After graduating in business, Marianne continued her educational path, studied psychology and opened a consulting practice for development, assessment and management assisting nonprofits. With more than 30 years of work experience, she consulted for the entertainment industry, worked with the public health sector building innovative programs for environment and education, and developed funding for numerous start-up companies.
Over the past decade, Marianne has been promoting Farm to School programs. She dedicated her time to the initiative of growing organic food locally and preparing healthy meals. As the Director of Development at Earthworks Farm, she began her outreach to connect farms to schools and implemented an extensive education program.
Hence, Eco Urban Gardens was established, and since 2015 Marianne leads the initiative of continued building of Farm Labs at schools and Grow Gardens program throughout communities creating a sustainable environment for all. Her body of work includes a number of published essays, books and multimedia tools supporting health and wellness.
Elizabeth graduated in environmental studies from Temple University. She entered an internship under Joanne Donahue, the Manager of Land Restoration at the Schuylkill Center to gain practical skills in horticulture. With the focus of keeping a nursery healthy for the plant sale, she removed invasive plant species from the property, creating an educational sensory garden for school education.
Thereafter, she worked under Harold Taylor, the head of the West End of Outdoor Horticulture, where she oversaw the orchard, Migratory Bird Sanctuary, vegetable garden, idea garden, trial garden, children’s garden, front gate and grass trial garden.
Today, Elizabeth manages farm to table programs and maintains gardens with native and edible plants. She is engaged in working with schools, where she builds the farm to school program advocating agroecology. Through its programs, she designs landscapes and teaches how to bring drought tolerant species into the garden to help reduce water consumption and promote sustainable living.
Alessandro is a college student currently working to earn their degree in environmental science at Pasadena City College. Alessandro grew up in Los Angeles and was heavily impacted by the lack of available green spaces in the city. This inadequacy inspired them to want to change the city they live in. In their primary education, they had the privilege of being a part of a science academy that had a large educational garden and working farm that lessons would be based out of. This experience left a deep impression on them for the practical knowledge of plant care and environmental awareness they learned as well as the overall benefits of just getting to learn outside of the classroom.
Now an avid gardener and nature enthusiast, Alessandro brings their own shared experience of growing up in the city and being positively influenced by farm education programs to teaching young students and helping to nurture their prospective interests in the sciences. Today, Alessandro helps to build farm programs within schools and assists students in realizing the necessity for advocating for sustainability and water conservation in their community.
A native of the San Gabriel Valley, Micaela did not fully realize her love for the environment until she moved to the Central Coast, surrounded by farmland and nature. She recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and agriculture minor from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. During her college years, she participated in a food justice service project and worked with community health nonprofit organizations in the agrarian capital of the nation, the Central Valley. This profound experience catalyzed her interest in food systems and agriculture, and specifically in equitable supply chains, urban agriculture and food literacy.
Over the years she has gained a variety of experience in environmental and garden education, community health, communications and social media marketing. Today, she helps develop the Farm to Table Market programs and EUG’s marketing initiatives.