Appalachian Headwaters

Native Plant Horticulturist & Pollinator Conservation Specialist

Ivy Makia

Ivy joined Headwaters in 2021 as an Environmental Educator where she curates educational content centered around the relationship between native plants and climate change. Ivy also assists Greg Grim in growing native plants and vegetables in our greenhouse and high tunnel, respectively.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Florida in 2019, she was accepted into the Chicago Botanical Garden’s Conservation and Land Management (CLM) internship program. Ivy served as a botany intern for the U.S. Forest Service, where she learned to identify West Virginia native plants in order to collect and process native seeds used for the ecological restoration of disturbed forest areas within the Monongahela National Forest. Through this experience, she discovered her calling for native plants, restoration work, and environmental education.

Beyond her love of plants and gardening, she also enjoys reading comic books, painting, and singing.

Restoration & Invasive Plant Removal Technician

Jeff Elmore

Jeff joined the Headwaters’ native plant team as a Restoration & Invasive Plant Removal Technician in 2021. He works with a small crew at our Lewisburg site to promote native populations and diversity through the identification and control of invasive species. A recent transplant from New Jersey, Jeff brought along his 13 years of landscaping experience and has since proven to be an invaluable member of the team.

Jeff enjoys hiking, fishing, and camping. In addition to his appreciation of nature, he also has a deep love for animals. Prior to landscaping, Jeff used to foster animals and worked at animal shelters.

Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area (AFNHA)

AmeriCorps Intern

Ashton Holliday

A Lewisburg native, Ashton, recently moved back after living in Virginia for 9 years. In Roanoke, VA, she received her bachelor’s degree in Horticulture at Ferrum College, Ashton spent the last 2.5 years working as a horticulturist at the Norfolk Botanical Garden in Virginia Beach. She is currently working on her master’s in Natural Resources and Conservation virtually through Virginia Tech.

Through this internship program, Ashton is hoping to broaden her experience and knowledge of the conservation and reforestation of native plants and to bring awareness of their importance to her hometown and state.

Aston’s goals throughout her career are to increase plant conservation awareness, conserve endangered plant specimens, and focus on rehabilitating fragile landscapes. 

When she’s not focused on excelling in her work and academic life, Ashton loves to hike, rock climb, do pottery, cook, and search for salamanders, lizards, and frogs/toads. She and her husband love to go on cool van camping and backpacking trips all over the US!