Vanessa Tavernetti

Adjunct Faculty
BA Elementary Education, BA Environmental Studies
BA International Studies: Sustainable Development, Trinity College Hartford CT / Graduate Studies in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana IL / Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park CA / Permaculture Certificate, New College, Santa Rosa CA / Meditation and Intuitive Studies from Crystal Rose in Petaluma, CA / Ayurvedic Nutrition and Aromatherapy, the dhyana Center, Sebastopol, CA
BA Elementary Education, BA Environmental Studies
COL 260, Integrated Science / EDU 300, Nature and Education / ENV 100, Physical Geography / ENV 215, Sustainability

Vanessa Tavernetti is committed to people being and feeling nourished by living on purpose with a deepened connection to the Earth and Spirit.
Vanessa is an Earth connection expert. She has dedicated herself to helping people cultivate their relationships with the Earth and Spirit. She has instructed hundreds of adults and children to strengthen their relationships by creating gardens and growing their own food and medicine. The tremendous healing and growth that she facilitates through her programs and classes have been a continual source of inspiration and passion that guides her life.

As a credentialed teacher, Vanessa has worked within the public, private, and Waldorf school systems leading the school garden movement for the past 25 years. She began creating school gardens in the Chicago Metro area before she was instrumental in the creation and success of the Valley Vista Garden Program in Petaluma, California, a program supported by Alice Waters of Chez Panisse and the Edible Schoolyard/Center for Ecoliteracy. In 2004, she was the recipient of the Jack London Teacher of the Year Award. Through being a cofounder of the Sonoma County School Garden Network, serving as School Garden Coordinator for the Petaluma City Schools District, teaching at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center School Garden Teacher Trainings, Sonoma State University, and the New College in Santa Rosa, California, Vanessa has supported and inspired hundreds of people around the world to develop best practices in outdoor learning environments. She knows first hand how naturally connected children are with the Earth when given the opportunity, time, and space by also working with at risk youth in Sacramento, Brooklyn, Chicago, Hartford, and San Francisco. This has led to dramatic shifts in children’s behavior and their ability to be successful in their lives.

Her lifelong journey of profoundly understanding the connection to the Earth began in Springfield, Illinois where she has witnessed, over time, the effects chemical-laden conventional corn and soybean fields has on human health. After receiving a clear message in a near death experience, she developed a passion for spreading knowledge about healthier ways of relating to the Earth, especially in how our food is produced and the medicines we choose to use. This is when she confirmed her knowledge that the Earth is a powerful healing tool. She has lived and worked on many organic and biodynamic farms, and has continually lived closely and intimately with the natural world. Vanessa is one of the most resilient people you will ever meet.

Vanessa has traveled extensively throughout the United States, as well as, Africa, Europe, and South America giving her a breadth and appreciation for global sustainability practices.

In pairing Earth connection with meditation, mindfulness, and emotional intelligence, Vanessa believes children are more aware and better prepared to be successful in the world. Her dedication to sustainable living, enthusiasm for life, and loving kindness towards others assists her in being a beacon for holistic and compassionate living.

Vanessa believes that humans are not separate from the Earth. When we choose to live on purpose, the Earth will be as it is intended to be. It is not the Earth that needs saving, it is the humans who need to illuminate their connections with the Earth and Spirit. She and her husband co-created Earth Magic Academy where they help people to enliven these connections and create an abundant, holistic culture.

Outside of teaching, Vanessa loves to be in water, commune with the forest, dance, and create joy with her husband, daughter, and 3 cats.

  • Sustainable Development: Water Rights in Madagascar and Sri Lanka, Trinity College, 1997

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Naropa Campuses Closed on Friday, March 15, 2024

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

Based on the current weather forecast, the Healing with the Ancestors Talk & Breeze of Simplicity program scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday will be held as planned.

Staff that do not work remotely or are scheduled to work on campus, can work remotely. Staff that routinely work remotely are expected to continue to do so.

As a reminder, notifications will be sent by e-mail and the LiveSafe app.  

Regardless of Naropa University’s decision, if you ever believe the weather conditions are unsafe, please contact your supervisor and professors.  Naropa University trusts you to make thoughtful and wise decisions based on the conditions and situation in which you find yourself in.