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Climate Victory Gardens in Montgomery County: A Community Symposium

Tuesday, May 3, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


The Montgomery County Food Council in cooperation with the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection and Brookside Gardens is hosting a community symposium to discuss increased accessibility to food and resources to convert lawns to gardens. You can register for the event here.

With the world facing the war in Ukraine and rising fuel, fertilizer, and food prices, in addition to an unabated climate crisis, growing as much food locally as possible is one way people can help make food in the community more accessible. This symposium will focus on:

  • Connecting would-be gardeners with land available for food production;
  • Connecting homeowners with gardeners and professional resources to produce food on their land;
  • Celebrating the many existing gardening and food production resources in Montgomery County.

The Details

The symposium will be held on Tuesday, May 3rd from 6:30 pm to 8 pm at Brookside Gardens (1800 Glenallen Ave, Wheaton, MD 20902). The event is FREE to anyone who wishes to attend. A recording of the event will be posted here after the event in English and Spanish.

Register for the event here

If you have any further questions about the event, please email Paul Tukey,

The Panelists

 Heather Bruskin, Moderator

As the Executive Director of the Montgomery County Food Council, Heather leads the organization’s operational and strategic initiatives, coordinating the contributions of the organization’s 8 staff, 400+ volunteers of the Council, Working Groups, Board of Directors, and 200+ community partner organizations toward our collective food system goals and achievements. Heather spent the first decade of her career as an administrator and program director at MIT, Georgetown University, and the University of Virginia. Prior to her work with the Food Council, Heather also served as President of multiple volunteer-driven, community-based organizations in Montgomery County focused on early childhood education and parent resources. Heather holds a B.A. from Tufts University and an M. Ed. from the University of Virginia.


Lisa BĂĽttner, Community Leader

As Director of Neighborhood Garden Programs at Community Health and Empowerment through Education and Research (CHEER), Lisa uses gardening to connect community members with the soil, with their roots and with each other. She fosters sharing of skills and cross-cultural knowledge, strengthening leadership and community in the process. She led the formation of the Long Branch Gardeners/Jardineras/Jardinières through a CHEER/Audubon Naturalist Society partnership in 2021. Thanks to gracious neighbors, the group continues to grow the foods they value most in three modest front- and back-yard gardens. A lifelong gardener, Lisa has dedicated nearly a decade to garden-based education, is a 2022 Master Gardener Intern and a Food Council Member. Lisa brings Spanish fluency and cultural sensitivity to her work, having traveled extensively worldwide and spent 17 years on renewable energy in rural Mexico and Central America. She holds a BA and MA from Brown University.


Michelle Nelson, Community Leader

As Community Garden Program Manager with Montgomery Parks, Michelle believes that food is a connector of culture, understanding, and growth. She has been in the urban agriculture and community garden space for over 8 years – working for University of Maryland Extension and now Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Her work is most focused on exploring intersections of food systems, land use, agricultural education, and leadership/mentoring. Michelle has been a featured speaker at many conferences across the country, serves as Co-Chair for the Gardening Subcommittee with the Montgomery Food Council, former Board Chair with Crossroads Community Food Network, and is a proud HBCU graduate.


Robin Hernandez, Community Leader

Co-chair of the Gardening Subcommittee of the Montgomery County Food Council, Robin works as a program manager for Crossroads Community Food Network for their Healthy Eating Program; in addition, she is a part-time farm worker at Owl’s Nest Farm. Robin has completed two years of CASA/Future Harvest’s Beginner Farmer Training Program, where she interned at Three Part Harmony in NE DC; graduated from UDC’s Master Gardener Program; and spent two seasons at the National Arboretum at the Washington Youth Garden, and one season at Love and Carrots. Robin uses she/her/ella pronouns, speak conversationally fluent Spanish, (Robin is a graduate of MCPS), and is grateful for her food community.



You may register for the event here!


Tuesday, May 3, 2022
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Brookside Gardens
1800 Glenallen
Wheaton, MD 20902 United States
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