CSG Board Profiles: Aleen Carey and Lisa Drake

Posted by on May 6, 2015 | Comments Off on CSG Board Profiles: Aleen Carey and Lisa Drake

CSG Board Profiles: Aleen Carey and Lisa Drake

Each month we sit down to talk with a CSG board member about their history in the garden, hopes for CSG, and more. We even ask them to tell us what vegetable they would be if they were a vegetable…

This month, we had the pleasure of interviewing Board Vice-Chair, Aleen Carey and Board Chair, Lisa Drake. Read on to learn more about these wonderful board members of ours…

Aleen

The lovely Aleen Carey, Vice-Chair of CSG’s Board.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aleen (featured in photo above) –

1) Tell us about an early experience with gardens or nature.

We didn’t have a garden at my house growing up, but I was raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, so I was always having fun outdoors; my friends and I would explore on the trails between our neighborhood and our school for hours! Of course, I also had a special love for the Amish farms (doesn’t everyone LOVE the smell of manure?!?) and the oh-so-yummy ice cream we would get there.

2) How did you get involved in CSG?

My great friend Katie Reid Shevlin told me I had to hear about this organization that was working to put gardens in Charlottesville’s city schools…that I would LOVE it…and she was correct!

3) What’s your favorite part of being involved in CSG?

The immediate answer is seeing youngsters fall in love with kale, of course! But I also am so proud of the lifelong skills the C’ville students are developing to be smart, healthy leaders.

For me, personally, I am so lucky to be a part of the deep community ties that are woven through service and love – for children and the garden!!

4) What is your dream for CSG in the future?

My dream is that CSG becomes fully funded by the Charlottesville community, enabling the staff and board members to focus on the unbelievable educational and outreach opportunities we have to positively impact Charlottesville’s youth. I want CSG – and programs like it – to be a GIVEN in each child’s life.

5) What are you focusing on as a board member for CSG?

I love being involved in the hands-in-the-dirt events such as shed building and volunteer days. As a former teacher, it is so fun to interact with the students in their respective communities. Each school, its garden and its students have a unique personality; it is awesome to get to know and become a small part of each one of them.

I am also very focused on being an ambassador for CSG. Not everyone knows about the awesome work we do with our partners and sponsors, and I am absolutely delighted every single time I get to share our story with others.

The more people who know about us = the more people who want to support our students!!!

6) If you were a fruit or vegetable, what kind would you be and why?

If I were a fruit I would be a pineapple – because my paternal grandmother lived in Pineapple, Alabama, so it’s in my blood. I also love that you can have pineapple with sweet AND savory dishes – grilled pineapple is the best!

CSG Board Chair, Lisa Drake, helping out at last year's Fall Harvest Festival at Buford Middle School.

CSG Board Chair, Lisa Drake, helping out at last year’s Fall Harvest Festival at Buford Middle School.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Lisa,

1) Tell us about an early experience with gardens and nature

Well, where to begin?! My childhood days were filled with climbing trees or riding my horses in the bridle trails in rural central Massachusetts. Our vegetable garden, sadly, had a very short life due to the pesky woodchucks who kept eating our peas. My mother decided to take matters in her own hands and be rid of them once and for all. She positioned herself for the night with shotgun in hand. As the night slipped by, she fell asleep and the victorious woodchucks ate our peas! She gave up on the veggie garden and stuck with her flower beds!

2) How did you get involved in CSG?

CSG’s founder, Linda Winecoff, proposed the idea of schoolyard gardens in the Charlottesville city schools at a School Health Advisory Board Committee meeting in 2007. As a member of that committee I thought that was not only a great idea but sort of a no-brainer! Three years later, when the first grant money came in to hire our first garden educator and program director, I asked if I could help. Linda embraced me with open arms and I have been here since.

3) What’s your favorite part of being involved in CSG?

The people, the journey, the impact, the broad community it engages and the smiles on so many faces either in the garden or when they hear about CSG.

4) What are your dreams for CSG in the future?

Seeing CSG continue to grow as a sustainable and fiscally stable organization, engaging youth across our city school system, from K – 12th grade!

Feeling CSG’s impact across our incredibly diverse Charlottesville community.

Spreading our work to other communities because of the strength of our programming model and impacts demonstrated.

5) If you were a fruit or vegetable, what kind would you be and why?

We stumbled upon the notion of garden spirits with this question in our volunteer orientation! My fruit spirit would be a pea ~ the seeds live in pods (a botanical fruit) as a team which is why CSG is so strong. They are nutritionally dense little spheres, are grown all over the world and can be used in a variety of ways – fresh, frozen or dried— hence diverse!