Meet the Blue Heron Nature Preserve Team
Melody Harclerode, FAIA
Melody started her career as an architect in 2001 after graduating from the University of Notre Dame. She has taught students about architecture, sustainability, and site design for the Atlanta Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Atlanta) using Reggio Emilia since 2010.
In 2015, she created and led Reggio Emilia-inspired programs at the Arabia Alliance as the Director of Programs. Melody was elevated as an AIA Fellow in 2018 for her national K-12 design education initiatives, design advocacy, and writings. She was honored with the AIA Atlanta Ivan Allen Award in 2019.
Her passion for environmentalism and educational programming grew over the years and she is thrilled to be the Executive Director at the Blue Heron.
Contact: 404.946.6394 Ext 0
Denise learned very early in her childhood the value of green spaces in an urban setting as she skipped through the Grunewald forest in Berlin Germany. Only to have that sustainability bug further embedded attending Audubon camps in Massachusetts and building her first basic hot water solar panel.
Fast forward to a young adult, she went into the Navy and then landed a Field Engineer position with IBM, followed by Project Engineering for UPS in computer hardware and later an Environmental Facilities Auditor, responsible for reporting, compliance and process improvements energy costs.
She later became a successful retail business owner, but returned to project management at the Woodruff Arts Center. With the spirit of volunteerism, she has been involved in assisting non-profits towards greening their business. Denise earned her bachelor’s from Oglethorpe University. In her spare time she enjoys many of the local trails with her friends and pups, painting, and loves gardening.
Contact: 404.946.6394 Ext 2
As a lifelong resident of Georgia, Andrew’s love for the environment began at an early age. He graduated from Young Harris College in 2013 with a B.S. in Outdoor Leadership, focused on experiential education and began teaching Environmental Education with Georgia 4-H in 2014.
Andrew continued to work in both formal and informal educational settings, while simultaneously pursuing his M.S. in Environmental Education from Montreat College, which he completed in 2019. He has been fortunate to share his knowledge and passion for the environment with children from schools across the Southeast; believing positive experiences, as well as accessibility to the community can aid in creating the next generation of environmental stewards.
In his free time, Andrew enjoys creating digital art, hiking and playing the guitar. He is excited to begin his next chapter as the Director of Education Programs with Blue Heron Nature Preserve!
Contact: 404.946.6394 Ext 3
Born and raised in Indiana, Sally developed a love for the outdoors from an early age. She earned her B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Purdue University with a mission: to nurture positive relationships between people and nature, and increase environmental literacy within urban communities.
Sally is a devoted naturalist and has worked in a variety of settings to provide nature programs for people of all ages. She emphasizes place-based learning to connect individuals with the natural spaces in their communities, and to promote local green initiatives. She is passionate about Blue Heron’s mission and looks forward to helping youth create lifelong memories outdoors.
As an avid animal lover, in the future Sally plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Anthrozoology, to study the complex relationships between humans and wildlife, and engage broader audiences in conservation efforts.
Contact: 404.946.6394 Ext 3
Chakura Kineard is a professional artist and intuitive. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2014 with her Bachelor’s of Fine in the Painting emphasis. She has a textile, drawing, and painting artistic practice in addition to her work in tarot and astrology. Born in Daytona Florida by the beach, the content of her work is about nature and material via the realm of collage and material. She is currently based in Atlanta, GA, and Fort Lauderdale, Fl. She has participated in creative endeavors such as the Atlanta Contemporary’s Studio Art Program and The Eco Tarot project.
Jen’s love of the outdoors began at a young age while spending much of her childhood outside in central Georgia, surrounded by red clay and pecan orchards. She spent some time in 2020 volunteering for Blue Heron as an excuse to get outside and has since grown enchanted by Blue Heron’s thirty-acre oasis.
She is currently wrapping up a Master’s program in Public History with a certificate in Museum Studies. Though she does not have a background in the sciences, she still finds ways to integrate the human relationship with the outdoors into her studies and daily life. Her goal is to contribute to a non-profit organization with a strong mission and vision.
In her free time, Jen is a serial hobbyist. She is most likely teaching herself how to crochet, identifying pollinators in a garden, or reading a novel.