Elaine Averitt’s education background includes a BS in Botany and Master’s degree in Environmental Planning. Her experience ranges from working at the Desert Botanical Garden (Phoenix), Arizona State Parks, and landscape architecture and planning firms. Moving to northern Arizona in 2005 provided an opportunity to work as a planner for the City of Flagstaff (retired 2020). She helped implement the city’s plans to create walkable, safe and visually appealing commercial and residential development, including preserving forest resources. A love of nature (and need to make a living!) has drawn Elaine to most of these positions.
As a child, her parents regularly took the family out of the Phoenix desert to creek-side places where they were free to explore flowers, bugs, birds, and mud. Also, she was taught that “we are made in God’s image and likeness” and “healing is a natural law.” As she progressed through her adult life with its challenges, she sought to expand her capacity to cope with hardships, learn how to love better, appreciate and seek diversity, and cultivate a feeling of oneness with all forms of creation.
Retreats and workshops
Elaine is often called upon by retreatants at Spirit in the Desert to lead contemplative walks through the desert, teaching history and botany along the way.
Elaine, along with colleagues Jim Hanson and Tonja Snyder, leads the retreat Prayer: The Practice of RE-membering at Spirit in the Desert in Fall, 2022.