Leyner-Foley, Mary Jane

Botany, Educator, Plant Ecology

Mary Jane Leyner-Foley has taught field classes in botany and plant ecology in the Central Rockies for the past forty years. Her students have ranged from children to senior citizens. She has taught classes for the University of Colorado, Metro State College (Denver), and Antioch University’s Denver Center.

She taught for and directed a summer field-science program for children for Thorne Ecological Institute, for several years and for 15 years operated her own school (Colorado Outdoor School) offering field classes for children and adults in the natural sciences.

A great believer in the Summit program, she has taught for 40 of them since 1970, and is delighted to see the Summits return to Colorado.

She feels that classes held in the out-of-doors should be relaxed, letting participants explore their new surroundings in ways that suit their individual interests. The class is not being “taken” on a field trip, rather participants and instructor are going out to explore together.