Our Team

DR. BENJAMIN BURTON
Founder

Dr. Ben Burton has been a life-long advocate for those in need, especially children, the…

Restore native plants volunteer

JAYSON HAJEK
Team Lead, Director of Restore Native Plants

Jayson holds a B.S. Degree in Biology with Distinction and a Masters Degree in Basic Science…

restore native plants volunteer

JAMES PREISENDANZ
Restoration Ecologist & Arborist

James received a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Natural Resources and a Certificate in…

Restore native plants volunteer

MATT SIMONELLI
Terrestrial Invasive Species Spec.

Matt graduated Cum laude from William Paterson University where he earned a communications…

Restore native plants volunteer

PETER SCHIPPER
Chief Of Maintenance

Peter received a bachelors in business management from Nyack College. For fifteen years…

Dan

DAN NOONAN
Community Outreach & Land Steward

Dan graduated cum laude from Ramapo College of New Jersey in 2016 with a B.A. in environmental… 

Joe Kilday
Invasive Species Technician

Joe Kilday graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Health and Exercise Physiology from Ursinus College in

Jenell Capo
Environmental Educator and Ecologist

Jenell is an environmental advocate and graduate of Montclair State University. In 2018 she completed

ALLISON NEUMANN
Topographical Expert and Geologist

Allison is currently a Ph.D. student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, studying the geochemistry of marine

NANCY SLOWIK Master Native Plant Consultant

NANCY SLOWIK
Master Native Plant Consultant

Nancy joined the Restore Native Plants Team in 2017 where she serves as the lead team…

Colin Milde

COLIN MILDE
Master Arborist

Colin became the first Board Certified Master Arborist with the International Society of…

Rob S headshot

ROBERT SCHUCKER
Property Caretaker

Since it’s inception, Rob has been crucial to the success of Restore Native Plants. He is always…

Interns and Volunteers

Man in a suit

STEPHEN GAFFNEY

Stephen has been a member of Restore Native Plants since the winter of 2013. Stephen is now an experienced seasonal

Restore native plants volunteer

NOAH KILDAY

This was my first summer working with RNP and it was so much fun! I am a sophomore health and exercise physiology major at

Nicole Szubart

Nicole Szubart is graduating in 2021 with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science and a minor in Studio Art at William Paterson University…

Our Mascots

Cat hiding in a tree

ECHO

Echo is always ready to scale any conifer of any size to look for insects, small mammals, and native bird species. He holds the record for the number of trees scaled without a helmet, harness, or any safety equipment.

Close up of a cat

LOGAN

Logan is our resident specialist in native bird identification. He has personally logged over 10,000 hours of native bird surveying and has identified 92 native species.