Susannah Burley, Founder & Executive Director

Susannah Burley has a Master’s of Landscape Architecture degree from Louisiana State University. From 2012-2016, she served as Program Director at Parkway Partners, a New Orleans-based non-profit, where she oversaw the ReLeaf tree planting program, the urban farms/community gardens program, schoolyard garden program, incubated their green infrastructure program, and hosted eighty four hours of community environmental education. She is a member of the Greater New Orleans Water Collaborative, serves on the board of Friends of Lafitte Greenway, and is passionate about working collaboratively with communities in driving resilient environmental change.

In 2016 she founded SOUL in order to strategically reforest New Orleans at a meaningful scale and as a system.

Susannah loves film, art, music, the outdoors, cooking, and traveling. She is married with a 7 year-old son, and a 25-year-old stepson, and a German Shepherd named Bernie.

You can reach Susannah by emailing her at or calling 504 616 6888.

Catherine Wheeler, Program and Outreach Coordinator

Catherine Wheeler joined the SOUL team after several years as a volunteer, both as a Block Captain and on planting days. Born and raised in Seattle, she has environmentalism and equality as core pillars of her being. Catherine holds a B.A. in Art History from the University of Southern California, as well as a degree from the International Culinary Institute in Classic French Pastry Arts. She worked for a number of years as an Administrative Assistant at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, where she helped mount two major exhibitions Diego Rivera: Murals for the Museum of Modern Art and Inventing Abstraction: 1910-1925. With a long background in the hospitality industry, she loves talking with people, especially about trees and how they can positively help our communities. 

Catherine can be reached at or by calling or texting 504 264 2443

Emma Butler, Data and Logistics Coordinator

Emma Butler is a Tulane University Alumni from Memphis, Tennessee who is serving with SOUL as an AmeriCorps member under Serve Louisiana. While studying Political Science and Environmental Studies at Tulane, Emma learned the unique environmental problems facing New Orleans, including issues of coastal subsidence and urban stormwater management. This call to action prompted her to pursue an AmeriCorps VISTA service year after graduation, where she served as a Program Coordinator with the Water Collaborative of Greater New Orleans. As she became more familiar with the local water sector and the detriment of urban flooding, she decided to delve deeper into climate change mitigation, which led her to SOUL. She is committed to public service, environmental stewardship, and a sustainable future for the city of New Orleans, and she is excited to plant trees with those interests in mind.

When she isn’t in the office or the field, Emma enjoys spending time outside in her hammock and cuddling with her cat, Martha. 

You can reach Emma at via email at or by calling 504 345 9170