Maggie is a 4th generation San Franciscan who grew up 10 blocks from the garden. She is a butcher’s daughter with 15 years of experience working with non-profit organizations. After years of working for social justice movements and experience consulting social sector organizations, Maggie found her way to gardening through a love of food. She spent a summer working on a small organic farm in Mendocino County (2008), and then worked selling produce at farmer's markets. Maggie joined GFE in 2012, and was the Program Director for 4 years before becoming Executive Director in 2016. A graduate of the Get Up! program (2012), Maggie is an example that you too can learn to garden. Come find her at Garden for the Environment on Saturdays. Maggie's favorite plant at GFE is Grevillea 'Ivanhoe'.
Program Manager - Adult Public Programs
After starting a backyard beehive in 2013 that prompted a life shift away from university library work to gardening and sustainability pursuits, Trina completed GFE’s Get Up! program and earned her Permaculture Design Certification in 2014, graduated from San Francisco Bee-Cause's two-year beekeeping apprenticeship program in 2015, and received her UC Master Gardener certification in April 2016. Trina completed her MFA in Cinema Production degree at San Francisco State University in 2004 and keeps her feet planted in the film world as a part-time Cinema instructor at City College of San Francisco. In addition to managing our adult workshop and volunteer programs, Trina is GFE's Get Up! course facilitator. Her favorite plant in the garden is the native Phacelia tanacetifolia (Lacy Phacelia) because of its all-around fuzziness and distinctive curly clusters of light purple flowers, and because they attract equally fuzzy and fascinating native bumblebees when in bloom.
Program Manager - Youth and Outreach Programs
Sharlene’s love of learning and teaching in a garden began at SF Community School as an AmeriCorps Member (SF Urban Service Project) in 1999. She was a public school teacher for 10 years in the Bay Area and New York City, and received her M.A. in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University. Sharlene became a garden educator with the Leave it Better reGeneration Program, has volunteered with Edible Schoolyard NYC, and worked with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Master Composter Certified, Brooklyn Urban Gardener Certified, Discovery Garden Docent, City Farmers Instructor, Project Green Reach Instructor). Since September 2017, Sharlene has been teaching and learning in the garden with the San Francisco Botanical Garden, the Conservatory of Flowers, Education Outside, Alemany Farm, and Ninunong Gamot (Philippine Ancestral Medicine). Sharlene’s favorite plant in the garden is borage (Borago officinalis) because it’s so multisensory - a beautiful color, texture, and taste!
Chris has been working with children since moving to San Francisco in 2001, when many of the City's school and community gardens inspired him to make the change to outdoor education and gardening as a career. Graduating from GFE’s Get Up! program in 2015 sealed the deal on this decision and he is thrilled to now be on staff at GFE. Since Get Up!, Chris has volunteered with Community Grows classes at Koshland Garden, Alemany Farm, and worked in the SF Botanical Garden's Children’s Garden. He also works as a maintenance gardener for a variety of clients in San Francisco and leads a gardening club with K - 3rd graders at Clarendon Elementary. Chris' favorite plant in the garden is French lavender (Lavendula dentata) because of the way it cascades into the pathway and gives passersby a blast of freshness when brushed past.
Lead Volunteer + Garden Guru
Hilary knows the common (and Latin!) name of nearly every plant in the garden. A life-long gardener, trained at the City College Horticulture program, Hilary worked as a professional landscape gardener in San Francisco for 30 years. Hilary maintains the water-wise, perennial, and native plant demonstration beds and works with volunteers to keep the garden blooming year round. Formerly our head instructor, Hilary now trains staff and guest instructors in teaching sustainable gardening, and develops curriculum for our classes. Her favorite plant in the garden is Salvia clevelandii (Cleveland sage).