The Crew



Caleb R.C. White

Born and raised in Columbia County, NY Caleb has always enjoyed the great outdoors. After graduating from Purchase College with a music degree, he returned home to run his family farm.

Over the years he gathered experience in gardening, landscaping, farming, carpentry, and forestry, before joining an Aerial Adventure park building crew. The combination of tree climbing, aerial carpentry, and adventure sparked an interest in aerial construction, which has since driven Caleb's interests in trees and building.

New Leaf Building Company provides Caleb the opportunity to continue working with wood and the landscape, while showing others the beauty of nature. Caleb lives with his wife and their two sons on their forest farm, where they raise sheep, chickens, and make maple syrup.


Peter W. Madsen

Born in California and a graduate of Evergreen College, Peter brings a traveled and experienced past to the New Leaf leadership team. Having spent seven years abroad as an organic farmer in Russia and Norway as part of the Camphill organization, Peter knows how cold a winter can be.

He settled in Columbia County at Camphill Copake, a home for mentally challenged and disabled adults where he ran the organic vegetable garden and worked with the forestry program. A love of the outdoors inspired him to become an arborist, and with his background in organic gardening he brings a vast knowledge of the growing world to New Leaf.

An avid musician, Peter is also a member of the contra-dance musical group The Russet Trio. They perform locally throughout the northeast, playing weddings to local dance halls and everything in between.

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R. Lee Coalter

Growing up on his grandparent's Kentucky dairy-farm, Lee was instilled with a strong work ethic and genuine appreciation of the natural world. In 1989, he became a foreman with a commercial landscape company. Lee gained experience with everything from heavy equipment operation, to delicate planting techniques, to a primary apprenticeship in stone masonry.

Experience seeking led him through years of adventure, from horseback cow-herding in Costa Rica, to excursions as a sloop Clearwater educator, to attaining a Certificate of Divinity in Universal Life (to name a few); all while honing his skills in the trades. 

In 2002, Lee undertook an artistic apprenticeship in stone masonry and in 2006 became a skilled journeyman. He started his own company, Earthart, building a loyal clientele in carpentry, stone masonry, and landscaping, before bringing his talents to New Leaf.

When not creating for New Leaf, Lee can be found playing any number of instruments, reading exegetical rhetoric, or walking with his wife and six children through trees and creeks, while contemplating the Cosmos. 


Johannes Zygla

Born and raised near Cape Town, South Africa, Johannes grew up in a community that cares for the mentally and physically disabled. Watching his parents work tirelessly over the years has taught him that it is important to enjoy the good things in life while maintaining a strong work ethic.

His love of equipment, tools, and the outdoors led him to pursue this unique trade. Johannes started building aerial adventure parks and tree houses in 2011, and over the years has had the great pleasure of witnessing many families enjoy his outdoor creations.