoCenter and continue to grow the legacy of conservation for future generations.
Diana Swaner Founding Board Member
Diana Swaner has considerable expertise in education and social science. Diana earned her M.S. in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Intercultural and International Education with a specialty in Curriculum Writing from the University of Southern California. She has spent many years doing Teacher Training in Europe and worked in the area of gifted education, teaching students to problem solve and become divergent thinkers. Diana's mantra was always, "Not, how do I get my students to think about my curriculum, but how do I use my curriculum to teach students to think".
Paula Swaner, Ph.D. Founding Board Member
Dr. Paula Swaner has received several degrees from the University of Utah, including a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in English Literature, as well as a Masters of Science in educational psychology and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. She has also received an M.A. from Pacific Graduate Institute in the Mythological Studies Program and is in the dissertation phase of a Ph.D. program from Pacifica University. In addition to her degrees, Dr. Swaner has certifications in Object Relations Theory and Therapy from the School of Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis, as well as from the Academy for Guided Imagery. In 1997, Dr. Swaner received a faculty appointment at the International Institute of Object Relations, a position she still holds. In 2003 she established the Rocky Mountain Psychological Center, a Psychotherapist’s Group Practice involving training and community mental health projects. Dr. Swaner has received numerous honors, including the Heart and Hands Award from the Cornerstone Counseling Center (2001), the Norman S. Anderson MD Award for Distinguished Service to Mental Health in Utah (2002), and Emeritus Merit of Honor from the University of Utah (2003)
Susan Poulter, Honorary Board Member
Susan brings a background in both science and law to her service on the board. With a PhD in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, and a law degree from the University of Utah, she practiced environmental law and general corporate law, she then taught environmental law at the S. J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah where she is currently Professor Emerita. She has written and lectured on topics within the fields of both science and law and has served on various professional boards and committees of the American Bar Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She currently lives with her husband in Park City where her activities have included coordinating the docent program for the Swaner EcoCenter and more recently, serving on the advisory board.