A brief bio: My earliest garden memory is of crawling to the center of my mom's raspberry patch to sit and eat the ripe berries that no one else could reach but me. For most of my adult life, I've had my own patch so that I can continue eating organically-grown raspberries fresh off the vine.
A bit more:
I am an environmental educator who has gardened organically for over 4o years. Since the mid-1990's, I have taught gardening and nature programs for children and adults, and sustainable gardening classes for adults throughout the Puget Sound region. I enjoy reaching a wide range of audiences, from preschool and elementary students to college students, and from new gardeners to professional landscapers.
From 1997-2017, I had my own landscape design and consultation business, specializing in wildlife-friendly and child-friendly gardens, edible landscapes, and more. Besides designing dozens of private gardens for homeowners, I have designed public landscapes at Bradner Gardens Park and Magnuson Community Center, school gardens at Orca @ Whitworth K-8, Sand Point Child Development Center, and Sand Point Elem. School, and a nature play area at the Mika e Dete Orphanage in Pleven, Bulgaria.
From 2005-2017, I also worked for the Seattle Dept. of Parks & Recreation as the director and lead educator for Magnuson Nature Programs. My staff and I, and volunteer docents, provided hands-on environmental education for children and families via nature camps, classes, field trips, and guided nature walks. During that time, I also taught garden and nature classes for the 70th & Sand Point Child Care Center, Jane Addams K-8, and Sand Point Elementary.
I "semi-retired" in the fall 2017, when I began spending much more of my time in the desert southwest and began to do volunteer teaching there. I continued teaching in-person and online sustainable gardening classes for adults and families throughout the Puget Sound region until May 2023, but am now teaching only in southeastern Arizona.
A whole lot more:
Education and Training:
Edmonds Community College - Assoc. of Arts Degree in Horticulture/Landscape Design
WSNLA - Certified Professional Horticulturist (CPH)
National Wildlife Federation - Certified Landscape Professional
Seattle Tilth - Master Composter
WSU/King County - Master Gardener
Seattle Audubon - Master Birder
Plant Amnesty - Master Pruner
Seattle Public Utilities - Stormwater Management/RainWise Training
Arbor Day Foundation - Nature Explore Training
During the past 25+ years, I have also attended dozens of conferences and workshops on a wide variety of topics, including: Children's Garden Design and Program Planning, Outdoor Classrooms, Community Gardens and Coalition-Building, Volunteer Management, Horticulture Therapy, the Soil Food Web, Integrated Pest Management, Plant Disease Diagnosis, Native Plants and Peoples, Salmon-Friendly Gardening and Water Quality, Orchard Mason Beekeeping, Drip Irrigation, Trunk and Root Exams, Slope Stability, Mosses and Lichens, Planting under Established Trees, Year-round Food Gardening, Planting for Pollinators, Gardening as You Age, and more.
One of the best things about nature and horticulture is that you can never know it all! Besides attending organized educational events, I consider each day to be another exciting opportunity to learn.
Sustainable Gardening Educator for municipalities and other entities in the Puget Sound area: 1997 - present. Clients include: University of Washington Botanic Gardens, Seattle Public Utilities, Cascade Water Alliance, Woodinville Water District, and other members of the Saving Water Partnership, the Snohomish County Dept. of Public Works and Snohomish Conservation District, Washington State University, Seattle Dept. of Neighborhoods, King and Snohomish County Master Gardener Programs, Molbak’s Nursery, City People’s Garden Store, the Green Gardening Program, Sky Nursery, the King Co. Natural Yard Care program, City of Bellevue, City of Federal Way, Green Gardening Program, Washington Native Plant Society, Seattle Tilth, and garden clubs throughout the Puget Sound area.
Lead garden educator for the 70th & Sandpoint Child Care Center preschool classes: 2006 - 2017
Director and lead educator for Magnuson Community Center Nature Programs: 2005 - 2017
Lead garden educator for Sand Point Elementary School: March 2014 - December 2015
Lead instructor for the "Adventures in the Garden" after-school program at Jane Addams K-8 (now Hazel Wolf K-8): September 2012 - March 2014
Designer of Sand Point Elementary School Native Plant Garden: 2014
Landscape Designer for public and private gardens in King and Snohomish Counties: 1997-2017
Designer of Magnuson Community Center Resource Conservation Landscape: 2011
Designer of Sand Point Child Development Center children's garden: 2009-2010
Designer of Orca @ Whitworth K-8 School Garden planting plans: 2008
Designer of nature play area at the Mika e Dete Orphanage in Pleven, Bulgaria, 2008*
Environmental Educator for Seattle Tilth: 2007 - 2009
Designer of Magnuson Community Center Bird-friendly Landscape: 2007
Co-Designer of Magnuson Children's Garden: 2003 - present*
Designer of the Bradner Gardens Park Winter Garden, and co-designer of its Sensory Garden and Children's Garden: 1998-2001*
Coordinator and lead educator for the K-6th grade Garden Program at First Place School 1997 - 2000*
Coordinator and lead educator for the 2nd Grade Garden Program at Dunlap Elementary School: 1995 - 2002*
Interior remodeling and rental property consultant: 1980 - 1997
* denotes work done pro bono or as a volunteer
Other Volunteer Experience:
Member of the Magnuson Children's Garden Committee: 2003 - present.
Member of the Magnuson Park Habitat Committee: 2011- 2017
Member of the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden Foundation Education Committee: 2005- 2010.
Co-Founder and Co-leader of the King Co. Master Gardener School & Youth Committee and the Resource Library/Teaching Kit Clinic: 1999 - 2004.
Awarded "Washington State Master Gardener of the Year" 2005