The Watershed Institute Welcomes Ayanna Johnson as Watershed Urban Education Manager 

July 25th, 2023

The Watershed Institute is delighted to announce the appointment of Ayanna Johnson as the Watershed Urban Education Manager. In her new role, Ayanna will spearhead the organization’s educational programming for schools and community groups in the Greater Trenton area, with a strong focus on expanding access to Watershed programs and promoting equity and inclusion. 

“Ayanna’s exceptional leadership, passion, and dedication to environmental justice make her the ideal candidate to lead our educational initiatives,” says Jim Waltman, executive director of The Watershed Institute. “We are confident that Ayanna will create meaningful connections with nature for more young people and inspire them to become lifelong stewards of the environment.” 

Ayanna’s early experiences with The Watershed Institute during her childhood left a profound impact on her, igniting her passion for the environment. She recalls thinking of The Watershed Institute as “a magical place” that she experienced on field trips. As a Girl Scout, she achieved the prestigious Gold Award and served as a camp counselor at Ewing Rec Camp, further deepening her connection to nature and community engagement. 

Ayanna pursued her academic journey at Rowan University in Glassboro, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sustainable Studies. She also excelled on the Women’s Basketball Team, breaking two records, earning the title of Defensive Player of the Year and serving as team captain for two years.  

During her time at Rowan, Ayanna served as the president of the school’s chapter of the sorority Sigma Gamma Rho Inc., where she further realized her commitment to both environmentalism and social and environmental justice. One of her sorority’s initiatives is a program offering swim lessons to children in black and brown communities recognizing a disproportionate percentage of drownings in those demographics.  

“I am thrilled to be a part of The Watershed Institute and aspire to make it a household name in every community,” says Johnson. “Through my work, I hope to provide all people with access to the incredible opportunities The Watershed offers and enable them to experience the transformative power of nature and our interconnectedness with the natural world.” 

The Watershed Institute welcomes Ayanna Johnson and is excited to witness the positive impact she will bring to the Greater Trenton area and beyond. 

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