Jeanette Koncikowski joined Grassroots Gardens of Western New York in May 2018. She is a long-time community educator and activist, bringing almost 20 years of experience with nonprofit organizations such as the Center for Development of Human Services, Crisis Services of Buffalo and Erie County and the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. She also co-founded Prevention Educators, a community education collaborative that trained thousands of youth, parents, and professionals on topics related to violence prevention and social justice.
Since 2014, she has volunteered as a Community Leader for Change with Breast Cancer Action, a national advocacy organization seeking health justice for those living with or at risk of breast cancer. She has fought to bring attention to the link between Buffalo’s high cancer rates and environmental toxins.
Jeanette is thrilled to be combining her personal passion for gardening with community development. She will focus on building Grassroots Gardens’ organizational capacity and sustainability. Jeanette believes it is essential that all neighborhoods and families in Buffalo benefit from our city’s revitalization and that everyone has a right to healthy, affordable and accessible food. Community gardens should be the cornerstones of such efforts as they provide nourishment for our bodies and spirits.
Jeanette is a graduate of Hutch Tech High School and the University at Buffalo. She received her Master’s degree in Education from Harvard University, specializing in human development and psychology. She is the proud mother of two resilient girls, one Shih Tzu, and an ever-growing collection of houseplants and heirloom vegetable beds.
Jeanette can be reached at email@example.com
Heather Helman Community Garden Manager
Heather Helman was born and raised in Western New York and is happy to call Buffalo home once more. After receiving her B.S. in Environmental Studies in 2013 from SUNY-ESF, she spent the next few years working on organic farms and learning about the different ways people engage with their local food systems. Heather is passionate about connecting people to their environments and to one another through food and gardening, as well as breaking down barriers to urban food production. When she isn’t playing in the dirt, she spends a lot of time reading, tracking down great live music, and exploring the amazingly delicious food and drinks our area has to offer. Heather can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greg Wilder School Garden Coordinator Greg joined Grassroots Gardens WNY in the spring of 2017 as the school garden coordinator. He has a bachelors degree in adolescent education and has been an avid gardener for many years. In 2014 he purchased an empty lot at the city foreclosure auction and transformed it into a garden where he grows fruits, vegetables, and perennial flowers. He enjoys how gardens can be effective conversation starters as a way to build positive relationships within the neighborhood. Outside of gardening, Greg is active in the local cycling community and helps to promote alternative forms of transportation with Go Bike Buffalo. For recreation, he loves spending time hiking and camping, especially in the Adirondacks. He also unsuccessfully tries to be a fisherman, but enjoys it nonetheless.