The GARDENS Advisory Council
We are a collaborative grassroots group made up of residents, agencies, and community college and faith groups living in and around the South Etobicoke Community. The project team has an extensive educational background in areas such as health promotions, health and nutrition, food security, and urban studies. Partnerships have been formed on a number of initiatives. Some of us have had considerable experience working together (at least 15 years) on various projects.
Isha Green (Co-Chair)
Isha Green is the Health Promoter and Community Health Worker (Youth Focused) at LAMP Community Health Centre (CHC) and currently serves as Co-chair on the Garden’s Education Team. She has over 10 years experience working with various populations and demographics within Etobicoke. Isha oversees LAMP Good Food Markets which ensures healthy food security for seniors and families within the South Etobicoke area. She is also actively engaged in the planning and development of LAMP CHC’s Youth programs and other major events such as the annual Back to School Health and Wellness Fair. Isha’s passion for serving the community in which she was raised has allowed her to take a compassionate and empathetic strength-based approach to providing her community with resources necessary to combat systemic barriers such as food insecurity, homelessness, inequity in education and Anti-Black racism.
Jim Sanderson is one of the original members of the GARDENS project. He helps with the construction of the raised garden beds among other things. He has been pastor of Mimico Baptist Church (MBC) since November 1994. He is married to Jennifer and they have three grown children. His family is a great source of pride and joy. Jim enjoys the outdoors, kayaking, fishing, hiking, and snowshoeing. He loves his church and community. Jim trained four years to be an illustrator, served one year with Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship, and three years as a director of a ministry to young offenders and troubled youth. He completed his M.Div. at Tyndale University. Jim was instrumental in establishing the Annual Mimico Party in the Park Festival, the Mimico Residents Association, Mimico Children’s Choir, the Christmas Tree Lighting service and an Annual Remembrance service for the Guiding and Scouting groups of south Etobicoke.
Gabi loves gardening, community engagement, and hands-on learning opportunities. She worked for the GARDENS Project in 2020 and 2021 and is excited to put that experience towards supporting the GAC. Gabi believes that urban gardening has the potential to fundamentally transform how community members relate to one another and to the food they consume. She is also an advocate for food justice and climate action.
Ashelyn Fung (Co-Chair)
Ashelyn is the Project Manager for the Centre for Social Innovation at Humber College. She has a range of expertise from her years at various non-profit and post-secondary organizations in Toronto, Edmonton, and abroad. Functionally, her work has focused on organizational effectiveness, event planning, marketing and communications, and project management. She holds an MBA from the York University (Schulich School of Business), specializing in social sector management and sustainability.
Bio to come.
Travis has spent the last 12 years in various post-secondary studies and has earned Master’s degree from Colorado State University in Sociology, with a specific focus on environmental sustainability and community resiliency. He is driven to projects that spark change in some of the world’s most disruptive systems that threaten the sustainability of our future. He currently works as a specialist in developing high-impact projects that both advance community climate resiliency and enhance student sustainability leadership competencies through experiential learning. He looks forward to supporting the GARDENS in enhancing community collaboration, food security, resiliency, and sustainability.
Carly Spragg has been a resident of South Etobicoke since 2018. Looking to get involved with the community as well as support social and environmental initiatives, she was welcomed on to the Gardens Advisory Committee in 2021. Carly has a background in nursing and is passionate about gardening, local food and biking around the city.
Karen Weishuuhn, MSc RD
Karen has lived in the community of Long Branch for over 15 years. As a registered dietitian she has spent her career focused on health and wellness both during and after pregnancy. Through her master's degree and her current role at Mount Sinai Hospital she has focused on the unique nutritional needs of extremely premature infants. Throughout her career she has had firsthand experience dealing with the inequities experienced in both the pregnant patient as well as infancy in those who are food insecure. This has led her to work to alleviate food insecurity within her own community.
Vanessa has been a resident of Central and South Etobicoke since 2005 and has had extensive capacity-building experiences from partnerships within the TDSB, Youth Sports, and The Gardens Lakeshore. Currently, she is an Honours Bachelor of Community Development and Global Citizenship student, having previously studied at UBC and Ryerson. A mother, small business owner, and outdoor/gardening enthusiast, she is particularly interested in research surrounding housing access and affordability inclusive of green space and food security development systems. South Etobicoke community sustainability and how we can collectively work with existing community stakeholders is a passion she is grateful to be a part of within this advisory research group.
LAMP CHC is a multi-service, community based charitable organization that provides a wide range of programs and services to improve a person’s health. LAMP uses a coordinated approach to connect people to medical services and other programs that build personal resources. By providing services that improve physical, emotional, social, and economic well-being, people can better control their health and environment.
LEGS is a gardening and environmental society that aims to create and maintain harmony between the land and the people. They strive to create and protect beautiful landscapes while also protecting the wildlife that surrounds us. They also advocate for healthier, stronger, and vibrant neighbourhood ties through gardening.
A community group of local residents and park users dedicated to protecting, enhancing and preserving the naturalized areas of Colonel Samuel Smith Park in South Etobicoke, Ontario.
The Humber community is comprised of 27,500 full-time and 56,000 continuing education registrants across three campuses. Our students, faculty, and staff contribute to the local communities and there are many volunteer opportunities and ways to celebrate Humber’s diversity.
Quest Brands is a manufacturer of fencing and garden products. The company made a generous donation of supplies for the 2018 season that enabled us to build trellises and supports for all of our vine and climbing plants. Thank you Quest!