Louise combines her love of the natural world and her experiences working as an environmental educator and activist, to create storytelling programs for outdoor settings, science curriculum, earth day celebrations, science museums, nature centers, conferences, meetings, calls to action, and other awareness raising events. 


Louise’s passion for celebrating and honoring the earth makes her the perfect speaker for events and occasions designed to call people to action, educate, or celebrate. Her stories speak to the wonder of rivers, earths creatures, and of our power to make a difference. She can bring a lyrical “right brained” perspective to scientific or technical work session, or add to an already festive occasion. In either case her stories illustrate the concerns of the day and offer vital hope-restoring imagery.


Louise leads a “story hike” around your park, garden, or grounds. During planned stops along the way she tells stories “on location”—-we hear a traditional Cheyenne story about a River Monster on the banks of a river or stream; we stop in a quiet flowered glade and hear a story about an “old woman was SO good at listening she once heard wild flower seeds burst open, beginning to grow, underground” ; at a ponds edge we listen to frog calls and then sing along to Louise’s hilarious Wide Mouthed Frog story. Through stories she guides a group in watching plants and animals, celebrating the season, the weather, the natural features and life of your special place.


Louise continues the wonderful tradition of stories around the fire, a magical way to bring people together outdoors. Louise chooses stories that feature the night, animals, stars, the moon, and her environmental ethic.

About Louise and the Environment

Storyteller Louise Omoto Kessel has worked to share her delight in the natural world and to protect the places she knows and loves. 

  • From 1978 to 1981 Louise worked and lived on board the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, “the flagship of environmental action,”
  • From 1981 to 1989 she joined the Nature Conservancy in Maine for a summer, worked as a summer naturalist at Merchants Mill Pond State Park in NC, was a puppeteer for the Circle of Water Circus a project that traveled down Mississippi River from above the twin cities to New Orleans, “telling the story of the Mississippi River from the Ice Age to the present.” In 1989 she was part of the Soviet American Sail, a citizen diplomacy project in which a group of Soviets and Americans took a large sailboat across the Atlantic Ocean, from Leningrad to New York on a trip with an environmental focus and the slogan “We’re All in the Same Boat”. 
  • In 1989 Louise started the Haw River Festival, a month-long traveling “learning celebration” that travels the length of the Haw River, working with school children and riverside communities. Nearly two decades later, the festival continues! In recognition of her work with the Haw River Festival, Louise received the NC Woman of Environmental Action Award and the NC Independent’s Citizen’s Award in 1990. 
  • Now, Louise lives on Clapping Hands Farm in Pittsboro, NC with her husband Holmes, an organic farmer, and their two children, Jabu and Makayla. The farm is “off the grid” (uses no public utilities) and relies on solar power for all its electrical needs. 

When Louise comes to your community to celebrate the earth, the stories ring with the depth of her commitment and experience!

Louise Omoto Kessel tell stories, saves rivers, and makes us heroes of our own lives.” – Marjorie Hudson, Storytelling Magazine

” Everyone agreed that the storytelling session was an inspiring way to end the Stream Watch Conference. You may have encouraged some “little parrots” to persist in their stream stewardship efforts, despite the many obstacles.” 
– NC Stream Watch Coordinator

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