Our Staff

Jim Carpenter joined JMF staff in 2014 as supervisor over the Maintenance division and before this he was the supervisor over Metro Parks Skilled Trades Maintenance which provided skilled trade repairs to all 500 Properties within Metro Parks. He began his career with City Of Louisville in 2001 as a CDL driver in the Roads Division.  Jim is also certified in CPR/ First Responder as well as confined rescue trained in 2011. He was also the Metro Parks administrator over snow operations handling crews and training of staff that covered 219 miles of roadways assigned to Metro Parks by Public works. Jim has also received training by the US Department of Justice and Texas A&M in Preparing for and responding to terrorism / Weapons of mass destruction s in 2003. 


James “Matt” Douthitt started with JMF in 2007 as a seasonal programmer and was hired as a Naturalist in 2012. Since 2007 Matt has been certified as an American Canoe Association instructor and is currently a Level 3 River Canoeing instructor. He has been a Wilderness First Responder with the Wilderness Medicine Institute since 2008, also trained in Wilderness Risk Management with National Outdoor Leadership School, and trained in Level 4 Swift Water Rescue through the American Canoe Association. He is currently certified as an American Heart Association First Aid and CPR instructor. Whew.

Matt has a personal love of sailing and canoeing which spans a decade and a fascination with water that spans a lifetime. He is a tireless researcher of history and specifically a student of the 18th century material culture on the Kentucky & Virginia frontier. You may also find him at the Frazier History museum, where he volunteers as an educational interpreter, or on a river, eddy-hopping in a red canoe. Matt graduated from Johnson University in Knoxville, TN with a B.A. in Youth Ministry and Education.


David Grissom worked as a program seasonal before joining JMF full time as Recreation Coordinator, heading up the teen camp and ECHO Recreation programs. Prior to working at JMF, David helped develop sustainability programs to reduce human impact and taught environmental education at Land between The Lakes.  While attending Murray State University, where he graduated with honors with a degree in Outdoor Recreation, David discovered a passion for backpacking and rock climbing. He was awarded Outstanding Recreation Senior within his department.    


Christa Weidner, a Naturalist with JMF since 2001, has over 20 years of experience in the field of Environmental Education and has been a naturalist at heart since childhood. Christa is responsible for developing and leading our environmental education programs, including the signature environmental education initiative Louisville ECHO (Engaging Children Outdoors). She cares for the education animals in the Environmental Education Center, and maintains and creates new elements for the nature play areas in the Forest.  Christa completed the first certified Nature Explore Classroom in Kentucky, with a lot of help from Mercy Academy students, Boy Scouts, staff and volunteers. Christa graduated from Bellarmine University with a major in Math and a minor in Biology and is a certified  Environmental Educator in Kentucky.



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