Finding Inspiration in Every Turn
Established in 2006 by local farmer and earth-lover Erika Eschholz, Mountain Roots Education was originally named "Full Circle Education." In April, 2021 we changed our name to reflect our mission and vision as stewards to our mountain heritage. Through educational gardens and monthly adult workshops for sustainable living, we connect our community to the natural world by practicing techniques passed down and shared with our local mountain community. Our website will offer you information about our programs, as well was ways to get involved through program participation and through monetary donations. We look forward to getting to know you.
Since our founding, Mountain Roots Education has been partnering with schools and community partners to accomplish our mission and vision. Our programs are two fold: school gardens, and workshops for sustainable living.
We believe in connecting people to the earth. Connecting people to the roots that come before us. Connecting people to their landscape, and the importance of healthy agriculture practices. We are inspired by our community of farmers, young and old, wise and learning. We love connecting local knowledge with local interest.
The first school garden program we launched was at Teton Science School's (TSS) Mountain Academy in Victor, Idaho. We're now operating school garden programs at Tetonia Elementary School, Alta Elementary School and Victor Elementary School in Teton Valley, Idaho.
Meet the Team
Hayes fell in love with the Tetons when she was 15, and after working seasonally as an outdoor educator and restoration crew member, eventually moved to Teton Valley in 2002. Her career in land management and ecological restoration took her to Seattle for 17 years during which time she had a family and grew a myriad of fruits and vegetables in her yard. She is excited to be back in Teton Valley and digging into both the dirt and the community. You can find her biking, hiking, or skiing with her son, husband and dog when she is not in one of our school gardens or attending one of our workshops.
Taylor grew up working at her father's plant nursery business in Pennsylvania, instilling her with a lifelong love of nature. Taylor taught in a public elementary school in New Jersey for almost ten years before staying home with her three children: Phinley (10), Lachlan (8), and Preston (6). After traveling to Teton Valley for vacation, she fell in love with the people and landscape and ultimately decided to relocate. Taylor values kindness, cooperation, curiosity, and imagination, and hopes to inspire children to love the natural world; but most of all, she wants to instill a love of learning. When not in school, Taylor can be found volunteering on the PTO, coaching soccer, skiing at Targhee, and exploring the outdoors with her family.
Dana has a love of all things growing: children, plants, organizations and knowledge! Coming from a family of gardeners she loves to plant, tend and create delicious meals from the harvest. In her native Salt Lake City, Dana taught a gardening and nutrition class to 3rd and 4th graders at a school where food scarcity was a common occurrence. Watching their faces light up when growing and tasting plants is an amazing joy and she is excited to continue sharing the joy in Teton Valley.
Board Vice Chair
Will joined Mountain Roots as a part-time educator and administrative assistant for the summer of 2021. He loved learning from local experts for the Adult Workshop series, and he enjoyed seeing how excited local elementary students could be for garden salads that they’d grown themselves. In spring of 2022, he joined the board with a focus on assisting with the grant writing process.
Randy is a retired bank executive having worked in Las Vegas, Nevada for Wells Fargo, City National Bank and Nevada State Bank. The majority of his 40 plus year banking career was spent in various management positions mostly as the Managing Director of the Private Bank division. Originally from Newark, Ohio, Randy moved to Las Vegas as a teenager with his family. He is a graduate of the University of Nevada - Las Vegas, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Randy’s interests include golf, hiking, river kayaking, gardening, volunteer work and spending time with his family. Randy and his wife, Barbara, divide their time between Teton Valley and Mesquite, NV.
A career in education has convinced Peter of the value of wildness and natural environments for transformative learning. Through stints at several independent schools, the George Lucas Educational Foundation, and most recently the National Outdoor Leadership School, Peter has worked to connect young people with outdoor experiences that germinate a personal relationship with nature. An avid reader, an erstwhile writer, and a life-long fly fisherman, Peter now lives in Tetonia, Idaho, on a postage stamp of land where he and his beloved wife, Leila, dream of someday keeping horses.
A native Montanan with a rich family history of agriculture, Emily brings her passion for rural communities, sustainable living practices and education to the Mountain Roots Education board. Emily has been a member of the Teton Valley community just shy of two decades and is pleased to be raising two daughters in this special place. She brings to Mountain Roots Education expertise in non-profit engagement, marketing, fundraising and community outreach. Emily is proud of the opportunities Mountain Roots Education brings to the Teton Valley region and is excited to watch the organization continue to flourish.
A PNW transplant, Lara has been playing in the dirt since she was a young girl. As a former outdoor educator and field biologist, she enjoys spending time outdoors with loved ones, tending her garden, traveling, and attempting to identify local bird species. Lara believes in the important work of Mountain Roots Education in offering education and access to the members of our vibrant community.
Having grown up in the Tetons, Eliza is someone who is completely dedicated to the betterment of our community as a whole and she cannot wait to jump right in! Having welcomed her son Bodie in early 2022, her motivation immediately shifted towards deepening her roots here in Teton Valley, with a focus on the hands-on education for the next generation. Eliza brings her extensive, decade plus, background in event planning and sales to the table as well as her deeply rooted passion for gardening and belief in the benefits of truly getting your hands dirty! Outside of being a new Board Member at MRE, you will find Eliza spending her free time time with her husband Levi, son Bodie and their two pups, whether that is at home or out and about on their next adventure!