Board and Coordinators
The Somerville Community Growing Center is made up of an all-volunteer Board of Directors and a part-time Volunteer Coordinator. Please find below information about the entire board of directors, their background and interests.
Leilani Mroczkowski, Growing Center Board President
Hailing from the Midwest, Leilani headed east to escape industrial farming and attend Syracuse University where she graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology, International Relations and Spanish. Through the encouragement of other community-minded friends, she discovered the Growing Center (and Lisa B.). Leilani is passionate about environmental sustainability and playing outside. During the day she is the Director of Education at Green City Growers where her mission is to get today’s youth more excited about the natural world than the latest gaming platform. Under the mentorship of Lisa Fernandes and Jesse Watson, Leilani received her Permaculture Design Certificate in 2015. The Growing Center is a refuge from the bustling streets of Somerville and holds a special place in her heart.
Lisa Brukilacchio, Growing Center Board Vice President
Lisa 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.
Sara Rostampour, Growing Center Board Clerk
Sara is a vegetable farmer professionally, but also grows vegetables, flowers and herbs in Somerville on her balcony, in her apartment, and in her community garden plot. She is excited to be part of creating community and increasing access to green space through the Somerville Community Growing Center.
Lucy Hahn grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Tufts University, and she is passionate about the art of communication. She discovered her love of community gardens while interning at The Wylde Center in Decatur, Georgia. She appreciates the powerful possibilities to experience beauty and healing shared in both wild and cultivated green spaces. She advocates for sharing these spaces in community and is always looking for new ways to do so. She has lived and worked abroad in Spain and Costa Rica, and she enjoys practicing yoga, reading and cooking.
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 Extended Day Program Director at the Lake Champlain Waldorf School in Shelburne, VT.
Additional board members: Aileen Bellwood and Karl Thidemann.
Erica Jones is the Volunteer Coordinator for the Somerville Community Growing Center. Erica’s work has always had a community-oriented focus and mission. Some of you may be familiar with her work as the Membership and Outreach Director at Somerville Community Access Television and producing the Cinema Somerville outdoor movie screening series. Erica is excited to bring her love for the Somerville community and for organizing events, community outreach & volunteer management into her position. She loves helping to support the local food ecosystem and believes that through knowledge sharing, many more people can feel empowered to become local growers as well. Erica is excited to meet many of the wonderful volunteers who dedicate their extra time to making this garden oasis truly a gem and such a special place to be a part of.