Part of the reason we advocate for natural areas is that we fondly remember spending time in nature when we were kids. As proof and for your amusement, we have posted some pictures of us as kids along with our bios.









Jeff Lamontagne
Executive Director
email Jeff

John Mezger
Development Director
email John

Lisa Chickos
Education Director
email Lisa

Chris Story
Site Manager
email Chris

Keith Wood
Education Coordinator
email Keith




Jeff Lamontagne joined Bluff Lake in October 2011. He also served as President of several other nonprofit boards. Jeff grew up on the west side of Colorado Springs, and his favorite memories as a kid were unscheduled wanderings of the undeveloped foothills near his house and Garden of the Gods. As Co-Founder and Executive Director of Second Wind Fund between 2002-2011, Jeff led and grew that organization from a start-up to one of the largest providers of mental health services for kids in Colorado, and Second Wind had also initiated affiliates outside Colorado. He holds a B.S. in Natural Resources from Cornell University and a J.D. from the College of William and Mary.


John Mezger is a reformed easterner – he brought his family to Denver from Boston in 1991 to work for Janus Capital Corporation.  Along with wife Andrea, John has been active in the business and philanthropic community here since arriving in 1991, supporting and serving on the boards of a number of foundations.  He is an ardent birdwatcher, and as a newspaper reporter in Connecticut he initiated a syndicated bird-watching column that survives today.  John is a graduate (B.A. English) of the University of Rochester.     




Lisa Chickos is Bluff Lake Nature Center's Education Director.

Lisa comes to Bluff Lake all the way from Alaska, where she served as the Outreach Coordinator for the Alaska Zoo. At the zoo, Lisa oversaw all education and outreach programs, and she was instrumental in developing new partnerships between the zoo and local schools. Lisa is a native of Florida and a graduate of the University of Central Florida.  Her past work has taken her to Gulf World Marine Park of Panama City Beach, Florida, the Marine Mammal Center of Moss Landing, California, and the Ventana Wildlife Society of Monterey, California.  In her spare time, Lisa enjoys reading, hiking, snowboarding, and struggling to keep up with her husband Mike and their two Alaskan Huskies, Naia and Bridger.



Chris Story can be found mucking around the Bluff Lake site during all seasons and weather. Chris is a Denver native whose love for Colorado was cemented with the time he spent at his family’s cabin near Bailey. Chris received a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from the University of Colorado and a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Since returning to Denver in 2000 and prior to joining Bluff Lake in August 2007, Chris worked at the Denver Botanic Gardens, specializing in native plants of Colorado. Chris enjoys hiking, camping, and the arts.


Keith Wood is Bluff Lake Nature Center's Education Coordinator.

Keith grew up in Boise Idaho, and then moved to Denver to study fine art and English. While working in a bookstore, he decided that he was spending too much time inside. So, he went back to school to study biology. He found that not only was he obsessed with birds but he loved teaching kids. Keith loves the winter (even spending a winter at the South Pole), but will take a hot, summer day over book dust and paint fumes. He still draws and reads with his daughter.




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Copyright © 2008 Bluff Lake Nature Center
Bluff Lake Nature Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
Phone: 720-708-4147 ~ Fax: 720-708-4082 ~ General Email: [email protected]