Meet the Board
Darlene Alston (board co-chair) is a community gardener, youth mentor, business owner, and Master Gardener through Michigan State University. She is a graduate of the 2015 class of Urban Roots, a community garden leadership program hosted by Keep Growing Detroit. She co-manages a community garden in her neighborhood in Northwest Detroit where her mission is to share where real food comes from with youth and adults alike. When she isn’t growing, Darlene operates a non-profit teashop with programming designed to educate and assist young people from middle school through post-high school years to navigate entering the workforce. In addition to delicious teas, Darlene features her garden’s fresh produce in inventive and original prepared foods at the teashop.
Renée Bryant was the director the Ritz Carlton Hotel Dearborn floral department and made a career change when joining the Agriscience Department for Detroit Public Schools. She worked at Golightly and Randolph Career and Technical Center as a special instructor for 18 years teaching floral design, greeenhouse management, hydroponics and nutrition. While working at Golightly CTC she along with her co-worker and students grew transplants of flowers, herbs and vegetables for their annual spring plant sale which funded money to their program. She helped start up the the community garden TREO in her neighborhood located on the Northwest side of Detroit. Renée has worked with youth organizations such as the FFA and SCA . She worked and sat on the Advisory board of Michigan HorticultureTeacher Association which she she once served as a President. Renée also was a member of the Michigan Association of Agriscience Educators. She is currently working on TREO Community Garden web and Facebook page. Plus starting a youth ministry community garden with Redeemer UMC.
Chet Dunbar (board treasurer) is a Deacon at 12th Street Baptist and works in the food pantry supplying food baskets to families in need. Chet created the community garden at 12th Street Baptist over 8 years ago to engage the youth in all aspects of agriculture and has actively engaged youth from his church for years in KGD programs, encouraging their participation in educational activities, workdays and volunteer events. Chet is also a certified DNR instructor and serves in the educational offices of The Grosse Pointe Power Squadron, where his mission is to save lives by teaching boating safety.
Naim Edwards (board co-chair) is the Director of the Michigan State University – Detroit Partnership for Food, Learning, and Innovation. He is tasked with developing and managing and urban agriculture research facility in Detroit. Naim has been a participant in the GRP through his work living and growing family and community gardens in Northwest Detroit as well as his backyard. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of farming with an emphasis on ecological restoration. Naim holds a master’s degree from University of Michigan where he studied biodiversity in urban gardens, specializing in beneficial insects. Away from gardening, he works with numerous organizations to address both political and cultural obstacles to achieve food sovereignty and is a staunch advocate for land, water, housing, and education rights.
Lauren Maloney (board secretary) is a member of the Garden Resource Program and market gardener with Grown In Detroit since 2013. Lauren has more than 10 years of experience in local food systems and sustainable urban agriculture, spanning Maryland, Vermont, New Jersey, Michigan, the Caribbean and West Africa. She served on the Slow Food Huron Valley’s leadership Board and managed their Homegrown Festival and the Local Food Summit while also managing an urban gardening edible landscaping company based in Ann Arbor. She currently works as the Food Safety Program Manager for a Food Safety Certification Company and is dedicated to bringing Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) to the local food system. She is passionate about supporting local urban farmers, restaurant and businesses that buy local food.
Elois Moore is a longtime GRP member who coordinates the Farwell Field Community Garden and a resident in Northeast Detroit. Elois is a graduate of both Urban Roots as well as the Rain Gardens to the Rescue Program and has supported youth in her garden participating in the Youth Growing Detroit program. Elois retired in 2012 from her role as the Vice President of the American Federation of Teachers Local 4168, AFL-CIO and previously worked with Detroit Public Schools for over 20 years. Elois currently serves her community in many leadership roles, including president of the Binder Street Block Club O & R, President of the Farwell Community Association, Vice President of the Farwell Association CB Walking Radio Patrol and member of the District Senior Task Force.
Sharon Oglesby is an elder at Broadstreet Presbyterian church and a Master Gardener through the MSU extension program. She is also the director of the Broadstreet Presbyterian Church community garden and community outreach director which allows her to spend a lot of time meeting and sharing all aspects of smart gardening and the importance of recycling with the community. She also directs a tutoring program for K-8th graders. Her ambitious goal for 2018 is to recruit at least 10 gardens to join the Garden Resource Program! In her spare time she can be found volunteering with KGD and the Riverfront Conservancy.
Marquita Reese comes from a long lineage of farmers, spanning generations across the US. Marquita teaches high school and is a charismatic educator, spokeswoman, and advocate for the Detroit Public School’s Office of Nutrition gardening program. She has pioneered a school garden and educational programming at Frederick Douglass Academy that has served as a model and inspiration for schools across the entire district. Marquita brings her passion for advocating for her students by working with them to grow their own food, cook nutritious meals and making nutrition PSAs. Her goal is to inspire the next generation to appreciate and embrace local, healthy, and nutritious food. Marquita is also a dedicated market gardener with Grown in Detroit since 2013 and returns her earnings back into her school’s thriving garden.
Rosebud Schneider (Ojibwe/Shawnee/Tarascan) was born and raised in Southwest Detroit. She is dedicated to supporting the health and wellness in the community by educating on the importance on revitalizing Indigenous foodways. Rosebud is currently on the Sacred Roots traditional foods project at American Indian Health and Family Services where the team is coordinating the Sacred Roots Community Heritage Garden at Romanowski Park. Rosebud is a graduate of MSU’s Organic Farmers Training Program. Rosebud is also a former KGD intern and Urban Roots graduate. She has been a resource for family and friends in starting and maintaining their garden spaces. Her lifelong goal is to teach her children the beauty of connecting the present world with the past, and to live a well-rounded healthy life with the knowledge of our ancestral ways.