Our Bosque Backpackers program takes children out of the classroom and into the open air! While outdoors they explore nature, learn about biology and animal habitats, build friendships and develop team work skills. For additional information please contact us!


Eileen Parker

Our newest Bosque Teacher, Eileen Parker, has a wealth of experience in education. She earned her B.A. in English Literature and Psychology, and her M.A. in Early Childhood Multicultural/Special Education from UNM. She taught preschool at A Child’s Garden for 8 years. Her kind, compassionate, and patient ways reflect her sensitivity among special needs children: Eileen went on to teach for 17 years with Albuquerque Public Schools, serving many different kinds and levels of needs among children as a Special Needs teacher. She retired in 2015, yet continues to work with A Child’s Garden as a curriculum consultant.

A child of an airforce pilot, Eileen travelled to many places in her youth but always called Albuquerque “home,” where she often spent time with her loving grandparents. Eileen enjoys being outside, and even took time away from the bustle of city life to build a house in the Jemez. As an avid gardener, she dedicated much of her time to creating verdant paths along the red-rock landscape there.

Life in Albuquerque remains full as Eileen spends time with her four grown children—three sons and one daughter—and joins the bus to the great outdoors every Tuesday and Thursday. We are thrilled that Eileen’s path has led to Elevation!  


Endion Schichtel

Endion’s fierce environmental and community consciousness comes from being a student of the world.

After earning her B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Conservation, Endion worked for the Forest Service. But it was a teacher at UNM who “planted a seed in her mind” about traveling to New Zealand. Endion was attracted by New Zealand’s sustainable food-growing and conservation efforts. Once there, she worked for “Conscious Kids New Zealand,” an organization dedicated to leading children in unrestricted free play through the New Zealand bush. She remembers how lush and gentle the New Zealand forests were; “I was barefoot for most of the time there,” she says, “walking through the forests.”

Yet her experience here led to discouragement and a sense of the deep systemic and political problems of conservation efforts worldwide. Realizing that conversation problems were directly related to mistreatment of people, Endion became more politically aware as her life journey led to Southeast Asia, Australia, and back to the United States. With her focus on helping people, she gravitated to mentorship programs for refugees. In Albuquerque, she began mentoring families through Catholic Charities and teaching people about the outdoors through The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance.    

Endion has written character narratives for the Cibola National Forest (through The Wilderness Alliance) and contracts as an Environmental Educator for the Albuquerque Water Authority.

Endion is enjoying the return of a routine here in Albuquerque, but keeps a place in her mind for living abroad with family in the future.