Our Mission: Regenerative Roots seeks to tend communities of connection through intentional mentoring that cultivates courage, nurtures compassion, activates discovery, honors wholeness, and engages hearts and minds.

Our Vision: We believe that when we create communities of connection, with self, with one another, and with nature, we prepare the soil for all life to grow and thrive from their true self, honoring their own unique gifts, and weaving interconnectedly with the colorful threads of the world. We see the emergence of this vibrant tapestry rooted in regenerative practices that seek to restore, renew, or revitalize the individual, the group, and the natural world, therefore laying the foundation for growing healthy, harmonic, and thriving communities.

Our Core Staff:

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Paul McDermott

Co-founder and Executive Director 

Paul is a father of two adventurous daughters and an educator/mentor with over 20 years of experience working with children and families in a variety of settings — from teaching elementary school in East Oakland, California, to high school English in Machida, Japan, to Spanish literacy in a Colombian jungle. Paul’s interest in nature education was sparked by his involvement with the Audubon Society, Sierra Club, and NatureBridge’s Headlands Institute, and further developed into a passion for nature connection through experiences with Wilderness Awareness School and studies with the 8 Shields Institute. Paul has traveled the world, touched the soil of six continents, and immersed himself in unique and wondrous experiences. By following the ropes of connection woven throughout our beautiful natural world, Paul has come to the foundational belief that we all have a gift or talent that we can offer to ourselves and to the greater community, and it is through intentional mentoring that each of our gifts can be activated and shine.

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Shawna McDermott

Co-founder and Director of Strategy and Development

Shawna grew up with an intuitive reverence for the synchronicity, resonance and beauty of Being in Right Relation, a knowing that honors her Tohono O’odham (Desert People) ancestors. Throughout her life, she has sought to explore and expand her understanding of the integration between art and science, the connection between heart and mind, and the reciprocity between agency and advocacy. In college, she pursued a degree in Human Biology, fascinated by the intersection of biology, physiology, anthropology, sociology and psychology. Professionally, Shawna has held operational and organizational strategy roles with highly respected consulting and healthcare organizations, inviting dynamic dialogue that encourages others to discover the power that is inherently theirs so that they can serve the cohesive whole. Recently, her doctoral studies with the Watson Caring Science Institute have explored how Caring Science (a philosophy that arises from healthcare) and Native Science (worldview of indigenous people) can inform and inspire whole child approaches to parenting. Embracing a collaborative action research and evaluation methodology, she engaged six other mothers to define 5 integral pathways of living, learning and loving with our children that activate intellect, imagination and intuition in an integrated ecosystem. Along the way, Nature – through awe, awareness and adventure, has always been a profound mentor to life-giving rhythms, routines, and rituals. It is with deep gratitude that she navigates this dance of teaching-learning with her partner Paul and their two curious and creative daughters.