Lillie Hodges graduated from Middlebury College with a focus in Geography and Global Health and is currently working as a Community Manager at RightPet, building community and content to help people find the right products and techniques to keep their animals happy and healthy. While in Vermont, Lillie worked at 1% for the Planet in its community development team. During her time there, she particularly enjoyed working on partner acquisition and engaging their global network of environmental non-profit organizations.

Lillie’s commitment to experience worlds beyond her own and to foster meaningful connections with people and organizations led her to work for the Aspen Institute in Colorado on their 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival team.

Additionally, she serves as a Vanguard Board Member for the Aspen Institute’s Society of Fellows and a Junior Council Advisor of the American Museum of Natural History. In 2018, she began working on a long-dreamed of personal project – Aspiring Roots. Aspiring Roots is my way of pairing my passion for food and creativity with the insights and lessons I’ve learned about nourishing recipes, self-love practices, and healing techniques.

3 words to describe Nature?

Centering. Alluring. Awe-inducing

3 things Nature taught you?




3 most treasured Nature spots?

More Mesa cliff trail, Santa Barbara CA

Roman Road in Grovely Wood, Wiltshire England

Jardin Publique, Bordeaux France

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

As if the waves can absorb any turbulence within me, challenged by the endless stretching horizon of possibilities, and ultimately relaxed and at peace with the moment.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

Very small and young, and in awe of the resilience and energy within the vast organism of a forest.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

Humbled by the earth’s ability to both destroy and heal, and by my youth and smallness in that moment.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

A sense of opportunity to “reset” myself while feeling in sync with the natural world.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?

Fascinated, thrilled by the suggested risk and power, and reverent for the scale and depth of nature.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

As if it proves nature’s whims can overpower any of New York City’s hum.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Ocean – The ocean is not only where I seek joy and solace, but also where I’ve learned some important lessons about myself. Overcoming the fear of being past the chaos of the breaking waves, I would spend hours there swimming, floating and jumping with those I love. There is a spot just past the waves where your toes can still barely touch the sand, and where each passing swell challenges the notion that I’m able to control my own destiny, or alone in my journey. In its vastness, it can hold your experience and all the others all at once – often leaving me and anyone I’m with with no idea of the passing time other than being carried down the beach in the current and tides.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10 – Growing up surrounded by it in Santa Barbara, nature was core to how I could reflect on my wellbeing and find purpose and peace. Now that I’m living in Brooklyn, I’ve brought the green to me – surrounding myself not only with plants at home and spending many hours in New York’s parks but also with my newest nature-loving family member – Simba, an adopted kitten.

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

As an only child growing upon a horse ranch surrounded by an avocado orchard, I often had wondrous adventures climbing the tree trunks and suspended in the canopies – a source of indepence, satisfaction, and calm. Once, around age 10, I convinced my friend to help me build a ropes course by borrowing my mom’s riding reins and lead ropes. We learned some key lessons about planning and physics that day; and the tree swing, our most stubbornly knotted rope, remained until that part of the orchard was cut down after dying in the CA droughts.