Contact Us !

(All pictures compliments of Greg Pyle Photography)

Alison Zajdel is the Executive Director at Cope Environmental Center and oversees operations and fund development. She has been a staff member since 2001 mostly recently serving as Development Director. Before coming to CEC she attended DePauw University majoring in Studio Arts. She has her certificate in Fund Raising Management from the Fund Raising School (Center on Philanthropy) and has completed training in planned giving, grant-seeking/writing, major gifts, and annual fund development. Alison contributes to our community by volunteering for a wide variety of organizations and sits on the Richmond Environmental Sustainability Commission. Alison received the prestigious Indiana Governor’s Award for Tomorrow’s Leaders in 2004 and has been an avid jump roper for 20 years!



Dana Risch is the Office Manager at Cope Environmental Center. Dana is a biology student at Indiana University East and will complete her Bachelor degree, with minors in both Environmental Science and Anthropology in June 2014. Before coming to CEC Dana spent many years working in childcare, owning her own licensed daycare as well as working with other programs. Hers is usually the first face you will meet inside our door, and the go to person when you want to get a message to any of us. When not at CEC you will find Dana spending time with her family, gardening, hiking through the woods, working with her animals, or reading a book. She is very excited to be at CEC!




Aubrey Blue is the Program Director and focuses on writing curriculum and leading community, family, school and summer programs. Aubrey has a General Studies degree with a concentration in Natural Sciences and Mathematics from Indiana University East and oversees all programming at CEC. Aubrey became a Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) in 2005 and is also certified in other programs including, but not limited to: Project Learning Tree, Growing up WILD, Indiana Master Naturalist, Healthy Water, Healthy People, Hoosier Riverwatch, and Project Underground. She is on the Board of Directors, the steering committee for Wayne County Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Conference, and a past member of Cardinal Greenway’s Wayne County Steering Committee and the Family Earth Day Celebration planning committee (10 years). Aubrey has classroom teaching experience and truly excels in outdoor and environmental education. Her ability to connect with young students benefits CEC through all the program seasons.


Traci Lewis is CEC’s Volunteer Coordinator.  We are thrilled to have her “back” as she worked at CEC roughly 10 years ago!  Traci has spent the last 26 years in the film industry directing actors and extras in films, commercials, and TV series.  She uses these skills to wrangle our volunteer corp- pairing each person with their skills and talents.  Traci lives on a farm in Centerville and enjoys farming, gardening and taking care of her animals.  “I’m excited to be back.  CEC gives me to chance to do the same type of work (coordinating the masses!), but while helping the environment and my community.  Wow- it’s great to be back at CEC!”




Brent Evans is the Facilities and Grounds Coordinator. He received his Associate’s Degree in Conservation Law from Vincennes University and his Bachelor’s Degree in General Science from Indiana University East.  He has taken classes in forestry through Purdue Extension and is well-versed in the care and development of natural areas.  Before becoming a year-round employee, Brent served as a summer intern. His knowledge of natural resources and equipment maintenance makes him an invaluable addition to the team. Brent lives in Centerville with his wife Courtney.






Ruth Coffey is the Programming and Development Coordinator and works in both the planning and delivery of children’s programs and fund development. She obtained her degree from Ball State University majoring in Communications and Broadcast Journalism. With a diverse background working in both the commercial and non-profit sectors, she brings a skill-set for teaching, organization, and fundraising to CEC operations. She enjoys the challenge to nurture children’s innate passion for our outdoor home through creative activities. Living in Houston, Texas and native to Indiana, she chose Richmond as a vibrant community to come ‘home’ to. When not on land for her day job, she loves the water! Swimming and all things aquatic, theater, creative writing, hiking, cooking, herb gardening, travel or a good front-porch discussion are some of the activities she enjoys.





Kyle King is the Community Outreach Coordinator. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Taylor University and has worked with non-profits for the last 10 years. Kyle has business and marketing experience as one of the founders of Roscoe’s Coffee Bar & Taproom where he implemented sustainable practices such as composting, recycling, building restoration, and sourcing local ingredients. He also has experience organizing community gardens, leading environmental & wilderness programming with high-risk youth, and immersing children in nature as a counselor at CEC in the summers of 2004 & 2005 at CEC. Outside of CEC, Kyle enjoys hiking, writing, cooking, and gardening with his kids and wife, Sarah.


Board of Directors

Cope Environmental Center has an amazing volunteer Board of Directors! They work well with the staff and are passionate contributors to the community and the programs of CEC. All board members can be reached via email using the following address equation:

Cope Environmental Center’s Board of Directors meet on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 4:30pm. If the meeting falls on or near a holiday, the meeting time and date might be rearranged to accommodate schedules.

Karen Black
Ed Cope
Marianne Cope
Susie Ferrell
Robert Green
Teri Grossman

Susy Hasecoster
Pat Heiny
Cheri Jetmore
Kate Johnson
David Jose, Emeritus
Randy Kirk
Francie Klinge
John Kuhn
Marie Cope Nicholson

Ali Carter-Rivera
Neil Sabine
Tim Smock
Alan Spears
Jim Tanner
Gary Turner
Brad VanVleet