The Cowichan Green Community is made up of a dynamic group of community members.
Nadeane is passionate about healthy food, fresh water and the healing power of nature, creativity and nurturing relationships. She enjoys gardening, cycling, paddling, and communing with trees. Nadeane is continually inspired by the energy, enthusiasm and skillsets of CGC staff and by the projects they undertake.
Lucy loves to learn, loves her community, and just loves life. She is married to hereditary Chief of Lyackson for 38 years with 2 children many adopted children, 10 grand children and 1 great grand child. She is a survivor of residential school and has worked for house of friendship since 1982. She will support happy events as well as sad ones.
Suzanne bought her first home just up the street from the CGC office 8 years ago and hasn’t looked back. She moved to the Island over 40 years ago from North Vancouver and has been lucky enough to live in several small communities. She subs the odd day in Kindergarten, spends lots of time in her garden and is currently training a new to her German Shepherd. Suzanne is delighted to be on the board and is looking forward to her time with this wonderful new community with so many like-minded people.
Cathy has lived in the Cowichan Valley for the past 7 years and loves the community, the nature surrounding us and the ocean especially. She is passionate about many things, among them the importance of food security, and small farms. She loves the work of the Cowichan Green Community!
Shannon is a FOOD enthusiast. She believes that if it grows, we should eat it. If it was made… It’s probably not going to make you healthier. She wants to increase the various connections we have to the foods we eat. This includes the way we choose to eat, how we select, prepare and appreciate the foods that we buy from both near and far. She believes that there is a deeper connection to our food sources that has been lost because we have been disconnected from both the growing and the cooking process for the majority of the foods we eat. It is her hope to help impact the availability and appreciation of all foods to improve how bright and happy our community can become with better and more affordable access to locally grown foods. In her past Shannon has focused on Parks and Rural Community Development projects. Currently, she is a Cowichan Real Estate Agent.
Eduardo Sousa is an Advisor with the Indigenous Leadership Initiative which fosters Indigenous nationhood as a way to conserve and manage Indigenous lands. He runs a consultancy, Caminho Do Meio, providing strategic planning and communications, and project management support for Indigenous communities. Eduardo also worked for Greenpeace for over a decade as senior Forests Campaigner, successfully implementing the world-renowned and award-winning Great Bear Rainforest Agreements with First Nations, the BC Government and the logging industry. Prior to arriving on the west coast, Eduardo worked many years as Ontario-Quebec Organizer for the Council of Canadians on public policy issues related to healthcare, water, trade and Canada-US relations. Eduardo was also an environmental planner and special projects coordinator for Toronto Parks, working with communities on environmental stewardship and community gardens. He has a Master’s in Environmental Studies from Toronto’s York University, with a focus on watershed planning and community mobilization, and an Honours BA in Social-Cultural Anthropology / Environmental Studies, from Victoria University/University of Toronto. Eduardo has various articles published in books and magazines and online, regarding watershed stewardship and planning, water issues and environmental history.
Born in Vancouver, Judy took a long detour through life and other countries before she was enticed back to this gorgeous Valley. Blessed to be living on a float house and working in a fabulous organization that fuels her creative and environmental fire, she’s reminded how much more inspiring life is when working in a place that is aligned with her passions.
Leela worked 9 years at the Duncan Garage Cafe, where her beliefs aligned with the cafe’s ethos of home made, organic, vegetarian food with a focus on reducing waste and being less harmful to the environment. It seems suiting that her next position would be at the Cowichan Green Community, where the principles are the same.
Tasha Borden, an avid promoter of homeschooling and gardening, is currently pursuing a Master’s in Writing.
