Who We Are
Summit Community Gardens (SCG) was originally started as a way to provide spaces for people to grow their own fresh food locally. Five years later, with a new Board of Directors and a dedicated Executive Director, Garden Manager and Assistant Garden Manager, the organization is transitioning into the new phase of its development, while recently acquiring its own 501c3 status.
This transition is a natural evolution from SCG’s original mission and is based on insight we learned from the community at large. Through our own custom research the public asked us to provide not just garden space, but also a place where adults and children can learn more about gardening and experience the best a garden has to offer.
Based on this new insight from our community, SCG will provide education and support on the importance of gardening within the general community. This message is especially important for children. As the obesity epidemic continues in this country and as people lose the connection with the food they eat, this education becomes essential for people to develop a healthy diet and understand the importance of proper gardening practices and growing food in a conscientious way. Gardening is also gaining in popularity, as it is becoming a form of recreation among the Baby Boomer generation. It provides a low impact way for this demographic to stay active with less risk of injury.
In short, SCG will create opportunities for the community to gather, learn and grow as regular programming will include events to bring the community together, classes on garden education and places where people can grow their own food.
The cornerstone of the program is the creation and operation of the Community Garden not far from the previous community garden near Matt Knoop Park. In partnership with the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District, an organization with a like-minded mission as SCG and who will build and maintain the garden hardscape, SCG will provide operational expertise including garden maintenance, educational programs, community events and manage the community plots. In short, SCG will provide an expertly maintained garden people can enjoy, classes where they can learn how to do it themselves and rent garden plots so they can practice what they learn. At the same time, BR will ensure all paths, fences and structures are also expertly maintained to optimize the garden experience.
And not only will the community benefit from the beauty of the garden and the educational opportunities, but the food that is grown in the demonstration garden will be donated to at-need members of our community.Leadership
The people involved in our program have a passion for gardening and the community. Their professional experience varies and complements the needs of our program, whether it’s farm management, teaching, landscape design or even beekeeping. Learn more about them below:
Ken is an advertising and communications veteran who worked in Manhattan for 17 years. He lead communications planning for numerous Fortune 500 companies including Shell, P&G, 3M and many more. After moving to Park City, UT, Ken started his own business called A Local Table that supports the local food community by selling and promoting gourmet foods made in Utah. He is also on the leadership team for Slow Food Park City where he heads up marketing for the organization.
As Executive Director, Ken will be in charge of the day-to-day operations and create the vision of the program with assistance from the Board of Directors. He will develop marketing and funding programs to build awareness of the SCG program and attract sponsors, donations and grants.
Lynsey found her passion for being and working outdoors from a young age growing up in the Lake Tahoe basin. She started gardening from an early age with her father and grandmother. The climate, being similar to that of Park City, made gardening a challenge. But Lynsey quickly learned the appropriate crop selection process, and had lots of success as a young and burgeoning gardener.
She attended Colorado College where she met her husband who carried her from Colorado to the rainy Northwest and eventually to Salt Lake for medical training. Throughout their time in Salt Lake, Lynsey completed a Master’s Degree in Public Health and Women’s Health. And while public health will always be a cornerstone in her life, she truly found her calling when she began gardening again. In Salt Lake, Lynsey had an incredibly successful garden from which she began to sell produce to her community of friends, family, and neighbors. This one garden turned into three, as she took over spaces in friends’ yards. She began taking courses in Horticulture and received her Master Gardener’s certificate, while also volunteering at Wasatch Community Gardens. Their family expanded by two, with the addition of Hazel and Ingrid, and the family moved up the canyon to Park City where they will continue to grow and thrive in the gardens as well as in the community.
As the Garden Manager, Lynsey will be responsible for the day-to-day of garden life. She will interact with plot holders and volunteers, as well as maintain the demonstration and education garden.
Joanne Staral is an elementary school science teacher in Park City with over thirty years of teaching experience. Her passion is teaching children about nature and gardening. She has developed garden curriculum for children of all ages and believes that the hands on experience of growing and eating their own vegetables helps children to develop a positive connection to food. With the support of volunteers and several grants, Joanne has been able to build a high tunnel greenhouse and school garden classroom. This outdoor learning space has evolved into a wonderful place where children learn and develop a new appreciation of nature.
For SCG, Joanne will lead the educational class program by developing the different classes and materials needed. She will get assistance from other board members and staff depending on the class topics.
Ariel Vernell – Board Member
Ariel combined her love of flowers ands plants with her artistic flare through college where she graduated from Colorado State University with a BS in Landscape Horticulture with a concentration in Design/Build. She is an active member of Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) and holds two master gardening certificates, both in Colorado and Utah. Ariel has not only designed and installed high-end residential landscapes throughout Park City and Salt Lake areas. She has also worked on organic farms as a flower grower and in nurseries where she has honed her craft of designing and growing.
Her responsibilities will be the initial design of the garden, while also reevaluating the design during the production phase and throughout the year.
Jodie is the director of food and beverage for Deer Valley Resort. She boasts a 20-year cooking career that includes stints in several hotels in Sydney, Australia and working as head chef at Australia’s Charlotte Pass Resort. Jodie currently resides near Park City with her husband Michael, son Graham and daughter Remy. Favorite activities include skiing, snowshoeing, snowblading, hiking, socializing with friends, meeting new people, traveling, rock climbing, and finding new and fun foods to cook!
She is also an active member of various non-profit organizations in the Park City area, including a member on the Summit County Restaurant Tax Grand Advisory Committee.
Jodie serves as a business consultant for SCG and helps develop relationships within the Park City community.
Jules Kaufman – Board Member, Treasurer
Doug is a Utah native born in Logan, Utah and moved to Park City in 1990 to train and compete on a pro snowboard team. He got a “real job” with Park City Fire as a paramedic/firefighter in 1992.
He has a lifelong interest in the biology of gardening and bugs. He is a long time amateur beekeeper, bread baker, and lover of all things food. He lives in Kamas with his wife, two kids, bees and dogs.
Doug’s responsibility will be to maintain the beehive that will help pollinate the garden throughout the year.
A non-profit organization
Summit Community Gardens is an IRS approved 501c3 non-profit charitable organization.