While our backgrounds may vary, we are united by our shared conviction in the remarkable influence of nature on fostering the growth and development of children. We firmly believe that exposure to the natural world has the potential to shape and nurture the next generation of environmental stewards.
Each of us brings a distinct set of experiences and expertise to the table, allowing us to approach child development from different angles. However, the one common thread that binds us together is our shared appreciation for the incredible power of nature. We recognize that nature provides a diverse range of opportunities for children to explore, learn, and develop important skills. Whether it’s through outdoor play, hands-on experiences in natural playgrounds, and playground design or immersive nature play workshops, we are committed to harnessing the potential of nature to empower children and instill a deep-rooted love for the environment. Together, we strive to cultivate a generation of individuals who are passionate about preserving and protecting our precious natural resources for years to come.
John has been with the firm for 15 years and has served a number of roles through his ascent to CEO, most recently as the Vice-President of Global Sales & Marketing. Other roles over the past decade have included Web Developer, Project Manager, IT Manager and Mentorship Program Lead. John has an over-arching holistic understanding of BNP and lives our paradigm.
As the CEO, John focuses on leading the team in the delivery of the myriad of projects, services, and goods already in place, increasing efficiencies, and establishing systems that will allow the companies to continue to expand across Canada and the US. “The people who I work with every day are remarkable, talented and relentlessly positive. I am excited to be in a position to advocate for their growth, the growth of the company, and the growth of the movement to connect children to nature through play.”
Adam is an internationally acclaimed designer, builder, and researcher of nature-based play spaces, and the founder of Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds. Adam has traveled globally to advocate for children’s rights to nature play, and to collaborate on the creation of spectacular natural parks and playgrounds.
His resume in the natural playground industry is unparalleled; highlights include creating campuses, training, working on projects for the US Army, Parks Canada, and Australia, and City projects for Toronto, San Francisco, Vancouver, Calgary, New York, Austin, Denver, Chicago, and Miami.
Adam lives and works at the forefront of the movement to connect children to nature. His bold, charismatic personality sets the tone for the entire company, and he’s at his happiest when he’s pushing executives, municipal managers, and educators out of their comfort zones.
He sits on numerous advisory committees, including the International Association of Nature Pedagogy, Parliamentary Commission on Urban Conservation, The Candadian Wildlife Federation and the Systematic Literature Review on Risky Outdoor Play. His work is accessible, natural and fun.
Known for his wit and humour as a public speaker, Adam invites us to shed our inhibitions and play in the mud. He is the proud husband of Jill Bienenstock, and father of two sons, Sam and Leo. He sneaks off to northern Ontario when he needs to immerse himself in nature; he believes it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth.
As the co-author of The Systematic Literature Review on Outdoor Risky Play, Adam warns us not to be fooled by the serious nature of his experience, after all, at its core this is about inspiring play for our kids… so you can expect some playfulness and irreverence when working with him!
Jill is an early childhood educator with over 20 years experience in various settings. She currently works as the Director of Education, alongside her husband, Adam, at their company Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds. Jill is part of an exciting team that designs and creates natural playgrounds, which connect children to nature. She focuses on finding ways to extend curriculum outdoors, making it simple and fun for both children and educators. Jill is inspired by the children she works with and enjoys finding creative ways to transform outdoor ‘roadblocks’ into learning opportunities for all.
A critical piece of the Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds puzzle, Lasse is responsible for the day-to-day operation and administration of our company to ensure we meet our goal of connecting children to nature – where, and when, they play.
As one of the longest-standing employees on our team, Dave is a master of all things Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds. He is also responsible for project estimates and design, quality control, and training the team in our design studio.
Ms. Van Dyken’s career began as an intern for the Park Planning Department in Fort Collins, Colorado. In 2010 she received her license in Landscape Architecture and has managed a variety of projects from small parks to entire communities.
She joined Bienenstock in 2021 to connect her profession with her passion to bring nature to children.
Always pursuing purpose in his design career, Andrew naturally landed at Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds to assist the design team in heralding authentic nature experiences. Andrew brings a diverse background in the landscape industry – both in the field and design studio – to Bienenstock and utilizes these experiences in client relationships, creating design concepts, cost estimates and installation details.
After earning her degree in Architecture from Ryerson University, Haleigh joined Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds in September as a designer to explore her passion for sustainable design. Haleigh is responsible for drafting designs, producing construction drawings and creating details for company projects. In her spare time, Haleigh enjoys listening to music, doing stained glass and going on hikes with her dog.