With a background in marine biology, Nathan originally set out to work solely within marine conservation but since moving to the island 5 years ago, he has developed a new passion for sustainable farming and the Cowichan region. He now owns and runs ‘Local Forage Farm’ in Glenora that focusses on ethically raised animals and an abundance of fruit and vegetables. He has also networked within the community and worked at a number of local farming businesses including Averill Creek Vineyards, Evening Cove Oysters, Haltwhistle Cheese Co, to name a few. Nathan’s new position within the food recovery team aligns his need to connect with community and move towards a more secure and sustainable food system
Laura is a gardener who moved to the Cowichan Valley in 2017 after years of too-short growing seasons in Quebec and Alberta. Throughout her education in Philosophy and Ethnobotany, she spent summers working in landscaping and farm management, and now prefers to keep her hands dirty full-time. Laura is inspired by small farmers around the world, and is dedicated to making water-efficient, biodiverse, food-secure cities a reality. She is eager to share her enthusiasm for unusual vegetables and further explore the rich web of of people-plant relations in Duncan.
From a young age, Naomi has been passionate about the environment and growing food. After receiving a degree in Geography, her thoughts turned towards the future. She started to dream about living sustainably and growing most of her own food herself. Returning from a year away in Grande Prairie, Naomi started working in a 2-acre greenhouse as a “temporary” employee, staying for the next two years to learn as much as she could about farming and local food. In her final year she managed the greenhouse, further deepening her appreciation for local food growth. Returning to the work force after a year at home with her now toddler, Naomi is eager to learn all she can about permaculture and urban gardening. She is particularly excited to teach kids and youth about food production, and is hoping she can inspire young people to become just as excited about gardening as she is!
Born and mostly raised in Ontario, Alyssa moved out to beautiful British Columbia in 2008. With her Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Youth Care, Alyssa’s passions lie in working with children, youth, and families to create an inclusive, safe, and vibrant community celebrating the gifts and strengths of all people. On the side, she thoroughly enjoys playing music, creating art, and taking in the beauty of Vancouver Island by going on mini adventures and hikes.
Janice has lived in the Cowichan Valley since her early teens and has been a passionate gardener and farmer for over 35 years. She has runs a small hobby farm, supplying the bulk of her and her family’s needs. Jan’s working career has revolved around plants, growing and creative construction.
Robin grew up in rural Ontario and spent a lot of her youth working at farmers markets. It has made her appreciate the value of having access to local and sustainable products. Working with Ceres Edible Landscaping and the Cowichan Green Community has allowed her to be part of that again. Every day she works with a team who is amazingly dedicated to the community, education and the natural world. They will happily share information, help with plant identification and teach new landscaping techniques. All with a smile and a lot of laughing along the way!
A father of 3 boys, gardener, cyclist, flyfisher and musician, Sandy has no trouble filling his days. Originally hailing from Alberta, Sandy visited Vancouver Island in June 2000 with friends intending to stay for only a month. Twenty years later, he still loves Vancouver Island and all of its natural beauty, and hopes to improve his community by strengthening food security and building relationships with like-minded people.
Lauren is Medical Herbalist and plant-tender. She has a deep connection to plants and a desire to share them with others to meet their specific needs. Lauren is eager to continually integrate new plant-related arts to her repertoire, such as (herbal) medicine-making, ethical/sustainable wildcrafting, gardening, photography, etc. She has taken a range of courses on Botany, Horticulture, and Gardening and has expanded those to practical knowledge by getting her hands in the soil. Her role at the Cowichan Green Community is to pilot the Plant Nursery project, focusing on Medicinal and Native plants.
Tessa is happiest with her hands in the soil, growing food, playing and learning from the land. She has spent the past decade working as an outdoor educator, guiding wilderness trips, building school gardens and creating community programming. Tessa believes that gardening is not only amazing for the soul, but also an important means to building healthy, ecologically-regenerative communities. Tessa is thrilled to be working on the Inclusive Farming Project at the Garden Education Centre.
Kelsey was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario. Most of her professional career she worked as a nurse so when she heard about the food recovery program she knew her medical background in health and safety and her passion for helping people, this was the best fit for her. Kelsey is excited to work with such a caring and supportive group while helping people in the community.