Friendly Staff


Mike Maher, Director

Why I Love my Job:  Springbrook Nature Center is the perfect place to explore and appreciate the beauty, wonder and science of nature.  As a City of Fridley park, we serve the residents of Fridley through a wide variety of education and recreation opportunities.  Our location also connects us with visitors from throughout Minnesota and across the globe as our park is recognized as a critical habitat and watershed in the Twin Cities metro area.  I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to dedicate my career to the goal of connecting our many visitors and program participants with the natural world. 

Jan Swanson, Administrative Program Assistant

Why I love my job:  I have had the pleasure of being Springbrook's Admin.Program Asst. for more than 20 years.  During these years I have had the privilege of sharing this "special place" with so many people.  Working with countless volunteers, parents of excited children, nature enthusiasts and a warm caring staff makes each and everyday worthwhile.

Deep Thoughts:  A healthy ecosystem working together reveals its beauty in nature.  Families and friends sharing time together at Springbrook reveals its worth.
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Tara Rogness, Interpretive Program Supervisor

Why I love my job:  What could be better than being able to spend time outside with kids?  I feel very lucky to be on staff at Springbrook, it is a warm community of people, and I am very proud of the work that is accomplished here.  

Favorite Nature Quote:
"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."  Ralph Waldo Emerson 
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Curtis Pribula, Maintenance

Why I love my job:
I see myself as contributing to the team that maintains this jewel in our metropolitan area.  It is a privilege to be so close to nature and the quiet.

Favorite Quote:
"Listen to the earth and it will teach you."

Sara Swenson, Seasonal Interpretive Naturalist

Why I love my job:


I grew up playing outside.  I eventually realized my own interest in environmental issues and the natural sciences comes from my childhood experiences being outdoors and learning about the world around me, and working as a naturalist allows me to play a part in providing that foundation for others.  I love helping to spark that connection to our (not just “the”!) environment in people, a connection that leads to questions, curiosity, and lifelong discoveries about the amazing world all around us.  I especially love working with kids, in no small part because I have always remained a kid at heart.

Favorite Joke: 

Q:  What do you get from sitting on a frozen lake for too long?
A:  Polaroids!