Sarah Collins-Simmons grew up in the mountains of Nelson County, Virginia, so she felt right at home when she moved to Highland in 2011 to participate as one of the founding Fellows at the Allegheny Mountain Institute. Sarah studied Architecture and Environmental Science at the University of Virginia. She earned a Masters of Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia, worked in community development at The Highland Center and managed orchards and made cider with Big Fish Cider, Co. At Future Generations University, she is the Strategy and Impact Associate for the Nature-Based Enterprises team working to advance maple and walnut syrup production in Appalachia and expand the region’s forest farming.
Sarah lives in Blue Grass, Virginia, with her husband, Joshua—the county’s building and zoning official, their son Everett and a farm menagerie, including dogs and goats. Together, the family enjoys renovating houses and spending time outside gardening, hiking, and camping. Sarah also makes pottery, jewelry, and baskets.