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Mia Tarduno info

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Mia Tarduno


Mia’s professional journey began in 2013 when she headed to Colorado to lead backpacking and adventure trips for teens and has been dedicated to guiding, inspiring, and creating intentional experiences ever since. In the years that followed, she led outdoor camps for youth through Avid 4 Adventure, ran expeditions for youth and teens through SOS Outreach, mentored youth through Mountain Mentors, and coached girl’s empowerment and mountain biking through Cycle Effect. She also spent the last 5 years studying and facilitating meaningful discussions and creating safe spaces for youth and adults through talking circles and workshops.
With degrees in Environmental Studies, Dance, and Anthropology, she blends her studies of yoga, curiosity for natural environments, conversation, and love for art, into impactful outdoor experiences. Her favorite moments are the deep conversations over hushed voices around a fire at the end of a long day of adventures.

Kerrick Gooden


Kerrick was raised in the Hill Country of Austin, Texas where he studied at the University of Texas. After some travel, he moved to the Rogue Valley of Oregon with a vision to farm and support youth. He completed his Bachelor’s of Science in Applied Cultural Anthropology with Honors in 2004 at Southern Oregon University, and devoted over a decade supporting youth and their families navigate  local and state social service programs. During this time, he and his partner cultivated a food forest at their home and founded Verdant Phoenix as an educational mini-farm in 2016.

Verdant Phoenix Farm became an expression of a way of life for Kerrick. He is interested in the relationships between humans, soil, microbes, plants/trees/shrubs, food, culture, time, and the web of life. As these elements inform his horticultural practice, Kerrick enjoys supporting landscapes, gardens, farms, and their people who are interested in belonging to the land.