I want to feel like I am part of something that has a purpose, a mission and aligns with my values. I am beyond grateful to have found all of this at Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds. It is extremely gratifying to know I am part of a team that brings joy, play and the opportunity to connect children to nature. Every person at BNP plays an important role in making this happen and it just feels so good! I am excited for what lies ahead and thrilled to be part of this amazing team.
Andrea personifies the play/joy within our mission to connect children to authentic nature experiences. She consistently provides feedback and suggestions for improvements across our digital platforms and the way in which we reach out to our lead base demonstrating agency & ownership over both her own and our team’s success.
Hi! I am a mother to two beautiful children and a wife to my wonderful husband. We love camping in our family trailer and cottaging up north near Parry Sound. I grew up in Mississauga but spent every summer at my family cottage. My favourite place to be is on the dock with my family nearby.
I took Recreation and Leisure Studies at Brock University focusing on outdoor education. I spent time backpacking in Australia prior to attending Montessori Teachers College in Toronto. For the past 8 years I have been teaching and supervising at a Montessori School in St. Catharines where I was lucky to have taught my own children in their early years.
I couldn’t be happier to be a Nature Play Advisor. I spent my younger years teaching in public school boards, private schools and Montessori’s. I’m beyond excited to be able to share my passion for getting children into nature with an entire team of professionals who share the same passion. Born and raised in Niagara, my first love was cooking, so I earned my Culinary Arts degree and one of my passions now is creating new recipes for my daughter. I studied Drama in Education at Brock University and loved performing in musicals. I enjoy golfing as much as I can, I treasure documenting life’s adventures through photography, I adore vegetable and herb gardening, and spending time at my cottage hiking and fishing.
Time for a rapid-fire self-biography! I grew up and still live in Waterdown. I am married with three children (boys that are 8, 6, and 3). I have loved drawing, art, and design since I was a toddler. I am obsessed with cars (especially film cars) and regularly test myself by guessing brands and models at night by their headlights or taillights. Before the pandemic you could find me hunting for vintage cameras at flea markets and auctions. I spend my vacation time in South River, Ontario on Eagle Lake. I already went over my word count limit so if you want to know more let’s set up a time to chat! Whew!
Alan has been with Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds for a year and a half, building and maintaining our web presence. Alan is a skilled and experienced SEO specialist and web developer with a strong background in both basic and advanced SEO techniques. Alan spent his younger years working as a Chef, before a career change to Web Development, completing his certificate and training a new generation of chefs.
Alan has a Cat and spends some of his free time volunteering at the Humane Society.
Hello! I am Margie! I have had the pleasure of meeting some of you already and look forward to making more introductions with those of you I have not yet met. I am incredibly excited and honoured to be a part of such an amazing group of people, and a company that leads with so much heart. I am a mother to two outdoor, bug and creature loving boys, and partner to my wonderful and supportive husband. We love spending time with our family at the cottage in Muskoka, trekking along the Georgian trail all year long and exploring the many amazing conservation and hiking trails in the Hammer!
Kristen previously worked as a project manager in custom architectural fabrication. Before that, they entered the trades as a cabinet and furniture maker and worked in digital fabrication programming and operating mills, routers, 3D printers, and robots. They are the parent to one very active toddler and like to spend as much time outdoors as possible gardening, hiking, camping, and napping in hammocks.
Michelle has wonderfully positive attitude at all times. She takes ownership and she is always willing to have the tough conversations with our clients. Her questions are thoughtful, strategic and solutions focused. She is humble, eager to learn and a joy to collaborate with. I am continually impressed with Michelle and her efforts to have meaningful connections with our clients.
For the past 5 years I have worked with Bienenstock as a vendor operating my own small business. True to the nature of Bienenstock, the business relationship quickly grew into friendships and I would often come and have coffee with Lasse and Jordan. Officially joining the team as a full time staff member this year has been a blessing for me and my family and I look forward to coming to work every morning and seeing what challenges lay ahead.
Hello World! – Specifically, the ladies and gentlemen at Bienenstock. My name is Martin. I am currently a student at Fanshawe College, completing my bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design and Planning. I have always had an interest in Design, Art, Nature, and the Environment. Through my studies, I hope to be able to combine my interests in design to bring nature to broader urban communities and promote environmental sustainability.
My background in design and modeling software aids me in my new role as 3D Modeler. Most of my free time consists of outdoor activities such as hiking, paddling, or camping. I do also enjoy reading, pencil sketching and love cooking and trying recipes from all around the world.
Over the last few years he has built a business doing renovation projects.. Austin is very interested in design, woodworking, the construction processes, science, history, and being the best father he can be to his 3 yr old son. In his spare time, Austin enjoys listening to podcasts and audiobooks and enjoys trying new and interesting activities, as well as enjoying food and drink with my friends and family.