FREEDOM GARDENS MISSION
OUR MISSION IS TO ENHANCE LOCAL FOOD SECURITY BY DEMONSTRATING SUSTAINABLE FOOD PRODUCTION METHODS AND PROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR HANDS-ON LEARNING. WE STRIVE TO TEACH RESILIENCE TO FOOD SCARCITY THROUGH ECO-CONSCIOUS EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS ABOUT GROWING, PRESERVING AND STORING FOOD.
Board of Directors
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.
Heath Carey, Chair
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.
Susan Estep is a native Montanan from the Highline with a strong heritage of producing what you eat as close to home as possible. In her 24 years in Missoula she has served on many local Missoula Boards of Directors and has been past Chairman of the following local non-profits; MontanaCDC, Sustainable Business Council, homeWord, The Montana Natural History Center. Other board memberships include Play Ball Missoula, MCAT, YWCA National AMDC, and the national progressive philanthropy group The Women Donors Network. Her day job is managing her majority women owned Asset Management Firm, Estep&Weber Capital Management.
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 Dunne, Curriculum Director
Ashley Parks, Frenchtown Elementary School, Asst Principal
Ashley Parks was raised in Pocatello, ID. She has worked in education for 16 years and is currrently the Assistant Principal at Frenchtown Elementary School. Ashley holds a BA from Skidmore College, an MA from Stanford University, and an MEd from the University of Montana. She is excited about the partnership between Frenchtown Schools and Freedom Gardens and the fresh food and perspective that will be brought to the School District.