Board and Coordinators «

Board and Coordinators

 Lisa Brukilacchio is a long time Somerville resident, moving here in 1977 from upstate NY. While a student at Tufts, she discovered community gardening and has been hooked ever since. It was while she was serving as the City’s Community Gardens Coordinator as part of the Conservation Commission, that the Growing Center was born. As one of the founding members, Lisa was highly motivated by her own childhood experiences to create a space in the city where children could develop their own relationship with the natural world. In addition, she has strived to continue the creative legacy of the early years of the Center by working to foster an environment where all ages and abilities can discover how to apply their passions and talents towards building a model of sustainability, citizen engagement and cultural exploration.

Tai Dinnan joined the board in 2009. She grew up in rural Vermont, coming to Somerville to attend Tufts University. The natural oasis she found at the Growing Center, along with her work at Groundwork Somerville, helped make urban living enjoyable.  She ran kids programming including April Vacation Week Camp and The Somerville Maple Syrup Project at the Growing Center and coordinated composting efforts.  She sees enormous value in preserving natural public spaces in which all urban residents can play, relax, connect, learn, and grow.  Tai is now the director of an After School Program in Monkton, VT.

Lee Dwyer joined the board in 2012. Lee started gardening and exploring the outdoors as a kid, went on to study urban planning and sustainability, and now works for Groundwork Somerville as Gardens Coordinator. Passionate about making Somerville a stronger, greener community, Lee wants to get both adults and children involved in gardening and nature, particularly through the amazing space that is the Growing Center. Lee enjoys hiking, cooking veggie food, writing, and playing softball.

Emma Oster grew up on a small organic farm in rural Maine and moved to Somerville following graduate school. She sees the Growing Center as a perfect way to expose urban families to the wonder and joys of the natural world.




Marla Rhodes has lived and gardened in Somerville for nearly twenty years, and has been on the board of several local community food and agricultural organizations. She likes to brag about being the very first applicant for Tufts University’s Agriculture, Food and Environment Masters degree program.

Kim Schmidt has lived and gardened in Somerville since 2000. She can often be found planting in various spots around town, usually with her kids (or pile of kids) in tow. She is grateful for the many resources in our vibrant city, most especially the intersection of nature and community found in spaces like the Growing Center. As volunteer coordinator for the Friends of the Community Growing Center, Kim helps orient new volunteers to the space and connects them with some of the many opportunities here.  Kim is excited about her role in continuing to keep this accessible, beautiful, green space going in our city.

Jared Worful has been in growing plants and gardening since he was a young sprout himself. His background is in plant biochemistry and works in the lab, but he loves getting outside and getting his hands dirty.  You can find him at the Growing Center pruning trees and helping keep the vegetable gardens tended. He has found the Growing Center to be the perfect place to not only practice urban agriculture but also share the joy of it with the Somerville Community.

Additional board members:  Aileen Bellwood, Karl Thidemann, and Laura Estan

Additional Coordiantor:  Paula Jordan

A place for people of all ages and backgrounds to gather, learn and celebrate – to grow community. | Located @ 22 Vinal Ave., Somerville, MA 02143