Laura returned to her childhood home in East Texas after spending many years in Beaumont, where she and her husband owned a nursery and landscaping business, and in Austin, where she worked for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. She was happy to get back to the Pineywoods where her family settled in the 1850s, living off the land. Many of the native species that were abundant in the area as she was growing up have virtually disappeared and the once canopied forests have been transformed into pine plantations logged every decade or so, wiping out natural habitat. For the last several years, Laura has been documenting the flora and fauna of her own backyard, and other wild spots of East Texas, with an eye towards preservation of native species.
Jill is a naturalist and a member of the Cypress Basin Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists. She moved to Marshall, TX from Indiana in 2009 with her husband who works in manufacturing management. Jill was born and raised on the east coast, and received a BA from William and Mary. She worked in arts and business administration, before switching to preschool teaching when her children were young. She loved sharing her passion for nature with her preschoolers. Jill and her family have found great joy in exploring our nation's national and state parks, via hiking and camping. Now that she is retired from full-time teaching, she and her husband take much delight in exploring the beautiful natural treasures of east Texas.