During off seasons from VWS, Katie spent her time traveling and learning about sustainable agriculture from the Trinity River valley to North Wales. She was also a K-8 instructor at Jones Valley Teaching Farm in Birmingham, Alabama.
Katie led and supported groups of all ages on educational science trips extending up to two weeks in backcountry wilderness, on small farms, and at our local beaches and hiking trails. Her driving passion was to see students get caught in moments with the natural world. As a mother, Katie's sense of duty to inspire environmental stewards grew stronger than ever. Katie once again moved on from VWS in September 2017, although she kept in touch and occasionally stopped by to say hello.
Below is an excerpt from her goodbye letter to us that year:
Since my first camp summer ten years ago, Andrew Molera State Park has been a second home for the most important parts of myself. I will remember lessons you taught me and times shared with wonderful people there forever. I have been the persistent boomerang of VWS, but the time has come in my life and career to establish a trajectory of increasing stability for Liam and myself. It has been an honor to work with people whom I admire and respect, to gain trust as my currency with students that have more to offer the world than has been given to them. This position has been overwhelming at times, and always humbling and fulfilling. Thank you for the time and opportunities you have given me over the past decade. Especially for extending this latest role to me in a vulnerable time in my life. I will be moving on to a career as a biologist, working on local large-scale habitat restoration projects. But I will always be a coyote mentor. My deepest gratitude, Katie Lannon
Our deepest gratitude to you Katie – for everything that you brought to our lives, and the lives of all the others you influenced.