Our People

Heath Carey

Greenhouse Manager

Heath N. Carey moved from Gettysburg, PA to Missoula in 2005 to pursue a graduate degree in Resource Conservation.  His research focused on developing, implementing, and studying the Missoula Hybrid Poplar Project, which included planting some 377 poplar trees that utilize treated municipal waste water as a source of irrigation and fertilization. This successful project was expanded to over 180 acres at present. Heath has served on the Missoula Mayor's Climate Change Advisory Board, The Missoula Fleet and Facilities Conservation and Climate Action Plan Board, The Missoula Zero Waste Group, Transition Missoula Steering Committee, and currently serves as the secretary to The Missoula Winter Public Market Board. Heath is also the owner of Nourishing Cultures, a Missoula-based fermented food business. 

Olivia Kersey-Bronec

EnergyCorp Member

Olivia grew up in Canby, Oregon on an organic farm and went on to study Chemistry at the University of Puget Sound. Olivia found her way out to Montana as an AmeriCorp volunteer with Jesuit Volunteer Corp Northwest in Ashland, Montana working at St. Labre School. She is happy to join Freedom Gardens as an EnergyCorp member this year. This is the first time she has worked with aquaponics and is learning a lot. She is passionate about education and sustainable food production and is excited to have joined the Freedom Garden team. 


Board of Directors

Alaina Dunne
Curriculum  Director

Alaina was raised on a Montana ranch, participating in 4-H for ten years.  With a BA in Social Work from UM, she did a practicum with the Flagship Program at Lowell Elementary School, developing after-school programs, recruiting, training and managing volunteers.  Alaina also has two years of case management experience with parents in the HeadStart Program.  She believes that her involvement with the 4-H Program from a young age keeps her grounded in the community.  

Alaina was raised on a Montana ranch, participating in 4-H for ten years.  With a BA in Social Work from UM, she did a practicum with the Flagship Program at Lowell Elementary School, developing after-school programs, recruiting, training and managing volunteers.  Alaina also has two years of case management experience with parents in the HeadStart Program.  She believes that her involvement with the 4-H Program from a young age keeps her grounded in the community.  

Heath Carey
Chair

Heath N. Carey moved from Gettysburg, PA to Missoula in 2005 to pursue a graduate degree in Resource Conservation.  His research focused on developing, implementing, and studying the Missoula Hybrid Poplar Project, which included planting some 377 poplar trees that utilize treated municipal waste water as a source of irrigation and fertilization. This successful project was expanded to over 180 acres at present. Heath has served on the Missoula Mayor's Climate Change Advisory Board, The Missoula Fleet and Facilities Conservation and Climate Action Plan Board, The Missoula Zero Waste Group, Transition Missoula Steering Committee, and currently serves as the secretary to The Missoula Winter Public Market Board. Heath is also the owner of Nourishing Cultures, a Missoula-based fermented food business. 

Hanna Tester

Hanna Tester has two young boys attending Frenchtown Elementary School and the Tester family enjoys gardening together during Montana summers in their family garden.  Not only has gardening been a great bonding experience for Hanna and her family, but the Testers have learned together the impact that growing and harvesting their own food have on their health and their boys' relationship with their food. Hanna graduated form the university of Montana in 2008 with an undergraduate degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. She has worked in the nonprofit environment for seven years, with extensive experience in housing and finding paths to acquire safe, healthy homes everyone can afford.  Throughout her tenure in the nonprofit sector, Hanna has acquired extensive experience in grant writing and grant compliance for both local funders as well as government funders. Hanna and her husband, Michael, feel incredibly lucky that their boys attend Frenchtown elementary and get such intimate, hands-on learning about sustainability and food cultivation. 

Isabella Aaseng

Frenchtown High School student Isabella Aaseng has grown up in the Frenchtown community and has been serving on the Freedom Gardens board since 2016, her eighth-grade year. She is currently a junior and has committed part of her schedule to a Freedom Gardens internship. In this, she implements sustainable practices in the very same classrooms where she learned. Currently, she is interested in pursuing a degree in global sustainability studies and political or social sciences, all of which are fueled by her involvement with Freedom Gardens.  

Mark Estep
Secretary/Treasurer

Mark was raised in New York City, where he worked in restaurant management and attended the Parsons School of Design, studying historic restoration. In 1992 Mark moved to Missoula had a small business as a contractor, restoring several historic buildings in Missoula.  Since retiring in 2007, he decided to get back into the food movement.  He has worked on getting a USDA inspected mobile abattoir operating in western Montana to harvest cattle on the ranch.  He has worked with the Fredom Gardens in the design and implementation of the garden plots and serves on the Board.

Riley Devins

Riley Devins works in Frenchtown School District as the Intermediate Principal/K-12 Director of Academic Services and is the school representative on the Freedom Gardens Board. He is passionate about growing local food and knowing where the food that we consume comes from. With a background in education, Riley is involved in curriculum development, fundraising and community engagement. He is working to establish student understanding of agricultural practices and science modalities that encompass local sustainability in agriculture and gardening practices that start through education in our schools and move into the local community.

© 2019 by Freedom Gardens - Investing in a sustainable future. Growing food for the masses.

Proud recipient of a UDSA Farm to School Grant.